Apr 30

United Way of Greater Greensboro held its “Breakfast for Champions” campaign celebration at the Greensboro Coliseum’s Terrace Banquet Room on Thursday, April 26th. Dr. Linda Brady, United Way of Greater Greensboro’s 2011 Campaign Chair, announced that United Way of Greater Greensboro has raised more than $10.6 million for the community. United Way of Greater Greensboro will continue to fundraise year-round to have the greatest impact on community needs.

Linda Brady stated, “This year’s campaign is an excellent example of how Greensboro steps-up to support community needs by giving, advocating and volunteering.” This year has been an exceptional year of milestones for United Way of Greater Greensboro. They include embarking on the African American Male Initiative, which supports educational and personal growth of 2nd-5th grade boys at Wiley Elementary School. United Way celebrated its first Million dollar donor, Lorillard, Inc. Additionally, African American Leadership held its inaugural African American Speaker Series featuring internationally renowned, Pediatric Neurosurgeon and bestselling author Dr. Benjamin Carson. “We are fortunate to have generous corporate and individual partners who join together to make a difference in our community,” said Brady.

Corporations and individuals were recognized for outstanding accomplishments throughout the 2011 Campaign. Corporate partners and individuals were recognized with a variety of awards. They are:

Spirit of Greensboro Award

The Spirit of Greensboro Award recognizes outstanding commitment, participation, volunteer engagement, and successful leadership.

Lorillard Inc.

Excellence Awards

This award recognized each top company in four groups who had the highest percent increase in their employee and leadership giving, volunteer engagement, and involvement over the previous year.

Large Company (1,000+ employees): Lorillard, Inc.
Mid Size Company (101-999 employees): Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP
Small Company (Up to 100 employees): Southeast Fuels, Inc.
Non Profit Organization: Communities in Schools

Achievement Awards

Presented to companies with increased participation and giving per capita.

Platinum Level (100% participation and $400 + per capita)
2H Drafting, Inc.
Leeper, Kean & Rumley, LLP
Southeast Fuels, Inc.

Gold Level (75%+ participation and $250 + per capita)
Bank of North Carolina
The Business Journal
Carruthers & Roth, P.A.
Craft Insurance Center, Inc.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Hagan, Davis, Mangum, Barrett and Langley, PLLC
Kayser-Roth Corporation
Lorillard, Inc.
Premier Commercial Bank
Piedmont Natural Gas
PwC

Silver Level (50%+ participation and $175+ per capita)
Brown Investment Properties, Inc.
Dick Broadcasting Company, Inc.
Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
Johnson, Peddrick, & McDonald, PLLC
M.G. Newell Corporation
NewBridge Bank
Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP
Bronze Level (40%+ participation and $100+ per capita)
Berico Fuels, Inc.
BGF Industries, Inc.
Duke Energy Corporation
First Citizens Bank & Trust
Hospice & Palliative Care of Greensboro
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro
Lincoln Financial Group
Morrisette Paper Company
Penn National Insurance
Senn Dunn
United Guaranty Corporation
VF Corporation

Leadership Award

Recognizes the campaign with the highest level of participation at the leadership giving level.

Cone Health

Community Impact Award

Recognizes the workplace campaign with gifts given directly to the LIVE UNITED GIVE UNITED campaign which is the most powerful way to invest locally. These companies had an average per capita gift of $1,443, 58% participation, and 99.77% undesignated dollars.

Duke Energy Corporation
Higgins, Benjamin, Eagles & Adams, PLLC
Lincoln Financial Group
Piedmont Natural Gas

Come Back Kid Campaign

The Come Back Kid Campaign award recognizes the workplace campaign with the most significant revitalization of their campaign.

Cone Health

Top 10 Companies

1. Lorillard, Inc. $1,004,155
2. Lincoln Financial Group $630,945
3. Moses Cone Health System $611,843
4. VF Corporation $601,728
5. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. $341,382
6. UPS $296,939
7. United Guaranty Corporation $285,488
8. Guilford County Schools $249,315
9. Procter & Gamble $236,424
10. Volvo Group of Companies $229,672

CEO Leadership Award

This year United Way of greater Greensboro recognized a CEO who is visible and vocal in his/her involvement and support of United Way.

