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  United Way of Summit County

JANUARY 26, 2012 

Campaign Goal: $11,250,000

We are at 94%.  THANK YOU!


United Way Welcomes Three Spring Semester Interns

Project Blueprint Classes Have Begun


Making a Difference – One Page at a Time

Affiliated Agencies Collaborate

Greenleaf Family Center Celebrates Centennial

Free Tax Help Available for Low-to-Moderate Income Families

Arthritis Foundation Improves Quality of Life

Make a Nomination for Young Philanthropist of the Year

Job Opportunity!



Volunteer Celebration
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
St. Joseph's Family Center
4:30 to 6 p.m.

Annual Meeting
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
John S. Knight Center
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Day of Action
Friday, June 15, 2012

Ride United
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Power of the Purse Luncheon
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Quaker Station
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Be a Volunteer

Make a Donation

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Please Note our
Address Change:

We have closed our P.O. Box.  Please address all future correspondence to our street address only:
United Way of Summit County
90 North Prospect Street
Akron, OH  44304-1273




United Way Welcomes Three Spring Interns

Jacob Ramsey

Three students from The University of Akron are interning at United Way of Summit County during the Spring Semester.  Each will be focusing on a different part of the organization and will be utilizing their unique skills to advance the common good.

Jacob Ramsey will be working with the Community Impact division at United Way of Summit County, researching and writing grant applications for a variety of initiatives. Jacob is a junior at The University of Akron studying Communication and Business. He owns an insurance agency with Farmers Insurance that is staffed and functioning on its own. He enjoys spending time with his friends, family and pets – two cats and a dog. Jacob also enjoys reading classic and political literature and taking road trips to Chicago.

Maddy Rogers is interning in the Marketing Department, and she'll be writing articles for our email newsletter, helping to plan special events and researching information on our affiliated agencies.  Maddy is a senior studying History at the University of Akron. Born and raised in Akron, she loves working and going to school close to home. In her free time she enjoys hiking, horseback riding, and playing with her two dogs.

Jayne Snyder is working with the Resource Development department, updating information on the Youth Initiative project and working with all of UWSC's affinity groups. Jayne is a junior at The University of Akron where she majors in Business and Organizational Communication and minors in English. Jayne grew up not too far from Akron, in the Coventry/Portage Lakes area. When she's not working, interning or going to school, Jayne enjoys watching movies, reading and spending time with her fiancé.

Maddy Rogers

Jayne Snyder
We thank all three of these students for sharing their passion and talents with us this Spring.

Project Blueprint Classes Have Begun
The weekly classes of Project Blueprint began last week with Teamwork – Building and Participating in Teams presented by Dr. Ronald P. Brown. 
Despite the snow, the entire class was in attendance, eager to embark on this voyage into the world of nonprofit boards and committees.  As one class member commented, "The class is so informative and everyone is energetic and fun; I can't wait to see what's in store next week."

The classes continue through March 22nd culminating with an Agency Fair.  If you are involved with a nonprofit interested in expanding committee/board lists, please inquire about attending the Agency Fair by contacting Brenda Cox at 330.643.5508 or email  The graduation for the Class of 2012 will be held Thursday, March 29th. 

See more photos from the first class

Alpha Phi Homes is Committed to Community
Alpha Phi Alpha Homes, Inc. maintains well-run rental and for-sale
residential properties. Community service is a hallmark of the organization and their annual support of United Way is just one example of their commitment.

Alpha Phi Alpha Homes sponsored a Cook Off to raise additional money for their workplace campaign. In mid November, participant cooks brought in their delicious recipes for a 3-panel judge to critique. Approximately 10 tasty dishes were presented to judges Laura Brelin, Resource Development Director of United Way; Virgil Brown, United Way and John Williams Chief Operation Officer of Alpha Phi Alpha Homes. For $5, employees were invited to participate in the judging contest by sampling and offering opinions of the dishes.

Alpha Phi Alpha Homes completed their campaign with a 6% increase in overall giving resulting in $1,777 and a 10% increase in employee participation. We wish to thank Thomas Fuller, Executive Director for his leadership support and LaShawn Webb, Human Resource Manager, for her creativity and implementation of the campaign effort. Thanks to all employees who Live United by giving to the campaign and helping to inspire the vitality of our community.

