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United Way contributes to Adelante and the Latino communities  

TOLEDO: United Way will invest more than $12 million to help change lives during its funding year; July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007.   

United Way volunteers invested a total of over $200,000 in Adelante’s Leamos Juntos and Ganas programs, the Aurora González Community and Family Resource Center, the Perrysburg Heights Aftershool Enrichment Program, and other programs that largely serve the Latino community. 

United Way President & CEO Bill Kitson announced last week that one million dollars will be invested in early childhood programs and one million dollars will fund nine neighborhood-based Family Resource Centers, including South End Adelante and Aurora González Centers. 

Another two and a half million dollar investment will aid the effort of strengthening the foundations of our older children and teens. All three areas are highlighted in United Way’s three-year Community Impact Plan 2009 (CIP) that outlines the organization’s focus for community building and guides funding strategies. 

“Since children are our future, United Way’s first priority is to get kids under age five off to a great start in life,” stated Kitson. “We’re focusing on programs that teach parents and childcare workers how to help kids learn, develop, and get ready to read as well as programs that help parents find good child care they can afford. We increased program funding by over 44 percent to help make sure our kids are ready to enter school and succeed.” 

The increase in funding enabled volunteers to invest $50,000 in Adelante’s “Leamos Juntos” (Let’s Read Together) Program. This program, which trains parents on the importance of teaching their young children to read, is an example of a program that will help children under the age of five succeed in life, serving primarily children and families of Spanish or bilingual-speaking parents.

Adelante’s Ganas program and YMCA’s Perrysburg Heights Afterschool Enrichment Center, also serve the Latino community, and have received investments from United Way volunteers. These investments will “work toward creating meaningful and productive lives for our older children and teens.” 

Mark Urrutia, a Latino member of United Way’s Community Impact Cabinet, said “This is another example of the great work Adelante does in our community. The Latino community will benefit greatly from the tutoring and many other opportunities provided by Ganas and the Perrysburg Heights Enrichment Center. The investments in Ganas and Perrysburg Heights, as well as other similar investments made for all teens in Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa counties, are a tremendous step in the right direction.” 

“Our goal is getting results and changing lives,” stated Urrutia, who is pleased with the investment choices. Urrutia explained that: “as volunteers, we took our job seriously, realizing the importance of funding programs that correspond to the CIP goals.”

In addition, according to Kitson, the Aurora González Community and Family Resource Center in South Toledo, which received an investment of over $100,000, has been working towards this goal of enhancing family functioning for over ten years.

Persons who would like more information about United Way and its commitment to getting results and changing lives in our community should call 419-248-2424, or visit unitedwaytoledo.org.

Community Investments
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