Murray Kessler – Chairman, President and CEO, Lorillard, Inc.

Outstanding Team Award

Recognizes the team that demonstrates extraordinary leadership, initiative and management of campaign with a high level of organization and creativity.

Large Company (1,000+ employees): Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.
Mid Size Company (101-999 employees): Novartis Animal Health
Small Company (Up to 100 employees): McGladrey
Non Profit Organization: Greensboro Housing Authority

“Reaching out a hand to influence the condition of ALL” Award

Recognizes companies that create unique opportunities to increase awareness and meet the critical needs in the community.

Bank of America
Beacon Technologies, Inc.
Cone Health
Evonik Stockhausen
News & Record
Scott Insurance
United Guaranty Corporation
Volvo Group of Companies

Employee Campaign Managers Award

Recognizes Campaign Managers who have shown exceptional leadership and commitment to their workplace campaign.

Ruth Edwards – The ARC of Greensboro
Ford Bowers – BB&T
John Buford & Kathryn Whitaker – Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP
Karin Henderson – Cone Health
Chandra White & Tracey Parker – Deluxe Financial Services Customer Center
Kara-Lyn Little & Jim Wooten – Evonik Stockhausen
Natasha Howell – Guilford Child Development
Linda Fitts – Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro
Jeff Busch & Kristine Williams – Kay Ecolab
Leslie Welch – Lorillard, Inc.
Brent Holmes – Procter & Gamble
Linda Jackson & Team – Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP

“I Would do Anything for United Way” Award

This award recognizes companies that use creative incentives to get staff involved.

Cone Health
Lincoln Financial Group

Engagement Group “Stand-Outs”

This award recognizes individuals for their service to a United Way of Greater Greensboro Engagement group with enthusiasm and dedication.

African American Leadership: Deno Adkins and Regina Howard-Glaspie
Women’s Leadership: Samantha Lyons-Kittrell
Young Leaders: Cindy Edwards

Agencies & Standouts

This year United Way member agencies participated in over 200 company rallies, tours and fairs.

Outstanding United Way Member Agency Speaker of the Year Awards:

Judy West – Adult Center for Enrichment
Jimmi Williams – Communities In Schools
Sabrina Cooke-Davis – Family Life Council, Children’s Home Society of NC
Johnny Vineyard – Family Service of the Piedmont
Linda Fitts – Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro
Jenny Gore – Reading Connections
Marcy Ray – Reading Connections

Outstanding United Way Member Agency Speaker Coordinators of the Year:

Frances Deblois and Diane Spurgeon – Family Service of the Piedmont
Tammy Chaput – Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro
Marcy Ray – Reading Connections

United Way of Greater Greensboro Volunteers of Year
Individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to United Way and has continually gone above and beyond in order to support United Way’s mission.

Tina Akers-Brown
Lucy Kluttz
Cleon Reece
Aaron Strasser
Laurie Weaver

Keith Barsuhn, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Greensboro stated, “The contributions from companies and individuals are extraordinary, greatly appreciated and so very critical at this time. These dollars represent the largest collective source of private sector funds in Greensboro allocated each year to health and human service needs. More lives will be positively changed as a result of this collective impact.” United Way of Greater Greensboro Board of Directors approves funding decisions in May and its fiscal year ends June 30.

United Way funds programs and initiatives that address critical community needs. United Way is committed to Growing Successful Kids, Helping People Help Themselves, and Caring for Everyone’s Health.

