Brookville, In. — The United Way of Franklin County held its Annual Meeting on Monday, February 11, at Third Place in Brookville. The attendees enjoyed a delicious meal of Italian-American food.
President, Matt Perleberg, spoke of the changes the organization made in order to meet emergent needs in the community. “We realized that having a once a year grant cycle is just not enough for the community,” stated Perleberg. He spoke of the organization’s ability to allocate funds for emergent needs in the community. Perleberg also talked about another focus for United Way of Franklin County, ALICE (asset limited, income constrained employed) families. “Currently, in Franklin County, 23% of the households are living paycheck to paycheck, we are working to offer financial stability classes, and other programs to help those ALICE families in our community,” Perleberg said. Ultimately, Perleberg let the crowd know that United Way of Franklin County wants to be the organization that works to solve community problems; the organization that brings agencies together and encourage programs and services that work to improve the lives of the citizens here.
Allocations Chair Don Copland spoke to the crowd about the allocations process. He reiterated the need to be more fluid in giving and addressing emergent needs in the community. He encouraged agencies that were present to communicate their needs to UWFC. “If you have a special project, or a high priority need that arises, let us know, we may be able to help. We want to know your needs, so please be sure to communicate them to us,” Copland encouraged.
The employers that hold payroll campaigns were recognized by Robin Lee, Campaign Committee Chair. Lee stated, “We rely on the generosity of their employee and we couldn’t do what we do, their donations go such a long way to help us with our mission.” Those employers recognized were Bath State Bank, FCN Bank, the Franklin County Community School Corporation, First Financial Bank, George’s Pharmacy, Owens Corning, Jim True Ford, and Margaret Mary Health.
Executive Director, Kelly Bulmer, recognized Volunteer of the Year, Beth Heis. “She’s the kind of volunteer you want. She comes prepared, ready to work and gets the job done to find the busiest person and they will get it done” Bulmer said. She described Heis as a true community servant and highlighted her volunteerism for the United Way of Franklin County.
Bulmer then went on to honor a group of students from the student board that put in hard work on their WATCH Center project. “It was tough not to recognize a group that worked incredibly hard this year, many of those hours during their Christmas break. Their passion for the project and seeing it through was amazing and refreshing” stated Bulmer. She recognized three of the student board members as Volunteers of the Year, Jenna Watterson; Senior, Kyle Seibert; Junior, and Taylor McCreary; Junior received certificates for their accomplishment.
A certificate was presented to outgoing board member Robin Lee with six years of service and outgoing student member Jenna Watterson with three years of service.
Bulmer closed the meeting by thanking all in attendance for the role that they play in supporting the United Way of Franklin County. She also thanked the board members again for their hard. “Their commitment to this community is amazing and I am honored to work alongside them,” Bulmer said.