B Berger Knows Design for Campaign Success
B Berger, located in Macedonia, designs exclusive decorative fabrics, custom drapery as well as
several collections of drapery hardware. They also run a very successful United Way Campaign.

They kicked off their campaign with two presentations from United Way Representative, Jill Patterson, along with two agency speakers, on December 13. B Berger raised over $16,000 which is a 17% increase over their 2010 campaign. They also had an incredible increase in participation of 56%! We'd like thank the employees of B Berger for their generosity. A special thank you goes out to campaign coordinator Tami Rhodes for all of her hard work and support of United Way.

CSL Plasma Draws Support for Community

Facility manager Joseph Jacko and campaign coordinator Debbie Morelock
CSL Plasma is a blood donor facility that specializes in helping people live healthier and happier lives. Plasma is the key ingredient for products crucial to treating patients suffering from a host of life-threatening conditions, including hemophilia, shock or trauma, immune deficiencies, and other blood disorders.  The Akron facility located on Grant Street processes over 110,000 blood donors each week.

Working to create a better community where people can live, work and play, CSL takes pride in their United Way support.  Under the leadership of the facility manager, Joseph Jacko, employees were encouraged to participate and give. 

Campaign Coordinator Debbie Morelock scheduled agency speakers from the Battered Women's Shelter and Mental Health America to broaden employee's awareness as to how contributions made to the campaign make real differences to real people and for the community as a whole. 

CSL Plasma's campaign finished with a 78% increase in giving over the previous year raising $7,488!  Thank you to all the employees at CSL Plasma for their enthusiasm in maintaining a healthy and vital community for all to enjoy.

Emerald Performance Has Excellent Campaign
Emerald Performance Materials, located in Cuyahoga Falls,
produces and markets technologically advanced specialty chemicals for a broad range of food and industrial applications. They also run an excellent United Way campaign.

They had an astounding participation rate of 86% and raised over $28,000 in overall giving. We'd like to thank the employees at Emerald Performance Materials for their generosity. Also, a huge thank you to campaign coordinators Tom Nelson and Robert Culp, for their hard work and dedication to making their campaign a huge success!

Forest Corporation Continues United Way Support
Forest Corporation, located in Twinsburg, is a national producer of large format point of purchase display materials and they recently finished up their 2011 United Way Campaign.
They raised over $2,000 for United Way. We would like to send a special thank you to Debra Scruggs, campaign coordinator, for her continued dedication and hard work. We would also like to say thank you to all the employees at Forest Corporation for your continued support of United Way!

Matco Tools Has the Tools for Success
Matco Tools, located in Stow, is a manufacturer and distributor of professional automotive equipment, tools and toolboxes, and they had an excellent 2011 United Way campaign.
They started their campaign with several kick off meetings, featuring presentations from an agency speaker and United Way representative Jill Patterson. Through their 2011 campaign they raised $50,000 for United Way!  Prior to their fall campaign kickoff, Matco Tools had several special events throughout the summer such as an employee picnic, gumball machine event, casual day sale and bake sale just to name a few.  As if that wasn't enough, Matco Tools once again donated a Matco Tool Box/Cart for our Caring Club drawing taking place soon.

United Way of Summit County would like to thank the employees at Matco Tools for their selflessness and generosity. We would also like to send a special thank you to campaign coordinators Rayne Covault, Janet Coghan, Mike Smith and the entire campaign team for their hard work and dedication to their campaign.

Oldham Kramer Shows Commitment to Community
Oldham Kramer represents a wide range of individuals, businesses, insurers, estates and other
entities in matters ranging from small municipal court cases to complex litigation in state and federal courts. They have extensive experience in cases involving product liability, malpractice, construction, personal injury, contract, employment, adoption, estate planning and administration, and commercial disputes representing large and small businesses and individuals in general legal matters.