Apr 25

On Thursday, May 17th, United Way of North Carolina and Action for Children are joining forces in Raleigh for a day of advocacy on behalf of important issues facing North Carolinians. There are three key issues that we will be advocating for on that day:

  1. Enhancing NC 2-1-1’s state-wide coverage in order to create a system that allows people to efficiently find the services they need
  2. Preserving and extending the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a way to reduce poverty while encouraging self-sufficiency
  3. Raising the age for juveniles to be charged with crimes in the adult criminal justice system to 18, so that court-involved minors can receive developmentally appropriate, research-based services and treatments that prepare them for a successful life

As an advocate, you know that it’s important to speak up about issues that matter most to you and your community. The Youth & Family Advocacy Day will include training on these key issues, special guest speakers, and an opportunity to meet with your legislators. Here is the schedule at a glance:

9:30 a.m. Registration
10:00 a.m. Issue Briefing at the Museum of History
11:00 a.m. Rally Event in front of the Museum
Legislative Visits
Gallery Recognition — House/Senate

Will you will be able to join us? Click here to RSVP to United Way of North Carolina.

For more information, contact Anna Hoy at 336-378-6614 or anna.hoy@unitedwaygso.org

Apr 18

Spring N 2 Service

Be prepared to go all hands-in at this year’s “Great American Clean-up”. The City of Greensboro will come together to make our local community cleaner, greener, safer and more livable! Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization, creates the power of local change through volunteers.

Communities are cleaned, improved and beautified everywhere, from parks and recreation areas to seashores and waterways. Activities range from handling recycling collections, planting trees and flowers and holding educational events to promote living Green. Through the “Great American Clean-up”, citizens in Greensboro will be working to improve our local community’s environment.

Communities are cleaned, improved and beautified everywhere, from parks and recreation areas to seashores and waterways. Activities range from handling recycling collections, planting trees and flowers and holding educational events to promote living Green. Through the “Great American Clean-up”, citizens in Greensboro will be working to improve our local community’s environment. The Young Leaders engagement group will be participating by cleaning up the United Way neighborhood! Young professionals and their families will come together, meeting at the United Way main office (1500 Yanceyville Street) on Saturday, April 21 from 9:00-11:00, followed by a pizza party at Greensboro Beautiful, located at 501 Yanceyville Street  Greensboro, NC 27405 .

Register Now

For more information about the Great American Clean-Up, please visit http://www.greensborobeautiful.org/cleanups/great_american_cleanup.php

Apr 11

The following was written by United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Communication Associate, Amy Hager.  She tells all about her “she-roe” and the impact she has had on her life- reminding us that we all have the power to make a difference.

There are many attributes that make you look up to someone; bravery, honesty, perseverance, integrity, and strength, but a true hero is one that has all of those attributes. Heroes can be a coach that helped you reach your goal or a parent who has always been there for you. For me, my hero, or rather, my “She-r0e” is my grandma.

I picked my grandma as my “She-roe” because to so many people she was just that. She was such a wonderful grandma. She was always taking me on new adventures; whether it was taking me to Disney World or going on an imaginary stroll through the candy store. I never knew what to expect when I was with her, but I always knew I would have a great time just because she was there. There was never a time that she didn’t make me smile or laugh. Even all my friends loved her and she loved all of them. They all thought of my grandma as a second grandma to them; always welcoming everyone with her charming personality. Everything was just perfect until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

At first no one would tell me what was wrong other then she was just sick because of my age. But I always knew it was more than that. She had to go into the hospital multiple times but came out within a few weeks. But as the “sickness” got worse she went into the hospital for longer periods of time and I was told that it was actually ovarian cancer. I couldn’t bear to hear those words, and neither could my grandma. But do you think she let that slow her down? No. She stayed stronger than ever, much stronger than me. She battled cancer for 5 years. But she never showed a trace of doubt. She made sure she did everything she could to beat cancer and still had fun at the same time. She went on cruises, climbed waterfalls and went to beautiful islands with my grandpa; who was her biggest supporter. It wasn’t until my birthday that she got really bad. She went into the hospital after my party and stayed there for many months. She slowly got worse and everyone was beginning to lose faith. But not her. Not my grandma. She’s too strong. She made the nurses give her all her medicine at the right time. The tests that the doctors held showed no sign of improvement. That’s when she took a turn for the worse. She was told she may only have a few days to live. My grandma took this as her chance to live the rest of her life to the fullest. She made a ton of jokes and never stopped smiling. I didn’t know she had a few days left until my guidance counselor took me out of class to tell me my dad was here. He told me he wanted me to go to the hospital with him. I knew right then she didn’t have much time.

