Blog

3 Ways We're Doing Things Differently

At United Way of Summit & Medina, we make it a point to do things differently. Different than other United Ways, different than before. We’re community focused, results-driven and here to create lasting, systemic change. So what exactly makes us so different?

Our community leads the way.

Our mission is to address the most critical needs around education, income and health. And we do that by letting the community tell us what they need. Our unique direct service work allows us to gain insight straight from those who need our help the most. Then we work with our volunteers to create innovative responses and set clear goals like we did with our Family Resource Centers which help address social and non-academic barriers to student learning.

Since opening our first FRC at Robinson CLC in 2019, we’ve learned that transportation and food insecurity are among the top needs for families and we’ve responded. From November 2021 to March 2022, we coordinated 157 free Lyft rides and from April 2021 to March 2022 we provided 3,053 DoorDash deliveries. We now have FRCs in four Akron Public Schools locations and continue offering basic needs resources in ways that best serve our community.

We work directly with those who need us.

We are not a pass-through organization; we provide direct services at locations in and around our community. Through our many programs, we not only work directly with individuals and families, but we meet them where they’re at. Offering accessibility and options so that barriers to assistance aren’t an issue. At the Financial Empowerment Center in Akron, our coaches offer phone, video and in-person sessions to financially empower our residents in a way that works best for them. And our 211 call operators are available 24/7 so that no call goes unanswered.

Your dollars stay in your community.

Investing in United Way of Summit & Medina means investing in your community in a big way. Every dollar raised is multiplied 11 times. That 11:1 ROI means big change for Summit & Medina counties. We make good use of donor resources by investing in our own programs and creating innovative solutions to achieve impact and our results show that it’s working.

United Way of Summit & Medina is creating lasting, systemic change in ways that no other organization is doing. And that’s what makes us different.