Featured in Forbes magazine as a "Go-To Law Firm® of the World's Leading Companies," the lawyers at Oldham Kramer are fiercely committed to their clients, their profession and their community. The firm also is known for its commitment to public service by staffing a pro bono legal clinic through its Community Legal Aid organization. For over a decade, professionals from this firm continue their sense of community pride by giving to the United Way of Summit County. We wish to thank Reginald Kramer for his leadership efforts that encouraged participation and to all the employees who gave generously in support of our community.

Pneumatic Scale Angelus Wraps Up Campaign
Pneumatic Scale Angelus, located in both Stow and Cuyahoga Falls,
is a provider of packaging automation equipment and services for the pharmaceutical, household, cosmetic, food and beverage industries, and they recently wrapped up their 2011 United Way Campaign.

Through their campaign they raised over $10,000! We are very appreciative of the altruistic spirit of the men and women of Pneumatic Scale. A special thank you to Kathy Albright for all the hard work and support she provides as campaign coordinator for United Way.

RJF International Increases Participation Over 20%
RJF International Corporation, a customer-oriented manufacturer of engineered polymer
products for select specialty markets, sets high standards for their United Way campaign every year. 2011 was no different. Under the leadership of campaign coordinator Donna Sheppard, the campaign increased to nearly 80% participation among employees, engaging individuals in the Fairlawn office as well as sales representatives working in the field. RJF International also increased their very generous corporate gift, putting the whole campaign over $100,000!

A special thank you goes out Donna Sheppard for her thoughtful coordination of the large campaign, CEO John Baechle for his support, and everyone at RJF who lives united for showing such a strong commitment to this community.

Royal Chemical has Right Blend for Great Campaign
Royal Chemical, located in both Macedonia and Twinsburg, is a custom chemical blender, toll and contract manufacturer. While they blend and package many different products for several industries, they focus on industrial, institutional and household cleaning products. Recently, Royal Chemical wrapped up their 2011 United Way Campaign.
Their campaign kicked off on December 7, with a presentation at each location from United Way representative, Jill Patterson. This year Royal Chemical raised over $7,500. Thank you to the employees at Royal Chemical for your philanthropic nature. Special thanks to campaign coordinators Brian Schiavoni and Brian McCue, your continued hard work and support is so appreciated.

Warriors for United Way at Walsh Jesuit
United Way would like to thank the faculty and staff at Walsh Jesuit High School for their support. In 2011 they had an increase in participation of 8% raising over $1200. A special thanks to campaign coordinator Sean Lynch, for his continued hard work and support of the campaign.

Making a Difference – One Page at a Time
Every year, more than 1 million students drop out of high school nationally and early grade literacy is one crucial reason why. One in three fourth graders score below "basic" in reading on national assessments.* Some 67% failed to score
at or above proficient. Below basic is defined as not reading well enough to understand a simple story, or not being able to read at all.

Children need to read to learn in order to graduate from school and ultimately succeed in life. Unfortunately, that is not the case and this crisis is only escalating. In learning of these frightening statistics, the members of Women's Leadership Council (WLC) of United Way and the Knowledgeable Network of Women (KNOW) of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce decided to take action in our community. These professional women's organizations have partnered together to launch a tutoring program called "K-3 Read with Me" in various Akron Public Schools.

This program gives children who are at risk in their reading skills, the help they so desperately need by providing them a tutor for one hour a week. The WLC/KNOW members will work in teams of two to tutor two students from January 23 until the end of the school year. This team approach allows the student and tutors to get to know one another, while helping the child to gain the reading skills that are necessary to succeed in school.

Thank you to the WLC and the KNOW for helping these students have a chance for a better life, one page at a time!

*2007 NAEP scores

Affiliated Agencies Collaborate

In a wonderful example of collaboration, computer instructors from the Akron Urban League are teaching clients of the International Institute of Akron a variety of computer skills. This is another program offered to refugees utilizing services at International Institute, and Urban League instructors are leading computer classes twice a week in the Institute's new computer lab.

Our agencies continue to show how collaboration leads to better, more cost-effective services for our community.

Greenleaf Family Center Celebrates Centennial

Please join the Greenleaf Family Center in celebrating their Centennial, a major move, and SAVE THE DATE for their annual Night at the Races Fundraiser!