When we got to the hospital all the nurses and doctors looked at me with the saddest eyes I have ever seen. I walked into the room and saw my grandma smiling, of course. I stayed and talked to her for a little while. My mom took me out into the hallway and told me they were going to make her fall asleep. After she fell asleep they would turn off the machines that helped almost all of her breathing. When I went back into the room I was only allowed to stay a few more minutes. But I couldn’t even stay that long without crying. My grandma knew once I left it would be the last time she saw me and this would be the last time I ever saw her too. I kissed her on the cheek and whispered “I love you”. She whispered “I love you too”. I hugged her and walked into the hallway and cried. The next day, I was at home playing outside when my dad took me into my room and told me she had not made it. It took me a few moments to comprehend what my dad just told me and then I cried all night long.

I try not to be sad when I think about my grandma. I prefer to reminisce about all the wonderful times we had. I like to live my life how she lived hers: confident and fearless. She will always be my she-roe.

Who is your she-roe? Share your your story about who has made a personal difference in your life.

Mar 08

Are you a walker? Runner? Stroller or Roller?

Join our LIVE UNITED team this year at the 2012 Human Race!

Brian Tuma, United Way Young Leader The Human Race is a 5K charity walk and run that allows participants to raise money for their favorite non-profit (agency, church, school PTA, etc.).

Date: Saturday, March 31, 2012
Location: The Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, NC
Site Map (click to download; this map outlines important areas like handicap parking,
walker line-up, runner check-in, etc.)

Signing up for our team is free…that’s right…FREE! Click here to register. 

Come out and join us for the Human Race in Rain or Shine! If there is rain on Saturday, we will still host the Human Race After Party inside of the Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion starting at 10am. We will only cancel the run in the case of severe weather. Please see the “Race Day” page for more information.

Race Day Schedule
- 9:00 am – Gates Open
- 9:00 – 9:50 am – Submit Donations, Walkers Line Up, RunnerRegistration/Check-in
- 9:50 am – Opening Ceremony
- 10:00 am – Race Start
- 10:30 – 11:45 am – After Party with food, fun, and live music
- 11:45 am – Awards Ceremony
- 12:00 noon – End of 2012 Human Race

Route
5K Route (click to download)
Short Route (click to download)

Each participating nonprofit manages their agency’s fundraising campaign. Our community partner The Volunteer Center of Greensboro plans and manages the overall Human Race fundraising campaign and event. The Volunteer Center has planned the Triad’s Human Race for the past 18 years.

What is special about The Human Race?

- You can support any nonprofit! Where else can you walk or run with more than 100 nonprofits and their supporters?
- FREE FOOD! LIVE MUSIC! PRIZES! FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!
- Participation is easy!
- Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome. Owners must clean-up after their pets.

There will be prizes for the top 10 individual fundraisers and top three male and female runners. The first 1,200 individuals who raise $50 or more will receive one free Human Race shirt. See a full list of prizes at www. volunteergso.org.

Have more questions? Contact our Human Race Coordinator, Julia Cox, at 336-378-6600 for answers!

See you at the start line!

Feb 20

Call for Help

When there is an emergency, we know to call 9-1-1 for help. Who do we call when we need community health and human service resources? The answer is United Way’s 2-1-1 service.

According to NC211.org, there are 30,000 nonprofits in North Carolina. It can be dif­ficult to identify all of the resources that are available in a quick, one-step process. 2-1-1 makes this easy by connecting you to the services that you need. If you want to con­tact a food bank, would like to learn about child care, are in need of counseling, or are seeking other services, 2-1-1 is the number to call. It is free, multilingual, and is avail­able 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“2-1-1 is a resource anyone can utilize and it is confidential,” said Julia Cox, lead­ership giving manager of the United Way of Greater Greensboro. “People in our com­munity need help more than ever and ev­eryone’s circumstance is different. 2-1-1 will work with callers regardless of the health or human service needed. It is a hand up, not a handout.”

