Individuals with the United Way were excited to publicly announce their $400,000 goal, challenge individuals to “Be the Change,” and share which local agencies will benefit from this campaign.

BE THE CHANGE. This is what the United Way of the Mark Twain Area will focus on over the next year and challenge individuals in the area to do.

The United Way of the Mark Twain Area unveiled its 2018-19 Campaign Goal and Theme on Wednesday, May 9. Though the campaign does not kick off until September, individuals with the United Way were excited to publicly announce their $400,000 goal, challenge individuals to “Be the Change,” and share which local agencies will benefit from this campaign.

“Often we look around our communities and see things we want to change, improve, or do differently,” said Dr. Jill Janes, the 2018-19 Campaign Chairman. “By working with the United Way you have the opportunity to be the change you want to see in your community.”

Dollars raised during this campaign will go to local agencies that work towards the United Way’s vision, “to empower all individuals to achieve their potential through education, financial stability, and healthy lives.” Janes said that it is vital for community members to know about the services provided by agencies in the United Way’s coverage area of Lewis, Marion Monroe, Ralls and Shelby counties

“I think everybody knows about the United Way, but I’m not sure that they know of the work of the agencies,” Janes said. “And that’s what’s really important, because that’s what changes our community and supports our community.”

The following agencies were selected to receive funds from the United Way’s 2018-19 Campaign starting in November of this year. These funds will impact the lives of over 30,000 individuals in Lewis, Marion, Monroe, Ralls, and Shelby Counties.

• Avenues

• Caring Hands Tutoring Program

• CHART Teen Task Force

• Christian Women’s Job Corps

• Douglass Community Services -FACT (Families and Communities Together)

• Hannibal Free Clinic

• Hannibal Parents as Teachers

• Hannibal YMCA

• HAYS (Hannibal Alliance for Youth Success)

• Heartland Resources

• Learning Opportunities, Quality Works

• Monroe City Food Bank

• Monroe City Senior Nutrition Center

• Monroe City R-1 Student Success Center

• NECAC

• Paris Senior Citizens Community Center

• Shelby County Senior Citizens

• The Child Center

• The Salvation Army

• Wider Opportunities

“Funding from the United Way is crucial to our senior center,” said Tara Garside, Administrator of the Paris Senior Citizens Community Center. “Each year their funding helps us keep our doors open so we are able to assist local seniors.”

Funding decisions were made by the United Way’s Allocation Committee made up of local volunteers who have a vested interest in the success of the local community.

Individuals interested in learning more about the United Way and how they can get involved are encouraged to visit the United Way’s new website at http://unitedwaymta.org . The United Way of the Mark Twain Area works towards the mission, “to increase the capacity of people to care for one another” in order to see the vision of the United Way come to life “empowering all individuals to achieve their potential through education, financial stability, and healthy lives.”

This is done by creating opportunities for individuals to give of their time and finances to local organizations that work to assist individuals in our community.

Executive Director Denise Damron encouraged anyone with a new “BE THE CHANGE” campaign t-shirt to take selfie photos and share the impact they’re making.

“That’s our goal, is to really see how people in our community are being the change we wish to be,” she said.