Fifteen years ago, Key Club was formed and today it remains one of the premier African American giving groups in the United States, with generous contributions over the years that total more than $10 million. Many African American leaders came together to make Key Club a reality and in 2013 United Way of Central Ohio will honor both the current and former members of this engaged group. Leaders like Curtis Jewel who led the initial outreach to the black community, with the support of William Willis, Marjorie Bradford, and Ralph Frazier. They built the foundation for the group, and in 2000, Larry James, Demtries Neely Walker and Adam Troy became co-chairs and led a campaign that more than doubled membership and set the path for future growth. We will also honor the steadfast support of Abigail and Leslie Wexner whose Annual Donor Recognition event brings Key Club members together for an evening of learning from some of the top speakers in the country like Marian Wright Edelman, the president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. Key Club members enjoy many educational, volunteering, social and professional development opportunities throughout the year including Brown Bag luncheons. The group’s impact includes partnering with The Academy for Leadership and Governance to create The African American Leadership Academy. Look for much more to come as we honor the accomplishments of this remarkable group.

2013, ISSUE I

(Top Photo) Curtis Jewell. (Middle Photo, from left) Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Janet E. Jackson, Anna Deveare Smith, Abigail and Les Wexner. (Bottom Photo) Larry James, Demetries Neely Walker, Marian Wright Edelman and Adam Troy.

Geoffrey Canada, the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, has inspired thousands of people around the world who are working to provide high-quality education and spark revitalization in low-income neighborhoods. On February 13, you can experience a unique one-on-one conversation between this national leader and former WOSU “Open Line” host Fred Andrle and learn more about the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone and the lessons we can apply right here in central Ohio. United Way of Central Ohio has partnered with The Ohio State University to bring Canada to Columbus for the Champion of Children Signature Event, which will focus on the transformative neighborhood revitalization efforts currently taking place in central Ohio and how these efforts affect academic achievement. Canada is a recognized expert in this area having developed a holistic approach to rebuilding communities in ways that help students succeed in school, graduate from high school, and progress to higher education and careers. In honor of his immense impact, Canada was named to Time Magazine’s “Time 100” list of the world’s most influential people in 2011. You won’t want to miss this once-in-a lifetime opportunity! The event will also unveil the highly anticipated Franklin County’s Children Report and honor the winners of the 2013 Champion of Children individual award and Champion of Children Nonprofit Organization award (see page 4 for more details on the Champions).

---------------------------------------------------------------Online Extra: ---------------------------------------------------------------Buy tickets to the Champion of Children Signature Event here, or go to ----------------------------------------------------------------

One purpose of the LIVING UNITED newsletter to is keep our United Way of Central Ohio family informed about what your generosity and service is accomplishing in our community. That means we celebrate the many ways that together we improve lives and strengthen our community. As we begin 2013, we celebrate the 90th anniversary of United Way of Central Ohio, and we couldn’t have helped so many people for so many decades if it were not for generations of dedicated central Ohioans who believed in the idea behind our movement — together we can achieve much more than we can individually. This dedication has manifest itself in countless ways over the last 90 years, and 2013 will continue our ever-growing efforts to create collective impact by bringing partners together and mobilizing our community to create concrete, measurable change. One important group we will celebrate this year is Key Club. Fifteen years ago, a group of engaged community leaders came together to form what has become one of the premier African American giving groups in the country and we will honor their many accomplishments in 2013. Another purpose of the newsletter is to shine a light on the conditions in our community that make giving, advocating and volunteering through United Way so crucial to our shared well-being. With this in mind, we will take a look at poverty in central Ohio from the perspective of the people who live this devastating experience on a daily basis. As many of our leadership givers who participated in a recent poverty simulation event discovered, trying to survive, much less care for a family, on a poverty-level income requires tremendous patience and resourcefulness. It’s hard to plan and work for a better future when all of your time and efforts are consumed with simply surviving. But thanks to your support, United Way is providing the opportunities that individuals, families, and most crucially, children, need to rise out of poverty and reach their potential. Sincerely,

Janet E. Jackson President and CEO United Way of Central Ohio

The Loaned Executive program continues to be a great investment by our generous corporate partners. During the 2012 campaign, 6 Loaned Executives joined the United Way team during the peak campaign period from August to November. These energetic executives managed 211 accounts, conducted 175 relationship-building visits, and helped raise more than $19 million! Our 9 public sector Loaned Executives and Campaign Liaisons helped raise almost $4 million and managed 200 accounts. The Loaned Executive Program provides an unique opportunity for participants to obtain leadership opportunities and new skills while serving our community. Loaned Executives serve as the representatives of United Way in workplaces throughout central Ohio, and are a crucial part of every campaign. The Loaned Executive Program received financial and in-kind support from Alliance Data, American Electric Power, Nationwide, State Auto, Fifth Third Bank, and Limited Brands. The program is led by Chair Michael Robinson of Nationwide and Mark Stewart of Alliance Data Systems who made great efforts to secure the financial support that makes this vital program possible. Front row (left to right): Sandy Grant, Audrey White, Chanelle Smith, Deb Gutman, Yvonne Foster-Smith, Frances Henderson. Middle row: Amie Grubbs, Patrick Murray, Beth Patterson, Regina Zaglanis. Back row: Warren Meisner, Mark Hurtt, Marty Dixon. Not pictured: Paul Barr, Janet Jackson.