If you are interested in volunteering or making a donation, 2-1-1 can connect you to these opportunities. 2-1-1 also offers communities data about needs in the area, which is critical when developing strate­gies to meet those demands. So, pick up the phone and dial 2-1-1 to learn what resources and opportunities are available.

2-1-1 offers many services where you can find:

  • Free legal advice
  • Basic services in our area
  • A calendar of health events
  • Diapers, formula or clothes for new or expecting mothers
  • Information about immigration services
  • Donated medical supplies
  • Information about drug rehabilitation programs
  • Educational resources and a job placement center
  • HIV testing in the area
  • Support to stop smoking
  • Affordable housing

Crystal Edwards OldhamThis post was written by Crystal Edwards Oldham for The Greensboro Voice. Crystal teaches Introduction to Communication Studies at UNCG and will complete her graduate program in May. She dedicates her free time to leading community projects and volunteering. She values meeting new people, hearing their stories and expanding her worldview. 

Jan 09

United Way of Greater Greensboro’s African American Leadership group represents African Americans who are leadership givers that invest their time and resources to strengthen the impact of United Way of Greater Greensboro and its community partnerships.

African American Leadership is excited to announce the Inaugural African American Leadership Speaker Series featuring Dr. Benjamin Carson, neurosurgeon and author, as the keynote speaker.

REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED FOR THIS EVENT. Stay up to date with more events like this by signing up for monthly e-newsletter here.

When

Friday, March 16, 2012 from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM EDT
Add to my calendar

8:30 – 9:00 am
Registration

9:00 – 11:00 am

Healthcare Symposium: Improving Health Outcomes in Our Community

Panelists Include:

Moderated by:
Cynthia Marshall, President, AT&T of North Carolina

11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Keynote Address Lunch: Benjamin Carson, MD
Think Big—Launching the African American Male Initiative

Distinguished Service Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to Dr. Alvin Blount,
Physician and Community Leader

1:30 – 3:00 pm

Private Reception
This is your opportunity to meet Dr. Carson in person. You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity.

Where

The Elm Street Center
203 S. Elm Street, Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 27401

Ticket Information

(9:00 am – 3:00 pm) All Day Pass                                    $140.00

(9:00-11:00 am) Health Care Symposium Pass                  $50.00

(11:30 am – 1:30 pm) Keynote Address Lunch                   $40.00

(1:30-3:00 pm) Private Reception Pass with Dr. Carson   $100.00

About Dr. Benjamin Carson

Dr. Carson had a childhood dream of becoming a physician.  He grew up in a single parent home and was challenged by dire poverty, poor grades, a horrible temper, and low self-esteem. Although his mother held only a third-grade education, she challenged her sons to strive for excellence. Young Ben persevered, and today is a full professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for over a quarter of a century.  He became the inaugural recipient of a professorship dedicated in his name in May, 2008 and is now the Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D. and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N. Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Read more…

Jan 04

Meet Sarah Glover, Community Investment Specialist for Helping People Help Themselves at United Way of Greater Greensboro. Sarah is responsible for managing the investment process and community initiatives for everything dealing with hand ups–those things that help people overcome barriers in their lives. When she’s not evaluating programs and keeping up with the latest trends in self-sufficiency and financial stability , she’s busy working with the community to improve information and referral systems and  enhance local workforce development. Sarah also is our point person for NC 2-1-1 for Greater Greater Greensboro and has spearheaded our online reporting system for our community partners. What a busy lady, eh?!

Take a minute to peek behind the scenes of United Way and get introduced to one of the staff members that puts your dollars to work!

Sarah GloverWhen did you start working at United Way?

