United Way


  • IMPACT! How Compassion Makes a Difference Sometimes it takes just a little empathy for another person to make a profound and powerful difference. Among the champions of compassion in Jackson County are Trusted Advisors, part of the Great Start Collaborative led by Jackson County Intermediate School District with support from United Way. Here’s one example of how a little effort and compassion by Trusted Advisors made a difference: A hearing-impaired mom and her daughter were homeless and staying in a local shelter when they encountered a Trusted Advisor. The mom was reluctant to share her needs and personal information; what’s more, due to her hearing problem, communication ... Read more
  • IMPACT! A Stable Home Changes a Life Financial stability means stability in every element of a person’s life. United Way of Jackson County’s partnership with the Jackson Housing Commission and its Support Services transformed a local life in an amazing way. Here’s the story: “Michael” set his mind to buying a fixer-upper home so he and his family wouldn’t have to keep staying with relatives. His ambition dovetailed with his internship with JHC to learn maintenance skills and structured employment readiness. Michael succeeded immensely—so well, in fact, that after graduation he got a job offer from JHC. He’s also applied his learnings to setting an example for his ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Moving from Trauma to Educational Success Trauma has a direct impact on a student’s ability to learn and succeed in school. They’re distracted in class, unable to study or do well on a test, and can have lower IQ scores and reading ability. In fact, some victims avoid school altogether. That’s where United Way funded programming through Family Service & Children’s Aid is helping young people who face difficulties due to trauma outside the classroom find a path to school success, which equips them to succeed for a lifetime. Here’s an example: “Joseph,” an 18-year-old high schooler with an infant son, needed intensive counseling to deal ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Empowering a Financially Stable Future Giving people the tools they need to build their own financially stable futures is a key element of United Way’s work in Jackson County. We’re investing in Community Action Agency’s Financial Empowerment Program to do just that. Check out this recent success story: During a conversation with a CAA client who recently completed the online Homebuyer Education program, he shared that completion of the FREE Financial Stability courses gave him the confidence and knowledge to increase his credit score and lower his debt-to-income ratios. This resulted in approval of his mortgage loan—meaning he is closing on the purchase of his first-ever ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Long-term Mentoring Changes Lives None of us is born with all the knowledge and experience we need to succeed in life. At some point along the way, others teach and mentor us. Knowing this, United Way invests in site-based mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jackson County, bringing Bigs right to the classroom, library, community center or other site to coach and inspire their Littles. See how that commitment changes young lives: Two high school seniors who graduated from Jackson County schools in 2019 had been mentored by their Bigs for more than five years each. That long-term commitment made a powerful difference for ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Finding Hope Beyond Addiction Achieving a financially stable life isn’t just about money. Many people face barriers that keep them from believing in a hopeful future. Domestic violence and addiction are two such barriers. Our partnership with AWARE Inc. does more than provide shelter for victims of violence; it also puts people who are struggling with substance abuse on the road to a better life. Here’s one example: A survivor of domestic violence in emergency shelter with AWARE, Inc. needed help with her addiction. AWARE connected her with Training and Treatment Innovations, a program that uses clinical best practices to inspire healthy living, empowerment and recovery while promoting ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Tackling Trauma Research shows that trauma has lifelong effects. Even trauma experienced by a young child can influence that person well into adulthood. United Way knows that helping people deal with trauma is a crucial part of building a pathway to financial stability. That’s why we partner with Catholic Charities of Jackson, Lenawee & Hillsdale Counties on the Jackson County Clinical Counseling Voucher Program—getting victims of trauma the help they need. Here’s an example: “Sophia” suffered considerable abuse and trauma as a child. Now in her 20s, she was unemployed and struggled with symptoms of PTSD—panic attacks, extreme anxiety, social awkwardness and more. ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Building the Pathways Early The first steps on the pathway to financial stability begin in childhood. That’s where people can build a foundation for their entire life by learning well and succeeding in school. But sometimes tough circumstances can unsettle a young student. That’s why United Way invests in the Student Advocacy Center to help families and children deal with emotional needs and trauma so kids can stay in school and learn. Here’s a story of one student. Over three months, a 4th grader refused to attend school. Through the Student Advocacy Center’s Bridges to School program, the mother took part in the Nurturing Parenting ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Finding a Safe and Secure Future We live in a tough and dangerous world. Sometimes that puts families at risk. Fortunately, United Way invests in and partners with experts who help those families find a pathway to a safer, more secure future. Legal Services of South Central Michigan provides this powerful example: LSSCM represented a Jackson County mother of two children forced to flee an abusive relationship that nearly cost the mother her life. An LSSCM attorney met with the mom, advised her about divorce and child custody, and discussed safety planning and housing options. LSSCM represented the client in court and filed a divorce case. In ... Read more
  • IMPACT! Feeding The Hungry Gives Hope Helping people develop a pathway to financial stability sometimes means getting them through a time of crisis. Perhaps no crisis is greater than feeding hungry children. United Way partners with the Salvation Army to provide food, energy, and housing assistance for low-to-moderate-income residents. Here’s an example of that impact: A single parent called the Salvation Army office just after closing time, in desperate need of food for her family. She had been traveling from pantry to pantry across Jackson County only to be met with closed doors. The call suddenly dropped, and Salvation Army staff struggled to reconnect. Then came a ... Read more