Changes at United Way: a look at where your donations go - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Changes at United Way: a look at where your donations go

Eau Claire (WQOW) - Whether its $2 a paycheck or $20, hundreds of you help support the United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley. But, where exactly does your contribution go? 

In the past, recipients of United Way's funds could apply simply based off their own program’s quality. Now, they must align with one or more specific elements of United Way's Education, Income or Health initiatives and be in collaboration with one or more other organizations.

Over the next few months, WQOW News 18 will be taking a look at some specific resources the United Way supports through your donations.

Whether it's your first, or your fourth child, "We believe that parenting is hard for everyone," explains Family Resource Center Parent Educator, Kimberly Lokken.  

And just a little support, can go a long way.  "The internet has so much information out there. I was so overwhelmed with everything. So being able to come here and ask someone that's been through it," explains Kim Swanson, who's been taking her daughter to the Family Resource Center for more than two years.  

Swanson says, "We actually just moved here from Tennessee and we were just walking in the mall and we found them. So it was a great resource coming in and not knowing anybody. I needed help with potty training, I had no clue where to start so Melissa came and we talked about potty training."

The Family Resource Center provides parenting education and support services. Lokken says, "So that's really why we're here, to say hey, you're doing a great job at this. But, these are some of the things you can work on and here are the steps to do that."

With no cost to families, it relies on funding providers like the United Way. The Successful Children's Network is part of the education initiative. That initiative focuses on children ages newborn to five.

Angela Weideman, the Network Director of the Successful Children's Network, says, "The early intervention and prevention goes much further than when you look at somebody whose already 15, 16 years old."

Programs like the ones at the Family Resource Center do just that. "So they wanted to ensure that children from lower economic families had the same services and advantages as those who come from upper and middle class families," explains Weideman.  

"If we want a better community, it starts at a small early age and we all need to be a part of that," says Lokken.  

The United Way is now focused on three key areas to help area residents and families:  health, income and education.  To learn more, click here.

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