Need for United Way greater than ever in U.S. cities, Springfield


Organizations like the United Way are more important than ever to help residents as Ohio cities continue to struggle with poverty after the Great Recession, a former United Way leader said.

MORE: Health district to pursue fluoridation in Springfield this year

The United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties held a CEO Summit Thursday morning to educate local leaders about the ways businesses can benefit from participating in United Way fundraising campaigns and service events.

Problems in Ohio are similar to those in other areas of the country, such as Seattle and Los Angeles, said guest speaker Janet E. Jackson, a Wittenberg University graduate who spent 14 years as the president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Central Ohio.

“There are aren’t too many cities who are immune to the issues we’re facing,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, we’re at a time in this country where the divide in this country between the haves and the have-nots is growing every day.”

Columbus has a low unemployment rate, Jackson said, but that’s attributed to many people working low-paying service jobs.

“Those aren’t high school students working at McDonald’s,” she said. “Those are adults and you can see that across the spectrum.”

RELATED: Unemployment up slightly in Clark County, job growth slow in Ohio

Social responsibility, philanthropy and service can create a connection between a company, its employees and the community, said David Heppner, senior vice president of Speedway and the vice president of the local United Way board of directors.

In the past, employees donated and the company wrote a check to the organization, he said. Over the past few years, the company has changed its strategy to relate to millennials who want accountability for their donations and to perform volunteer service, he said.

“You have that connection and you have a purpose,” Heppner said. “You basically have a purpose and you’re helping to solve social problems in the community. If you can make that happen, you’re going to attract and retain the best employees.”

Speedway has participated in several United Way events to engage employees, including its annual service day project. Last year more than 500 volunteers donated more than 3,000 hours of service hours to 40 nonprofit organizations in Clark County. This year, the event will be held on April 27.

About $1.1 million has been raised in the three-county area as part of the ongoing 2017 campaign, campaign Chairman Ross McGregor said. The goal is $1.6 million, said McGregor, also senior vice president of Pentaflex.

The United Way is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Security National Bank President John Brown will serve as chairman of the 2018 campaign, he said.

3 QUICK NEWS-SUN READS

Clark County approves $170 million budget, includes 4 new deputies

United Way sets goal to raise $1.2M in Clark County

United Way raises $1.54 million for three-county region



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Clark County has one of highest breast cancer rates in Ohio
Clark County has one of highest breast cancer rates in Ohio

Clark County women develop breast cancer at a higher rate than most other Ohioans, a factor that’s driving awareness and prevention efforts in the Springfield area. At a rate of 135 breast cancer cases per 100,000 women, Clark County had the sixth highest incidence from 2010 to 2014, according to a new report from the Ohio Department of Health...
'Love & Hip Hop' star Tommie Lee arrested at daughter's middle school
'Love & Hip Hop' star Tommie Lee arrested at daughter's middle school

Atlanta's WSB-TV has learned a reality television star was arrested Tuesday at her child's middle school in Cobb County, Georgia. WSB-TV’s Matt Johnson obtained the arrest warrant for Atasha Chizaah Jefferson, known as Tommie Lee on “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.” Jefferson is accused of shoving her child’s head into a locker...
Freeze Warning in effect through 10 a.m. for the Miami Valley 
Freeze Warning in effect through 10 a.m. for the Miami Valley 

Freeze Warning through 10 a.m.  Showers return Friday Cool all weekend  TODAY: Another frigid morning with possible frost. A Freeze Warning is in effect until 10 a.m. for all of the Miami Valley. Some of the northern Miami Valley will drop to around 30 degrees with clear skies. Some high, thin clouds linger in the southern Miami Valley...
Acute flaccid myelitis: CDC sees rise in cases, seasonal pattern to polio-like illness
Acute flaccid myelitis: CDC sees rise in cases, seasonal pattern to polio-like illness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting an increase in cases of a rare polio-like illness affecting kids. So far this year, the CDC has confirmed 62 cases acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, in 22 states, and has received reports of 127 patients who are under investigation. >> Read more trending news  The CDC started...
One case of rare, polio-like illness confirmed in Ohio 
One case of rare, polio-like illness confirmed in Ohio 

Health officials have confirmed that Ohio has one case of the rare, polio-like illness known as acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), according to our media partners at WBNS-TV.  The Ohio Department of Health said their lone case was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further details, such as the location of the confirmed case...
More Stories