How do UWMC funded Programs Improve Lives?
An Outcome is a measureable change in an individual’s life.
For the 12 months of 2015-2016 (July 2015-June 2016), these are some of the outcomes from UWMC funded programs:
- 582 families are able to work because their children have been provided 256 days of quality day-care
- 3,902 pre-school children received developmental screenings, ensuring that any issues are discovered before they start school
- 12,979 people received food through a food bank or soup kitchen, providing 180,582 meals or food baskets
- 752 adults and children received shelter, both short and long-term
- 116 disaster victims were provided shelter, food and clothing
- 4,474 individuals received disaster education and are better prepared to handle emergencies
- 992 Seniors received direct membership assistance and programs promoting healthy lifestyles
- 215 individuals requiring home nursing have been able to remain independent and self-sufficient in their homes
- 174 visually-challenged individuals have been able to improve/retain levels of performance and independence
- 60 adults with developmental disabilities have achieved an increased level of productivity and earned income
- 184 Boy Scouts have learned new skills or abilities and engaged in community service projects
- 785 Girl Scouts have gained practical life skills, developed healthy relationships, and have become problem-solvers who implement action plans, locate tools and resources, and request help when needed
- 92 “Little” brothers and sisters have increased social competency and improved academic performance
- 2,440 victims of abuse were served, either through shelter, a hotline, counseling or with prevention and education
- 4,533 pints of blood were donated; each pint can save up to 3 lives
- 5,717 individuals utilized the PoconoInfo Information and Referral service
- 266 individuals volunteered for a Monroe County non-profit organization
- 4,976 individuals saved $171,639 by using the FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card
Download printable version of Outcomes here.
Meet Marie Saghm
When Marie and her husband moved to their new house in the Poconos in 2004, she was legally blind as a result of severe diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular edema. Prior to this, Marie had been employed as a manager in a New Jersey hospital for more than 20 years. Now, because of her vision disability, she could no longer work, and her husband, a truck driver, was on the road a lot, leaving her home alone in a new area without friends and family. Marie was sad and depressed because her low vision cost her independence.
Shortly thereafter, Marie became a Center for Vision Loss customer. She began to attend monthly support group meetings and make friends. Our caseworker introduced her to correspondence cources through the Hadley School for the Blind and books on tape through the National Library Service. The Center also helped Marie get an exemption for directory assistance for her phone and a large print ledger for her checkbook. marie has relied extensively on their Escorted Transportation program with a sighted guide to get to medical appointments, grocery shopping and agency activities. She especially loves bowling because of the camaraderie with her fellow customers.
Through the years, Marie's coping skills and determination to live with her vision loss increased. She began to take better care of her health, exercising on a regular basis and eating a more healthy diet. Soon Marie and her now-retired husband visit the gym daily. She lost weight and began to exude a confident, happy demeanor. Marie completed a CPR course offered by the agency and three (3) summers ago visited her native France.
Marie, now in her mid-60's, has turned her life around, and low vision is no longer the major obstacle driving her life. She is quick to say that taking aprt in the supprt group meetings was the best medicine for her. After then years as a customer of the Center, Marie still faithfully attends these sessions. She interacts with other customers who also have a longstanding attendance record and stands ready to share her life experiences with new customers who are in the early stages of accepting their vision loss.
Marie states her life is now 20/20 due to her positive perspective and she stated to her caseworker recently, "What more could I want for my life?" The Center says, "C'est la view!, Marie."
Pilar Quizhpi Cueva had a sone and a daughter in Head Start a few years ago and received wonderful support from the agency for her children and family. She had recently moved to the Poconos and had no relatives here, so Head Start/PSFC became her extended family. Her husband was unemployed at the time and she was having her own stuggles/challenges wtiht going back to school and changing careers. The agency was there for her family when they needed help outside the classroom; whether it was guidance, training, or emergency assistance. Pilar's children, Justin and Natasha, are now doing very well in elementary school and Pilar has become very successful in the banking industry. In fact, she is an assistant vice president/branch manager at Citizens Bank in Tannersville.