Sarah: I started here in July 2009. Before that I worked briefly as a freelance consultant doing research, writing, and group facilitation. I also worked for ten years at the Center for Creative Leadership where I did research on global leadership and innovation.

Why did you decided to go into the field of self-sufficiency and financial stability work?

Sarah: I’ve always been drawn to work that empowers people in someway. I know too many people (including myself at times) who either live paycheck to paycheck or don’t have a paycheck.

Why is the financial stability and self-sufficiency work that United Way and our partners do critical for Greensboro to thrive?

Sarah: Before you can be concerned with your own empowerment and psychological development, you need things like safety, shelter, and food. To continually meet those basic needs for yourself and your family, you need some financial stability. Stability gives you the peace of mind to be able to turn your thinking to bigger things like improving yourself or increasing opportunities for your family. When individuals and families aren’t safe, financially stable, and self-sufficient, it erodes not only their own health and well-being, but the community’s as well. Think about the stress of the people who need help, but also the stress on the helpers, especially in times where there is unprecedented demand and limited support. The effects of financial stability on people can be seen beyond food pantry shelves; it affects things like crime, domestic violence, and access to healthcare and elder care. By helping people get or keep housing, employment, basic health, child or elder care, and transportation, we save taxpayers money from needing to use public benefits and also add revenue from continued economic activity.  When I talk to people, I often hear things like, “Well we’re not getting any help out of Washington (DC).” We have to do a lot of the work for ourselves. We need people trying to pitch in locally, instead of just waiting for big solutions from on high. I love that my work at United Way has a local impact.

What is it about United Way that you’ve learned since you’ve joined the staff?

Sarah: To be honest, before I started working here I really didn’t know a lot about United Way except for what I learned from campaign rallies at my workplace. I really thought of United Way as “rah-rah” fundraising. What I know now is that there’s much more. Since United Way isn’t the direct service provider to clients, we have the ability to lift our eyes to the horizon and notice things that others may not—patterns, trends, gaps, and the bigger picture of the system.  It’s not the old community chest; we’re not raising money for agencies because they can’t do it for themselves–they can. We are making programs and the community stronger. We do more than write checks. We support programs with technical assistance, measure and evaluate community conditions, and bring people together to form community collaborations.

What I love about United Way is that it values learning, sharing ideas, collaborations, and solving problems. At first I was really surprised how willing other United Ways were to share their successes, ideas, and suggestions. The more I learn about what United Ways across the country are doing, the more I am impressed about being part of a larger system that is really committed to improving our communities. Also, I’m really proud of the dedication, diligence, and authenticity of our volunteers who serve on our committees.

What are everyday ways that people can take action to improve financial stability and self-sufficiency of our community?

Sarah: First of all, slow down and pay attention. Sometimes we’re all just too busy. People are falling apart because they don’t have time to sleep, think clearly, and take care of themselves. You have to find a certain clarity in order to find the best way to help. You may be able to help people when you’re frazzled, but it will probably be a band-aid. You can’t nurture, create changes in habits or systems, or pay attention to each other enough when you’re over-stressed. Slow down enough to pay attention to how your neighbors, family, and friends are doing and what they need. Look for success stories of people overcoming struggles and then notice what helped them to succeed. Notice what’s working well in our community. When you do that, you may feel some small calling to action and you’ll know what to do.

 

Dec 01

Meet Jennifer Ruppe, MPA, Community Investment Specialist for Caring for Everyone’s Health at United Way of Greater Greensboro. Jennifer is responsible for managing the investment process for all health related programs that receive United Way funding. Yes, that’s right…she’s the one that has the fun part of spending all the money! When she’s not evaluating programs and keeping up with the latest trends in the health of our community, Jennifer enjoys building community partnerships by convening diverse people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise, and resources to make change happen. Recently she has been busy working with Cone Health Foundation to form a community collaborative that will improve access to healthcare in Greensboro.

Take a minute to peek behind the scenes of United Way and get introduced to one of the staff members that puts your dollars to work!