To learn more about the Loaned Executive Program and how your company can participate please contact Chanelle Smith at 614-227-2750, or



216,624 people in Franklin County live in poverty. That’s almost onefifth of the entire population. And as startling as that statistic may be to many people in our community, it is only the broadest overview of a situation that must change if central Ohio is to reach its potential as a preeminent region that is leading the way for other communities in the 21st century. Beneath that statistic are 216,624 personal stories. These are the life stories of our friends and neighbors. Some are families in generational poverty — they grew up poor with very limited opportunities and they remain poor. Some are experiencing poverty for the first time as a result job loss, medical conditions or other calamities that have pushed them below the poverty line and thrust them into a bewildering world of frustration and need. Understanding the individual stories of our community members living in poverty is often the best way to grasp the true face of this condition and determine the most effective ways to address its interconnected causes through a holistic approach. To help people understand more about the daily struggles of those in poverty, United Way of Central Ohio and the CareSource Foundation held a session of the “Cost of Poverty Experience.” Though no brief simulation can truly convey the hardships of poverty, this event is based on the real experiences of people in central Ohio and challenges participants to live life the way people in poverty do every day. More than 80 community leaders and leadership givers went through the simulation where each of them took on a specific role based on a real person. Detailed background information was provided on the person and his or her family, health, employment and income situation. Participants then lived the life of that person, doing things like procuring medicine for a child with a chronic illness, standing in line to receive a bus voucher or scheduling a doctor’s appointment for prenatal care. Steven Fields, Vice President, Director of Community Engagement and President, The Huntington Foundation at Huntington Bancshares and a United Way leadership giver, participated in the poverty simulation and says that he and his fellow participants had an “eye-opening” experience. “You think you have a sense of poverty,” he explained, “You think you would know how to deal with it, but when you are physically immersed in the experience and realize there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, it is very different than what you thought it would be. Even though this only lasted 45 minutes, you could see the drain it had on people and you begin to realize the full impact on families in poverty.” Fields intentionally chose to play the role of a child in the simulation and says that children are particularly helpless in the face of the many challenges poverty brings. His experience brought that message home and has energized him to continue to advocate for people in poverty and to let others know about the simulation.


When people think about poverty they often think of low-income city neighborhoods, but poverty long ago expanded into the suburbs of central Ohio and has become a major issue for everyone. Franklin County has more than 39,600 school-age children (ages 6 to 17) living in poverty. That’s equal to the total number of children enrolled in Dublin, Worthington, Bexley and Hilliard schools combined. More than 85,700 students–nearly half of the total enrollment–in the 16 Franklin County school districts are identified as economically disadvantaged. This staggering number extends well beyond downtown Columbus to Bexley, Dublin, Grandview Heights and New Albany schools, where 1 in 5 students is economically disadvantaged. One key indicator of the growth of poverty is the number of school students who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches. Over the past ten years this number has grown dramatically. For example, in Worthington during the 2001-2002 school year 5% of students were eligible. In the 2011-2012 school year 26.6% were eligible — more than fivefold increase in only a decade!

Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown was one of the more than 80 community leaders and United Way leadership givers who lived the roles of a person in poverty. “I had no idea my entire perception about poverty and the culture of scarceness could change so much in one hour,” she said. “The Cost of Poverty Experience makes very real and tangible the challenges that many of our residents face every day, simply to survive. Every public servant and safety-net provider, from the executive director to the front office receptionist, should have this experience - it will forever alter the method and quality of service delivery.”

