Community Conversations: Your most urgent concerns

Bill KitsonDuring the past two years, United Way of Greater Cleveland conducted more than 40 conversations across our community, with more than 400 community members, parents, students and school staff members. We asked specific questions, seeking to discover the most urgent concerns, challenges and aspirations in our city.

As United Way focuses on improving Education, Income and Health issues in Greater Cleveland, we understand the critical need to listen to your concerns. What do you see as the benefits – and barriers – of living in Cleveland? Continue reading

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The “Unity” in our Community

helping_handsBonnie makes an appearance every spring wrapped up beneath a bundle of blankets that shelter her against the night, the wind and the streets where she lives. She sleeps, eats and reads her Bible perched atop a big suitcase, which carries everything she owns. She lives there, on that city sidewalk, spring through fall. She only leaves to use the public facilities across the street. She feels more comfortable on the street than at a shelter. She speaks of a family but prefers talking to strangers. This has been Bonnie’s life for over 10 years. She’s not mentally able to get a job so she relies on the kindness of others and gratefully accepts whatever they deliver … food, blankets, coffee … spring through fall until the harsh Cleveland winter forces her to move elsewhere. Continue reading

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Young Leaders unite to help reduce low-income achievement gap in Greater Cleveland

Spencer DiekenGuest blogger, Spencer Dieken is AVP, Corporate Banking Associate
Relationship Manager at PNC.  He is a member of United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Young Leaders cabinet.

“If you are born poor, you tend to stay there.”

If that sentence made you uncomfortable and inspires you to take action, you have something in common with United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Young Leaders. Continue reading

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Are you #UnitedForFashion?

Do you covet couture? Have a passion for fashion? Channel your inner fashionista and enter to win two general admission tickets to Rock the CATWALK, hosted by the United Way of Greater Cleveland Women’s Leadership Council.

rtc_logo_largeThis rockin’ runway show takes place Thursday, May 14, at The Cleveland Museum of Art. It will feature the hottest fashions from local boutiques modeled by civic, business and community leaders. Enjoy an evening filled with food, drinks and networking. Best of all, proceeds benefit early learning programs supported by the WLC that will help ensure every child has access to a quality education. Continue reading

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Far from dying

Bill KitsonBecause I spend my days in the center of the Cleveland dichotomy – a city bursting with renewal in many areas while struggling with critical challenges in many others – I kept an open mind as I read a recent newspaper column that sharply and unfairly described Cleveland as “dead or dying.” Continue reading

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Why Volunteer?

Shenise Johnson-ThomasImpacting the community through volunteerism is quite powerful. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics more than 62 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once from September 2013 to September 2014 (Volunteering, 2015). Volunteers give of themselves each and every day to help others without asking for anything in return. Continue reading

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A lesson in community

Michael S. MillerThe path to my interaction with United Way began in 1983, when I was 17. My father decided one day he was tired of being a father, and left for parts unknown. It was like a Bruce Springsteen song: He went out for a ride and he never came back. My mother was incapacitated, in the final stage of Lou Gehrig’s disease. I had one brother, who was three years younger than me. I tried to finish high school and take care of the family myself, which meant part-time jobs on nights and weekends. But I did not understand the economics of survival: shelter, clothing, food and health care. I was young and proud and angry, and thought I could do it all by myself. Continue reading

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