United Way


Posted on



Kriss Giannetti is the Energizing Education Program Manager for United Way of Jackson County.  Recently she shared these comments with our United Way volunteer leadership.  We thought it would be important to share with you.

I wanted to share with you a few stories from Energizing Education to put in perspective why we do what we do and why good things happen when we rally towards common goals.

We recently found out that one of the EE graduates at Frost Elementary is now in the LEAP program.  He was with us as a second grader and exited EE at reading grade level.  This program allows above average learners to excel in a classroom centered around learning and advanced curriculum.  With the support of Frost teachers, his family and EE, our community took an at risk student and changed his trajectory.  THAT MATTERS!

Recently we had a big crowd at the December Frost/Cascades family night.  One of the Mom’s came to me and asked if I could make sure I pulled her husband’s name out of the drawing because it was his birthday and they had no gifts.  It is not uncommon that we get what we all might consider ungrateful requests.  While it may seem odd to others, for us this is a usual request.  OF course I had to explain that we do not do that but would make sure he felt special tonight.  We had the entire group sing happy birthday and his daughter was our special helper to draw the gift card.  With no special rigging she actually picked her Dad to win!  It was a gift card to Toy House.  He said the best present for him was that his daughter would now have something for herself.  Everything happens for a reason and there is never any room for judgement.

At the end of the Family Night a single mother approached us.  She has four children, all under 5.  She asked if there were any resources for parenting classes.  She just got out of the AWARE shelter.  She can’t put the baby down and the others are pretty active!   In talking with her further we found out they are hungry, possibly in need of heat and really just some support.  We told her to get in touch with 211 and to inquire about the CARE program.  We suggested questions to ask as well.  We took her number and said we would reach out to see what other resources we could find.  I am not telling you this because we did something fabulous.  I tell you this story because the family nights matter!  Families find resources and connections for which they need.  Family nights matter.

Thank you again for the support.

Merry Christmas! 

Kriss Giannetti

Energizing Education would not be able to help children succeed in school or have further impact on our community if it wasn’t for your generous support.  Please visit the EE website to see how you can give of your time or of your resources.

Contact Marc Daly if you would like regular Blog United updates

Visit our homepage and click through to see more stories of impact.