United Way of Story County (UWSC) stands on three main pillars of impact; health, education, and financial stability. It’s what we as an organization live and breathe each day. We focus on ensuring that each person in our community has access to affordable health services, the building blocks needed for academic and life success, and that all individuals will achieve financial stability.
Every year, September marks the kickoff of our new campaign season. With a new campaign comes new challenges, new opportunities, and always a new way to create impact. As we have in the past, we create a campaign video, displaying particular needs in our community, and how UWSC combats the need with quality programs and partnerships.
Our health initiative is founded on the belief that essential services for healthy lives are accessible to all. “All” means every single person in our community. Seniors, children, families of low socioeconomic status, and any kind of diversity in between, we Unite so everyone can lead a healthy life. Through our partner agency programs, members of our community are offered vouchers for healthy food, vital immunizations, mental health therapy, and dental care.
Highlighted in our 2019 campaign materials, Heartland Senior Services’ Adult Day Center program is one program that works to ensure that seniors have access to health services. While attending the Center, seniors are provided a nutritional meal as well as social and emotional support, improving (or at least maintaining) their overall wellbeing. While a hot meal and community inclusion are important, seniors also are monitored daily for health issues, often catching potential illnesses early so treatment can be initiated. Last year, through a handful of their programs, Heartland Senior Services provided 33,068 meals were to seniors who didn’t have access to or the ability to make nutritious meals for themselves.
Without a program in Story County like the Adult Day Center, many seniors in our community would not be able to stay in their homes. The rate of seniors in extended care facilities would increase, while their sense of independence would likely decrease. Last year, 98% of program participants were living with low to moderate income. With funding from UWSC, the Adult Day Center offers a sliding fee scale so seniors can get the necessary nutrition, care, and comfort they need to remain living at home.
Heartland Senior Services’ programs are just one example of how we collectively make health services available to those who need it. UWSC’s partner agencies offer all sorts of programs aimed at overall health; from food pantries to abuse shelters, we are there to ensure that everyone can reach their human potential. By participating in the LIVE UNITED annual campaign, you are part of changing the story in Story County.