TROY — Local money helping local people is the foundation of the United Way of Troy.
In the first of a two-part series, which continues next Sunday in the Valley section, the United Way of Troy’s 29 agencies share their stories on how each unique organization helps local people throughout the year.
The United Way of Troy is in the middle of its 2017 fundraising season. The money raised during the campaign, which ends the first week of December, fuels the 29 agencies and the people in the community they serve throughout the year.
According to the United Way of Troy Executive Director Richard Bender, this year’s goal is to raise $825,000.
The agency raised approximately $770,000 during its 2016 campaign.
The United Way of Troy relies on donations to help fund the various programs across its partner agencies.
If you are interested in learning more about Troy’s United Way agencies or how to become a businesses partner or donor, contact Bender at (937) 335-8410.
To donate online or to sign-up for a payroll deduction, visit www.unitedwayoftroy.org.
Miami County YMCA
The Miami County YMCA’s Diabetes Education Class changed my life. My doctor encouraged me to educate myself on pre-diabetes when my blood work showed I was in that category.
After completing the Y’s eight classes, using the personal trainer, and being committed to the effort, my blood glucose and A1C levels all returned to normal.
I thank the Miami County YMCA for having such a critical class series in its varied options of healthy activities.
— Miami County Y member
Troy Miami County Library/Dolly Parton Imagination Library
2016 Survey Results
97 percent of Miami County parents say they read to their child several times a week or more.
Over 50 percent now read to their child several times a day. Before starting the program only 21 percent of parents read to their child more than once a day and 18 percent read to their child once a week or less (4 percent never read to their child).
98 percent of parents said their child is more interested in reading since enrolling
97 percent say their child will be better prepared for school
95 percent say they spend more quality time together as a family since joining Imagination Library.
24 percent of respondents enrolled their child at birth
Quotes from parents:
Due to financial reasons, buying books was not a priority for our family! Our daughter is 2, and absolutely loves the books she gets! When a new book arrives, her eyes light up and we get to spend time together reading the book, memories that you can’t put a price on! The books we receive not only help our daughter become interested in learning to read, but also helps our family spend quality time together! We are very grateful for this program!
— Imagination Library parent
My son never let me read to him, he wanted nothing to do with books until he started getting his books in the mail from imagination library. Now every month when he sees his new book in the mail box he can’t wait to get it inside and look at it. He loves for me to read to him now & he’s learning letters and words from reading! We love imagination library!
— Imagination Library parent
I’m so very pleased with this program. My son LOVES getting something in the mail for HIM. And that’s what made him want to check out the books. Whereas before, when I’d just pick up a book and say, “let’s read!” for some reason, he wasn’t all that excited. Now we read the book as soon as we get it. He asks his 10-year-old brother to read it to him and his dad and his grandparents. It’s a special thing. I love reading, and I feel so good knowing that he’s enjoying it now, too!
— Imagination Library mother
“We love the program! Our son looks forward to getting new books in the mail every month and LOVES that they have his name on them. At four years old, he is already laying down with piles of books to “read” and loves being read to. We are so thankful for Imagination Library and all of the sponsors that make it possible.”
— Imagination Library parent
Gary, a quiet second grader at Forest Elementary in Troy, didn’t have a lot of time to play with his friends after school.
He had to go to his grandmother’s house, who lived across town, because his mom worked two jobs to support their single parent home.
One night, the school was hosting a “join Scouting night” and Gary really wanted to go. Many of his friends were in Cub Scouts and he thought it sounded like fun.
His mother asked a friend if he would take him and get the information about joining.
When Gary’s mother looked at her son’s smiling face the day after the Scouting night she knew she couldn’t say no.
That is when the families of the other Cub Scout’s in the Pack stepped up and said “we’ll help.”
The Scouting family, made up of volunteers from all walks of life, is dedicated to helping and enriching the lives of young people in the community.
Because of their commitment, the Scouting programs are accessible to all families and youth have the opportunity to be with their friends and have fun in a safe and nurturing environment with caring and supporting adult role models.
Gary is currently enjoying his first year in Cub Scouts and has earned his Bobcat Rank. He is just about ready to advance to the rank of Bear and he and his mother are getting ready to participate in his first Pinewood Derby race!
— A Grateful and Proud Mom of a Cub Scout
Miami County SafeHaven has helped me with my mental illness by giving me coping skills and being there to talk to and listen without judging when I need the support.
They have also given my family contact information to resources that have helped my family.
Thank you for caring about me.
– A member at SafeHaven
Halfway through college, I started hallucinating. I thought I was on my way to a prominent career, but schizophrenia had other plans.
Thank God I had my family to help me through the first ten years of hell trying to find medication that would help and trying to understand what happened to me and why.
It took a real toll on my family, and they ended up finding help at a place called SafeHaven.
I began going there for educational classes and peer support.
I learned I wasn’t alone.
I learned lots of people don’t have supportive families like I do.