---------------------------------------------------------------Online Extra: See a chart of how free and reduced-price lunch eligibility has ---------------------------------------------------------------grown in all of the local school districts in central Ohio. ---------------------------------------------------------------3


Jed Morison, Superintendent/ CEO of Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, has been named the 2013 Champion of Children. Morison joins a group of dynamic local leaders who have been recognized as Champions of Children and have worked to create a better tomorrow for all of the children in central Ohio. “Over his long and distinguished career, Jed has been a steadfast leader of efforts to ensure all children, especially those with disabilities, get the high quality education they deserve,” said Elfi Di Bella, president and CEO of YWCA Columbus, and chair of the Champion of Children Selection Committee. “Jed understands that providing educational opportunities not only improves individual lives, but strengthens our entire community, and through his leadership he has had a deep and far-reaching impact that will continue to inspire us for years to come.” Morison has served as the Superintendent/CEO of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities since 2000. The Board provides early intervention, educational, therapeutic, employment and residential support services for over 17,000 children and adults who have developmental disabilities, helping them to live, learn and work in our communities. Prior to his current service as Superintendent, Morison served as Assistant Superintendent from 1977 - 2000. The Champion of Children Nonprofit Organization award went to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio for its decades of effective work and the inspiration it has provided to others through its proven record of success. The United Way member agency has served more than 100,000 central Ohio children since it was founded in 1933 and is the third-largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agency in the country. Last year, it served 4,000 central Ohio children through one-to-one matches with volunteers and 5,000 children through its mentoring programs at Camp Oty’Okwa. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, businesses, civic and faith-based organizations, and others in the community, the agency operates community-based mentoring

programs, school-based mentoring programs — including Project Mentor — and mentoring programs at Camp Oty’Okwa in the Hocking Hills, plus its Mentoring Center of Central Ohio. “Mentoring is such an important part of helping children succeed in school,” said Linda Kass, Champion of Children founder and chair of the Advisory Committee. “Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio has created the thousands of lasting mentoring connections that have helped generations of students graduate high school and pursue productive careers. The organization’s positive impact on education in our community simply cannot be overstated.” The Champion of Children Nonprofit Organization recognition includes a $5,000 award generously donated by Nationwide that will help Big Brothers Big Sisters further its mission. Morison and Big Brothers Big Sisters will be honored at the 20th Annual Champion of Children Signature Event featuring Geoffrey Canada to be held at 5:30 p.m. on February 13, 2013 at The Southern Theatre. Since 1994, Champion of Children has been a leading voice in raising awareness on education issues, mobilizing our community to support education and investing in effective efforts that help children succeed in school. In 2010, Champion of Children joined forces with United Way of Central Ohio and has taken on a key leadership role in United Way’s work in the education impact area . To learn more about cutting edge research in education and read insightful commentary from local and national education leaders, sign up to receive the Champion of Children Education Journal. This online journal is available at

---------------------------------------------------------------Online Extra: ---------------------------------------------------------------Sign up to receive the Education Journal ---------------------------------------------------------------LIVING UNITED







United Way of Central Ohio’s Leadership Giving groups offer the opportunity for donors to learn more about how their contributions are helping improve lives in central Ohio, develop meaningful service projects and network with fellow donors.

hOLIDay parTy wITh a pUrpOSE
On November 29, 150 members of leadership giving groups and their guests came out to gift wrap new toys to be given to children in need this Christmas. This joint effort was a great example of our leadership givers in action as volunteers. State Auto generously hosted the event. In all, more than 2,000 gifts were wrapped by volunteers and distributed by six agencies.

wLC mEmbEr apprECIaTION hOLIDay parTy
On December 4, 100 WLC members and E3 participants gathered at United Way for the second annual WLC membership appreciation holiday party. The attendees enjoyed a slide show of the highlights of 2012 and celebrated the fact that more than 60 women have participated in the E3 program since its inception in 2011. Cameron Mitchell Catering provided the festive fare. To learn more about the WLC, contact Betsy McCabe at 614.227.2734 or

Rosalie Fenner, Lisa de Perio and Shoba Narayanan

Heather Barber, Liza Kessler and Gina Mazzei-Smith

Bhoke Mukami, Betsy McCabe and Wendy Peters



United Way congratulates Project Diversity Cycle 21 and Pride Leadership Cycle 5 graduates! These graduates join a growing group of diverse leaders who are helping to shape the future of central Ohio with their community and nonprofit board service.

Project Diversity Cycle 21 graduates. Front row (left to right): Gentell Harris, Tricia Moore-Hall, Mary Mutegi, Tamia Stewart, Elizabeth Trotman. Middle row: Betty Lovelace-Ross, Leslie Delerme Melton, Louis Blyden, Monique Hall, Emily Scardon, Terrance Mebane, Huda Ahmed, Al Edmondson, Dinessa Soloman, Sahadeo Ramharrack. Back row: Darrell Pierre, Yvonne Brooks, Tracy Turner, Khalila Perrin Hayden, Darrell L. Hunter, II, C. Jenese Bandy.

