WHERE YOUR DOLLARS GO
When you donate to United Way, you're creating change right here in your community. Donations provide a hand up, not a hand out.
The stories United Way encounters every day are from people of all walks of life. With your support, we are able to be there to help people when they need it most. Providing a lifeline to someone who is trying to better his or her situation is what your donation of money or time does for people in your community. Our priority areas are Basic Needs, Health Care, Youth/Education, and Financial Stability.
basic needs investments
- Pat and Pete contributed to the United Way of Kennebec Valley for many years through payroll deduction. With health struggles and a reduction in the financial assistance they received in retirement, Pat and Pete depend on the Augusta Food Bank to help them put a hot meal on their table each evening. The food they receive from the Food Bank is intended for one week of meals, but Pat creatively and proudly makes it last for two weeks. In return, Pat and Pete volunteer at the Food Bank as a means to give back to their community and refresh their sense of pride.
- After having a triple-bypass surgery, the first few weeks of being home were very difficult for Arthur. He had family who could help him in the morning and in the evenings, but making a healthy lunch was proving to be exhausting for him. Used to working and being active, not seeing someone during the day was also proving to be very depressing for him. His daughter called the Meals On Wheels program through Spectrum Generations, and Arthur was added to the list of deliveries for lunch. Having a hot meal and a friendly face to see at lunch made his day a little brighter and gave his family the peace of mind they needed. Now that Arthur is doing better, he volunteers and helps out at the kitchen that helped him.
- After going out with a new boy on a few group dates, high-school student Kirsti noticed that he did not like it when she talked to some of his friends. When he asked her on a date, he asked her to wear a skirt that he liked. While getting ready, Kirsti spilled soda all over the skirt and had to change. When she met up with him, he grabbed her arm and yelled at her for not doing what he told her to do. Scared, Kirsti explained what happened. He told her that she was a liar and slapped her face. Stunned, Kirsti spoke with her school counselor the next day and was referred to the Family Violence Project, a United Way-funded program, where she got some information and was able to talk to someone. Kirsti realized that this was not the way relationships should be and stopped seeing him.
Health care investments
- Karen’s husband had cancer. After researching where to get the help she and her husband both needed, she turned to MaineGeneral's Hospice Support Program. They provided her husband with top-notch care and gave Karen the relief and comfort she needed in those hard times. Karen was so touched by her experience that a year after her husband's passing she became a Hospice volunteer. Now she is able to touch other lives as well.
- Dan was showing signs of depression that worried some of his friends. He was becoming more distant and did not seem to care about things at all. One day, one of his friends gave him a pamphlet from Crisis & Counseling Centers in Augusta. That night Dan was feeling very down and could not find a reason to go on. He called the Crisis hotline to talk to someone about how he felt. The next day Dan got into group treatment, which helped him see the brighter side of life. Dan has made a full recovery and now has his own business.
- When Michelle's father was struck with Alzheimer's, the family did not know what to expect. Each day it was harder and harder to take care of him. When it got to the point that they could not leave him by himself, they called the Alzheimer's Care Center and were able to get him into a day program. He received his medicine, enjoyed prepared food and had people to watch him throughout the day. Michelle's family has learned how to help him and how to help themselves through this United Way-funded program.
- With extreme tooth pain and no insurance, Joe needed help quick. After calling many dentists, he quickly discovered that if you don't pay upfront, the dentist will not provide services. In addition, the wait time for an appointment was more than a week. Joe knew that he would have to miss work if he waited that long to get help. He called 211, which referred him to the Kennebec Valley Dental Coalition. He was seen right away and was allowed to make payment arrangements for his root canal. He has made the clinic his regular dentist and is able to pay on a sliding scale for regular visits.
- Angela, a legally functionally disabled mom, knew she wanted to go back to school in order to provide more for herself and her family. The Magic Years program at Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation provided a place for her kids to be cared for, taught and empowered while she was able to pursue her career goals. Angela is now close to completion of her education.
- Gabe was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay. With two working parents, child care for Gabe was necessary. With limited resources in the area available to a child in Gabe’s circumstance and age bracket, his parents considered moving out of state. Then Gabe’s mother, Janet, received a phone call from the Children’s Center. They had a class opening for his age range. Janet was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Not only did the Children's Center provide child care, but also an environment in which Gabe was accepted.
- Amanda, age 11, was in need of a mentor in her life. Her mother had passed away and her sister was diagnosed with autism, which left a lot less time for Amanda's needs. She has been paired up with Emily through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, and the bond has helped them both. Emily and Amanda are thankful for your donation to United Way.
- As a young teen, Tommy did not really fit in with the regular crowd at school and started hanging around with kids who got into trouble. Worried that he would fall to the peer pressure of the group, his mother got him interested in the Augusta Boys & Girls Club for Teens. He suddenly had a safe place to go after school. Tommy could use the computers, get help with homework, be creative and make new friends. Since starting at the Club, Tommy has turned his path in a more positive direction.
Financial stability investments
- Judy had been laid off for some time and was struggling with her finances. Through Goodwill's Goodworks Job Placement, she was able to find a job that suited her and would allow her to make the money she and her family needed to survive. She only had one nice work outfit, which she wore to the interview. After getting the position, she needed to get some clothes that were appropriate for work. She called Goodwill and they were able to help her find five nice outfits to wear to work the next week. This would not have been possible without funding from United Way. Judy now gives to United Way through a payroll deduction to pay it forward.
- Charlie worked for American Airlines for 35 years. In this time he received numerous letters of recognition for his hard work. But Charlie was never able to read them. His education was cut short, and this basic skill was one he did without until he was 55-years old. Thanks to Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta, Charlie can now read all of those letters from American Airlines.
The driving force of change are the people who will it. With your help, we will make a difference.