I learned lots of people have no one at all without SafeHaven.
I ended up getting a job there, and now I’ve been a staff member for SafeHaven for many years.
I still have struggles with schizophrenia, but I’ve learned how to cope, and I continue to work on my recovery and on helping others with mental illness at SafeHaven.
— SafeHaven member
Miami County Dental Clinic
The Miami County Dental Clinic has mobile unit called Traveling Smiles. Traveling Smiles attended to 630 kids last school year — more than 200 in Troy.
A little kindergarten boy at Heywood School had never seen a dentist before…mouth full of cavities. We were able to clean teeth add sealants and performed six fillings — all free of charge as his family does not have dental insurance.
Traveling Smiles goes every year to the health department on Veteran’s to provide free check-ups and cleaning on veterans. Last year we saw a veteran who was really down on his luck and needed dentures badly. The board voted to use United Way money to provide free dentures to this gentleman. Ron was so happy when he got his teeth he cried and hugged the entire office staff!
— Traveling Smiles Dental Team
Lincoln Community Center
My name is Arik and I attend Troy High School. I am currently in the ninth grade and have been coming to the Lincoln Community Center for five years. In the past five years the Lincoln Center has done many extraordinary things for me and my family. For instance, this past Christmas I didn’t expect any presents; neither did my little brother Tai, who is currently nine years old. It didn’t bother me that I wasn’t getting presents but the look in my brother’s eyes when he knew he wasn’t getting presents really got to me.
So one day in December, Shane (Carter) called me and asked how I was doing. I told him my situation. I trust him and I know he’s a good guy, and he told me he would help. He, along with multiple others connected to the LCC, delivered presents to my family and me. My little brother was so happy. It really made Christmas feel like an actual holiday instead of me just wishing to get it over with. That is just one of the many times the LCC has helped me and my family out.
The LCC has also helped me become a better basketball player. Anthony, one of the employees at the center, would get up at 5 a.m. and open the center so I could get up extra shots before school. Ms. Jo Ann, another employee paid for me to play for an AAU Basketball team and took me and other LCC kids to our games and all our practices.
For that I am truly thankful for the time sacrificed for me and they did not expect anything from it.
Shane gave me one of the best experiences of my life so far when he paid for me to go to a national basketball camp called NEO in Cleveland. I got to play against the nation’s top guards and I also made the all star team which would never have happened if Shane and other LCC staff would have let me think mediocrity is OK.
Thanks to the LCC, I have grown as a person and an athlete. They have taught me things that have benefited me in life.
When you have great people in your life like the LCC staff, life becomes a lot less complicated.
— Arik, a proud LCC Student
Partners In Hope, Lincoln Community Center, Hospice of Miami County & Health Partners Free Clinic
Here’s how United Way Agencies have helped me and my son: Three years ago, I was in the middle of a divorce from my husband of 26 years. My son and I were on our own. Partners in Hope provided Christmas for my son that year.
As the divorce process continued, I was diagnosed with breast cancer on two separate occasions. This year I can celebrate two years of being cancer free in my left breast and 8 months cancer free in my right. If it were not for the ability to have a job at the Lincoln Community Center and being able to be around the kids and folks of our community while going through the surgeries, medication treatments, hair loss etc., I would not have bounced back so quickly.
On Aug. 27, 2017, my husband died of a massive heart attack while at his job leaving my son and me still in a daze. With is passing, we lost our health insurance. I was able to take my son to Health Partners Free Clinic so he could get the physical he needed for school. We are both talking with counselors from Hospice of Miami County to help us with his passing . If it was not for the support of these United Way Agencies, my son and I would not have been able to be helped in all these ways. So for my son and me, we thank you for making the decision to support these and the many other agencies that partner with the United Way of Troy. You have no idea whose or how many lives are helped and changed because of your gift to the United Way of Troy.
— Thankful Troy mother
Troy Nursing & Troy Milk Fund
Troy Nursing assisted a client to get new glasses. She had broken hers and no money to pay for exam or to be able to get new glasses. She was unable to read anything without them. We met her at Wal-Mart and covered the cost of the exam and the new glasses.
A mother with four children called requesting any kind of help available as her husband had walked out on them. Everything in her life was falling down around her, we were able to provide her with a food voucher and put her children on milk vouchers. We also directed her to Jobs and Family Services for additional support.
Miami County Recovery Council
A person with 12 years of prescription opioid addiction reached out to us through a family member. Within 24 hours we were able to get this person into our agency, complete an assessment, see the nurse, and admit them to the Hope House for Social Detox off the drugs with the help of our medical director, nursing staff and peer support in the facility.
A client who had overdosed four times in six months graduated the Hope House and now has six months of sobriety.
This person is a compelling case to those who say, “How many chances should we give somebody? How many doses of Narcan should first responders use?” Our belief is that each person is someone’s loved one.
A drug court graduate and former client of MCRC now works in the field of addiction treatment, while maintaining their own long-term recovery.