Now, Pilar enjoys giving back to families in need. For instance, Pilar and her children have adopted one of the Head Start families at Christmas time for the last two years, providing gifts from clothing and toys to gift cards. She also gives back through Citizens Bank's Gear for Grades initiative, which provides backpacks filled with school supplies to the Head Start preschoolers getting ready for kindergarten. Head Start made a positive difference in Pilar's life and her family's lives.
Bianca Can See - Pocono Alliance Success Story
“I can see” said Bianca, age 4, when she received her new glasses. Pocono Alliance changed my daughter’s life by providing a free vision screening through their Healthy Start Early Childhood Screening Program. I was not aware that my daughter was having problems with her vision and was quite shocked when I received the alarming results. I made an appointment with an optometrist who diagnosed her with an astigmatism. Prior to receiving her glasses she was not coloring in the lines and could not write her name, but within 2 weeks of wearing her glasses she can now do both. Our family has benefitted immensely from this early intervention and I am thrilled to say that Bianca loves her glasses and is doing well in school. Tina Deller, Bianca’s mother
I arrived at Women’s Resources still wearing my hospital gown. My three children Rebecca, 4, Jillian, 7, and William, 10, stood next to me with nothing but blankets in their hands. It was my son that dialed 911 when a verbally and physically abusive fight broke out between my husband and me in our home. Women’s Resources placed us in their shelter for 30 days and that is where I began to rebuild my life. They gave us a safe haven with shelter, food and had a wonderful play room for my kids. I found my voice through counseling and they let me work through my past at my own speed. Everyone there provided me with the tools and strength to begin again. From my experience at Women’s Resources I was able to find a job and move into a place close to great schoolsfor my children. I feel like we have a secure future ahead of us. We feel safe and happy now. We haven’t felt this good in a very long time.
Carmen, Michael, and Ana - Helping Children Succeed
Like the pieces of a puzzle, Carmen’s life has come together with support from three United Way-funded programs. When she was homeless, she was assisted by The Salvation Army and PATH. Besides shelter, she received counseling and learned to set/meet goals. Now, she and her kids receive services from Head Start, a high-quality preschool program for low-income families run by Pocono Services for Families and Children. Michael, who has special needs, is getting ready for success in kindergarten, while Anna has another year of preschool. The family has been assisted with transportation and provided with comprehensive educational, health, and social services. Carmen has attended workshops on budgeting and nutrition. A single-mom, she is enrolled at Northampton Community College to earn a degree. She has high hopes for her family’s future.
Sam and Deb Vallese - Meeting Basic Needs
On April 23, 2010, Sam and Deb Vallese had just settled into their “parent cave” in the lower level of the McMichaels home they shared with two of their five children and a granddaughter. Sam heard what he believed was the microwave or oven beeping, and thought he smelled something burning. He got up and walked to the garage door, only to open the door to find a wall of flames and smoke. The beeping sound had come from the home’s smoke detectors, but was not a familiar sound that registered with him.
The family quickly dove into “panic mode.” Debbie recalled, “We were in our pajamas and headed for the door.” She and Sam gathered the family and steered everyone to safety. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the home was engulfed, but the Vallese family was unhurt. Rescue personnel immediately contacted the American Red Cross in Monroe County, a United Way partner agency. The local chapter works to provide services to disaster victims, and from the cell phone of one emergency responder, asked to speak to the family immediately. Deb spoke to an agency representative as the home continued to burn, and a few hours later, the family was directed to a local hotel to rest – American Red Cross took care of all the arrangements for them. While sleep did not actually come that night, Sam and his family were further surprised as they received a debit card for immediate necessities and a comfort kit, containing toiletries and essentials. It was these small acts of kindness that helped the family begin the recovery process from such an unexpected, life-changing disaster.
