Bill & Julie

Bill and Julie both work but have only one source of transportation. When their vehicle broke down, they did not know what to do. Bill had heard about the 2-1-1 help line (a service provided by Shiawassee United Way) from a co-worker and decided to call. The operator gave Bill information on a local Hunger Network food pantry. (Shiawassee Hunger Network is administered by Shiawassee United Way). It was suggested that the money Bill & Julie would save on food they use toward auto repairs. Shiawassee United Way takes a multi-faceted approach to addressing true root causes of poverty.


A severe ice storm left Julie and her husband without utilities for several days. Cold, thirsty, and hungry, she remembered hearing at work that Shiawassee United Way provided 2-1-1 service, toll-free, to everyone in the county. Julie called the number and asked the operator for the location of the nearest warming shelter so that her family could receive basic needs during the height of a community disaster.


Sally came to Shiawassee United Way cold and hungry. She had been living in her vehicle for several weeks. As she had recently escaped an abusive relationship, Shiawassee United Way staff gave Sally food, warm clothing, and a blanket and connected her with a local domestic violence shelter. Shiawassee United Way was there to provide for Sally’s basic needs and get her on a path for a more positive way of life.


Bethany wanted to make sure all children had the chance to better their reading skills. She conducted a book drive for Shiawassee United Way’s literacy program. Lucy involved her school, church, Facebook friends, and community. Due to her efforts, she even received book donations from people outside the United States! Because of Lucy’s advocacy efforts, Shiawassee United Way will be able to reduce barriers to educational success.


“Michael” was a homeless man in need of shelter. Shiawassee United Way staff were able to provide him with food and connections to local agencies that could help him secure housing. Two months later, he returned to ask if there were agencies that assisted with finding employment. Michael was given the tools he needed in a time of crisis so that he could move from poverty to a stable, successful existence.


Beverly came to Shiawassee United Way for food. Her face was severely bruised, and one of her daughters was crying. The family said they had left a violent home. Shiawassee United Way staff connected the family with a local domestic violence shelter. That day, they received food and a chance for a new life.


James was undergoing cancer treatment. His insurance co-pays left him without any money to buy food despite the fact that he had a job. He was glad that he gave in the past to Shiawassee United Way through his worksite campaign so that there were Hunger Network pantries close to his home where he could receive food each week until he was through with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.


Susan was overwhelmed and depressed. Her parents had lost their jobs, and Susan wore leg braces. She met a Girl Scout representative at school who discussed that every girl is accepted for her own unique talents. Susan’s mother was concerned that the family would not be able to afford expenses associated with Girl Scouting. Using funds awarded by Shiawassee United Way, Girl Scouts-Heart of Michigan Council was able to cover membership fees for both Susan and her mother as well as Susan’s other project and activity fees. Years later, her mom became a troop leader, and Susan experienced a great improvement in her self-confidence.