Jennifer Ruppe

How long have you been working at United Way of Greater Greensboro?
Jennifer: I started working at United Way of Greater Greensboro in August of 2010, but have worked for United Way or a United Way partner agency for the past 8 years.

Why are you passionate about the impact area of health?
Jennifer: I see health as one of the factors that holds our entire community and economy together. Health, more so than any other issue, affects your everyday life and your ability to succeed. Healthcare and access to care is a hot button issue. Our healthcare system is broken. Despite spending more on health care than any other country, the United States currently ranks 37th in the world in overall health. In the current system, many people are faced with difficult choices when it comes to meeting their basic health needs . People with a limited income often have to make the choice whether to go to the doctor, or get a prescription filled, or buy food for their family. The cost of healthcare is a huge factor that can tip middle-class people into bankruptcy and poverty. I want to make sure that everyone has opportunities for the same quality care and comprehensive services.

What drew you to this position?
Jennifer: While I’m passionate about health, it wasn’t really what drew me to this position. I’m a believer that everyone should have equal access and opportunities to the building blocks for a quality life: education, financial stability, and health. I was drawn to this position because United Way sees how those three things intertwine. I enjoy that my role is able to bring access to healthcare and improve opportunities for all people to succeed in life.

You’re a big advocate for United Way. Have you had any “Aha!” moments that sparked your passion about United Way?
Jennifer: For me, it’s the Ogre Story. I was at a diversity conference for United Way and I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Johnnetta Cole speak. It made me take a look at the big picture and I just got it. It made me question if our actions were just putting band-aids on the problem or actually solving what was causing it.

Click here to see Dr. Cole’s rendition of the Ogre Story.

With World AIDS Day coming up on December 1st, what is United Way of Greater Greensboro and it’s partners doing to combat HIV/AIDS in our community?

Jennifer: One of the most important things about combating HIV in our community is making people aware of their own status. Two key United Way partners in making that happen are Piedmont Health Service & Sickle Cell Agency’s Street Community Outreach Prevention Education program and Triad Health Project’s Prevention Services. Both programs offer HIV testing, information about how to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and referral services to help those affected by or at higher-risk of contracting HIV/AIDS find the help they need.

What can people in Greensboro do to improve the health of our community?
Jennifer: The biggest way to change the health of our community is to advocate. We need you to advocate for health care reform in our state and nationally. We have to make a moral decision that we care about everybody, and that we will provide health care to those who can’t otherwise afford to. We also need you to advocate by raising awareness about the health problems in our community. One easy way to do that is at local events, like Triad Health Project’s Winter Walk for AIDS on Sunday, December 4th.

If you’re interested in learning more about United Way of Greater Greensboro’s work in Caring for Everyone’s Health, contact Jennifer at jennifer.ruppe@unitedwaygso.org.

Dec 01

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro’s Kids Path Program

Good health and wellbeing of individuals and families are the foundation for a good quality of life.  United Way of Greater Greensboro and its partners are leading the way to care for everyone’s health.

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro Kids Path Program is one of 21 United Way supported programs that address the issue of health.

In 2005, Adelaide Smith had her whole world turned upside down.  Her boy friend was killed in a car accident on his way to high school. Adelaide remembers the numbing shock and sorrow she felt. Despite the outpouring of love and support she had from family and friends, she felt so alone.

“I remember walking to my car after that first counseling session at Kids Path,” reflected Adelaide  “I thought to myself – finally … finally I had found a place where I could talk about my feelings and not feel weird – like something was wrong with me.”

Adelaide continued her counseling at Kids Path over the next two years, until she left Greensboro to attend college.  “I attribute the counseling I had at Kids Path for helping me find healthy ways to express my grief.  Now, in my senior year at Appalachian, I am back at Kids Path … interning with their counseling program for a semester.  My goal is to earn my Master’s Degree and to work in a profession that allows me to offer children and teens the same kind of support I found at Kids Path.”

Click here to see more ways that United Way of Greater Greensboro is caring for everyone’s health.