In 2012, Greenleaf Family Center invites you to Celebrate their Centennial as they highlight and recognize the growth and history of the organization.  At the same time, Greenleaf is preparing to move to a new location in May, 2012. The future address will be 580 Grant Street in Downtown Akron. 

Greenleaf's Night at the Races fundraiser event will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2011 at Zwisler Hall (located on St. Sebastian's campus) at 476 Mull Avenue in Akron.  Dinner and dessert will be provided by Outback Steakhouse. BYOB.  Purchase and name a horse in advance for $20, and if it wins a race you receive $50! Tickets are available for purchase at Greenleaf Family Center Monday through Thursday from 8:30AM-8PM, or visit their website. For more information contact Dina Younis at 330.376.9494 ext.255

For more information about Greenleaf Family Center, the services they provide, and their location move please visit their website at

Free Tax Help Available for Low-to-Moderate Income Families
Make sure your family gets the full income tax refund that you are eligible for – up to $5,751 – FREE & FAST – with help from the Akron Summit Earned Income Tax Credit Program.
Tax Credit Eligibility Guidelines for Tax Year 2011:
  • Families with three or more qualifying children who earned less than $43,998 in 2011 (or less than $49,078 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit of up to $5,751.
  • Families with two qualifying children who earned less than $40,964 in 2011 (or less than $46,044 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit of up to $5,112.
  • Families with one qualifying child who earned less than $36,052 in 2011 (or less than $41,132 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit of up to $3,094.
  • Individuals who do not have a qualifying child, but are between the ages of 25 and 64, with earned income of less than $13,660 in 2011 (or less than $18,740 for married filing jointly) are eligible for a credit up to $464.

Convenient Tax Preparation Locations:

  • Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.
    670 West Exchange St., Akron, OH 44301
  • Barberton Park & Recreation Active Adult Division
    500 W. Hopocan Avenue, Barberton, Ohio 44203
  • Akron Summit Community Action, Inc., Springfield Office
    1367 Doty Drive, Akron, Ohio 44302
  • George W. Daverio School of Accountancy, University Of Akron
    259 S Broadway, Akron, Ohio 44203

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Returns Available. Free Assisted Self-Service Tax Preparation. Fast & Free file service, computers and internet, and certified volunteers to help prepare DIY Returns available at the following locations:

  • Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. 670 West Exchange, Akron, Ohio
  • Barberton Park & Recreation Active Adult Division 500 W. Hopocan Avenue, Barberton, Ohio 44203
  • George W. Daverio School of Accountancy, University Of Akron 259 S Broadway, Akron, Ohio 44203

To set up your appointment call 1.866.861.6401. For more information call 211 or 330.376.6660. This program is provided through Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.

How Your Contributions are Helping in our Community
Arthritis Foundation Improves Quality of Life
Your contributions to United Way of Summit County are improving lives through the work of non-profits in our community like the Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio Chapter.
The Arthritis Foundation supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. With national headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has funded more than $380 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps people take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Here is just one example of how your contribution is helping:

The increasing pain in Helen's knees and hands forced her to give up many of the activities she enjoyed, including gardening and crocheting. She couldn't even pick up her grandchildren anymore without severe pain. At the Summit County Arthritis Expo sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation, she participated in a demonstration of the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program and was surprised by how good she felt being able to do the gentle and safe exercises. She signed up for a class at her local senior center and has found that regular exercise has helped restore some of the flexibility and lessened the pain in her hands and knees. She was proud to present her newest grandchild with a hand-crocheted afghan for Christmas.

See all the programs funded by United Way of Summit County.

Mark Krohn
2011 Young Philanthropist of the Year
Make a Nomination for Young Philanthropist of the Year

The United Way Young Leaders Society is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 Young Philanthropist of the Year. Candidates for the award are individuals 40 and younger who embody the spirit of philanthropy through charitable giving to United Way, volunteer service and a commitment to the Summit County community. The nomination form is available on our website and must be submitted by February 17, 2012. For more information contact Margaret Sell at 330.643.5514 or email


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This newsletter is published by the United Way of Summit County
90 North Prospect St. | Akron, OH  44304-1273 | 330.762.7601 |