President's Report by Ann Bax, September Live United Insert

The 2017 Campaign Leadership Team, led by Campaign Co-Chairs Jayne Dunkmann and Ryan Freeman, consists of 46 volunteers that help the United Way build relationships with over 400 businesses in the community.


Ann Bax
United Way of Central Missouri President/CPO

In truly great communities like ours, people take of each other—we know that no one is going to do this important work for us. That is why the United Way of Central Missouri hosts a community campaign each year….to ask our community to help the United Way and our partner agencies help people live their best possible lives.

“If you can dream it, you can do it,” a quote from the famous Walt Disney, is our slogan for the 2017 United Way of Central Missouri Campaign. So given our slogan, you can probably guess that we have a Disney theme planned for this year. Disney brings out the kid in all of us…magical stories that typically have fairy tale endings. It doesn’t matter how old you are, everybody loves a Disney movie. But the wonderful thing about Disney movies is that there is always a deeper message. Lilo and Stitch found that family isn’t defined by blood, but by love and acceptance; with determination and strength, Hercules discovered he really could Go the Distance; and Elsa discovered her sense of belonging when others helped her learn to love herself for who she is. They all had dreams, but they needed the help of their community to overcome the obstacles and challenges that stood in the way of their dreams. That’s exactly how many of the people in our community feel….hopeless and helpless. But with the help of our caring community, United Way and our partner agencies are there to pick them up and help them understand “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

That is why the United Way campaign is so critical to this community—to keep United Way and our partner agencies strong to address the critical health and human service needs in our community.

Many people in our community are experiencing problems they do not know how to address alone:

–A grandmother suffers the extreme heat of summer because she had to choose between buying her prescription medications or paying her utility bill.

–A young veteran is homeless and hopeless.

–An 18 year old in the foster care system his whole life is aging out of the system with no family, no friends, and no support system.

–A middle schooler struggles with depression after losing a parent to suicide.

–A one year old little girl is removed from her home because her drug-addicted parents have subjected her to abuse and neglect since birth.

We go looking for these problems and we find every dollar we can to address them. Here are a few examples of what our community made possible through support of the United Way:

–Over 53,513 meals were provided to homebound seniors so they can stay independent in their homes.

–1,056 youth were impacted by a role model, mentor or tutor through Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club and ABLE.

–2,380 women affected by domestic violence received a safe haven or support and advocacy.

–18,882 youth received education & support to empower them to stay drug and alcohol free.

–12,482 low income children and adults received medical, dental and behavioral health care.

Over 80,000 people in our community were served by United Way of Central Missouri’s partner agencies last year. But we are more than the fundraisers, we are the hand raisers and the game changers. Thank you to the many, many hand raisers and game changers in our community. We are grateful for you and our community is a better place because of you!