“It was such a relief to us,” noted Sam, “as I lost my wallet, cash, cards, everything in that blaze.” What does one do at 4:00 a.m. with nothing but your family by your side? For Sam and Debbie, they realized that without the help from the American Red Cross and United Way funding, the ordeal would have been much worse. “I was lucky, in a sense, that we had good insurance coverage,” shared Sam. “In the end, our home was completely rebuilt by local contractors in just two months. It was incredible.”
The Vallese family feels extremely grateful for how they were helped when they were most in need. They are very thankful to the American Red Cross and the United Way of Monroe County.
Edith Flory - Promoting Self-Sufficiency and Meeting Basic Needs
Ninety-year-old Edith Flory of Marshalls Creek wants to be able to stay in her own home and lead her life as independently as possible. She enjoys the company of her Siamese cat and the bucolic view outside her trailer. She has plenty of room for her large collection of Hummel figurines – which she would not have in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
For these reasons and more, Edith is a client of Meals on Wheels, a program that is funded by United Way of Monroe County.
Edith receives home-delivered meals (hot and cold) through the program five days a week. She became a client after she had been in the hospital and someone suggested she use Meals on Wheels. She tried it and decided she liked the service. That was three years ago!
She enjoys the food and it gives her the balanced nutrition she needs. The visit from her Meals on Wheels volunteer is also one of the highlights of her day. She keeps busy by knitting and spending time with her family, including her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She even volunteers by helping with the tickets for the annual Meals on Wheels Wing-off fundraiser...right in her favorite chair.
In the comfort of her own home and familiar surroundings, Edith tries to be as independent as is possible for an almost 91-year-old. Meals on Wheels and United Way help her do just that.
The Growing Place Child Care Centers
A single mother of a three year old came to the director in tears as she had been terminated from her state child care funding by being over income in the amount of $100.00 per month. She makes $25,000 per year and if she had to pay the full childcare it would be 170.00 per week or $680.00 per month. Her childcare would have pushed her income down before taxes to $17,000. The Growing Place was able to reduce her weekly bill to $95.00 and the Tuition Assistance Program paid $75.00 weekly. She could have quit her job, gone on food stamps, cash assistance and Medicaid and heating assistance, but thanks for the United Way, this parent was able to keep her child in a high quality preschool program to prepare for kindergarten and she was able to keep her job and not become a burden on the county.
Pocono Family YMCA
The Y is about youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. One of our youth development stories is about Rob, a young man who wanted to play basketball, but just wasn’t good enough to make the team. Each morning he would come to the Y before school and practice. Every day after school he would return and practice some more. Working with our staff, he developed his basketball talents and eventually made the team. This led to a college scholarship to play basketball, he credits the Y with helping him achieve this goal. He has returned to play at the Y when he is in the area and has mentored young players having the same troubles he did.
American Red Cross of the Poconos
A home fire recently caused a family to lose everything, devastating a mother and her two sons. While the firemen were still on scene, 5 volunteer Red Cross Disaster Action Team members and the Executive Director were on the scene comforting the family. We sat for hours with them at a neighbors’ home listening to stories and sharing memories while conducting our needs assessment. We provided a hotel, resources for food, clothing, replacement medications and replacement eyeglasses, and we worked with the family to help them create plans to recover and regain independence. One of the clients we served in this event wrote to our National Headquarters the following:
“The past few days should have been hard. I should have been kept awake all night wondering how I was going to survive this difficult time with my family. It could have been so overwhelming. But thanks to the love and support of family, friends, volunteers, and co-workers, we have been able to manage all the challenges that come with this tragedy. I just don’t seem to have the words to express my appreciation. You have all touched our hearts and my gratitude is overflowing.”
Pocono VNA Hospice
Through United Way funding we were able to provide home care service to a single mom working 2 1/2 jobs to make ends meet but not having insurance coverage. This individual had fallen and broken her leg and was in need of nursing services along with physical therapy. Through United Way we were able to get this person back on her feet. We were also able to get this person connected to Medical Assistance coverage.