Pride Leadership Cycle 5 graduates. Front row (left to right): Rachel Bowen, Skylar Branstool, Marc A. Holt, Lee Ann Williams, Alicia Szempruch. Middle row: Amy Price, Mark J. Innocenzi, Kevin Tyler, Julie Lamere, Scott Kerby, Kitrina Spencer. Back row: Alissa Ziemer, Brian E. Sass, Andrew DeVore, Matthew Dyer, Lindy Bobbitt.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 classes of the Pride Leadership and Project Diversity leadership development programs. These programs offer a comprehensive 8-month nonprofit board leadership development experience for LGBT community members and people of color that prepares participants to be knowledgeable leaders. These programs are great examples of United Way’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.

project Diversity recruitment reception
A reception for interested Project Diversity candidates will be held on January 15, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at The Bluestone — The Great Room, 583 East Broad Street, Columbus, 43215. Registration for the reception can be found at Nearly 80% of program graduates have served on nonprofit boards.

Applications are due by 3:00 p.m. on February 7, for both programs. Applications can be submitted at the United Way offices at 360 S. Third Street, Columbus, 43215 or emailed to Kelly McLennan: Questions can be sent to Shayne Downton: or 614.241.3076. Applications can also be found online at: project-diversity and

pride Leadership recruitment reception
A reception for interested Pride Leadership candidates will be held on January 17, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at The Boat House at Confluence Park, 679 West Spring Street, Columbus, 43215. Registration for the event can be found at 70% of program graduates have served on nonprofit boards.




Tax TImE OffErS frEE Tax prEparaTION ON SUpEr SaTUrDay, fEbrUary 2ND
Tax Time is once again hosting Super Saturday on February 2nd at Columbus Downtown High School. Over 100 volunteers from local colleges, companies, and nonprofit organizations will complete hundreds of tax returns in one day. The event will also include a financial resources fair, with information on opening checking and savings accounts, enrolling in an incentivized savings account, understanding and repairing your credit, FAFSA preparation, and benefits screenings. There will also be children’s activities, and Columbus Kids: Ready, Set, Learn staff will be provide kindergarten readiness assessments. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 4th at Columbus Downtown High School, 364 South 4th St. Call 2-1-1 for appointments. Walk-ins are also welcome and there will be ample free parking. Interested in helping out? There are many volunteer opportunities. Go to to sign up for volunteer trainings and shifts.

The Franklin County EITC Coalition is now the Tax Time Coalition of Central Ohio, but you can just call it Tax Time. And the name is not the only thing that changed. Tax Time now includes central Ohio free tax preparation sites that are managed by AARP and the Ohio Benefit Bank in addition to the sites managed by United Way. That means Tax Time will be able to provide even more free, high-quality tax assistance services and financial resources that help low- and moderate-income households achieve financial stability.

Columbus Landmarks Foundation has honored United Way’s work in the Home impact area with the Frederick J. Holdridge Outstanding Group award. This award recognizes a neighborhood, community group, or association program or project that has significantly fostered the cause of preservation or improved the built environment, thereby enhancing quality of life in our community. The Foundation specifically cited the Neighborhood Preservation Initiative that United Way funds. This initiative offers hands-on technical preservation assistance in repairing, maintaining and rehabilitating older homes, while preserving architecturally significant features that make Columbus’s historic neighborhoods distinctive. Buildings over 50 years old in the five United Way priority neighborhoods are the focus of the initiative.

United Way’s generous partner, Lane Bryant, is providing new winter coats to children in need through its Keeping Kids Warm® program. The program distributed 1,500 coats to four elementary schools in Columbus. For each school, company employees volunteered to organize coat distributions, order and pack coats, and present them in person to the children. Once every child who needed a coat had received one, Lane Bryant gave the remaining 600 coats to United Way to provide to other children in need of a warm coat this winter. The value of the coats donated to United Way is more than $24,000. This is the 17th year of the program and more than 200,000 coats have been given to elementary school students across the country during that time. Thank you, Lane Bryant!



360 South Third Street Columbus, Ohio 43215-5485

In 2013, we celebrate 90 years

of workIng wIth dedIcated partners lIke you!

thank you and
happy new year! together, we are ImprovIng lIves
and strengthenIng our communIty.

The Columbus Volunteer Challenge was the premier service event of the bicentennial year and mobilized an unprecedented 28,435 people to work on more than 500 projects. It was such a great success that it will be back in 2013. United Way will again team up with the City of Columbus, HandsOn Central Ohio and many other nonprofit and faith-based organizations to develop the five-day event that will begin on Saturday, September 7 and end on September 11, our national day of service. Once again, United Way’s Community Care Day will be an important part of the Challenge and will take place on Tuesday, September 10. Community Care Day provides a fun and meaningful way to improve lives and strengthen our community by volunteering for a specific project as part of a workplace team. This is the 22nd anniversary of Community Care Day. Last year more than 2,700 volunteers participated in the Community Care Day portion of the Challenge. So, mark your calendars now and plan to be a part of history as this great tradition of service continues. If you have a group that would like to be involved please contact Melanie Murphy at 614.227.2714 or