United Way of Ashland County funds Associated Charities, among others
Since 1910, Associated Charities has served the Ashland community. United Way of Ashland County funding enables the nonprofit to provide relief for necessities such as life-sustaining medications, diapers and toiletries.

The current campaign, with a goal of $850,000, will fund 15 partner agencies and 26 of their programs. As of Dec. 10, United Way had raised $559,000, about 65% of the goal, Schiemann said.

There is no hard stop to the ongoing campaign, although Schiemann expects (based on years past) that most funds will come in before the new year. Private donors Bob and Jan Archer added an additional incentive this year. If United Way secures $750,000 in pledges by Dec. 15, the Archer’s will donate $100,000.

The groups that will receive the funding in 2022 include: Ashland Parenting Plus, Associated Charities, Ashland County Cancer, ACCESS, Council on Aging, ACCADA, Children’s Advocacy Center, the Y, Salvation Army Kroc Center, Olive Tree Care, American Red Cross Heartland, Kidney Foundation of Ohio, Hospice of North Central Ohio, Ashland Christian Health Center and Appleseed Community Mental Health.

United Way funds are typically one of a few funding streams for the aforementioned groups.

Appleseed Mental Health, for example, will use the forthcoming funds to support three of its programs, executive director Jerry Strausbaugh said.

One of those programs is Safe Haven, which provides prevention, intervention, support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence. United Way funds support approximately 10% of this program’s cost.

United Way helps fund half of Appleseed’s Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids Program, which is a training program for parents of preschool-aged youth. Through lessons and resources, parents learn how to develop their children’s social and emotional well-being, oral language skills and motor development.

“We’re seeing more and more needs in crisis kinds of services, that’s certainly growing,” Strausbaugh said, specifically mentioning childhood anxiety, anger issues and suicidal ideation.

With adult services, Strausbaugh said Appleseed has increasingly seen cases of concurrent substance abuse and mental health issues.

Appleseed Mental Health has a decades-long partnership with United Way, whereas others partner agencies have been added in recent years, such as the Children’s Advocacy Center, Schiemann said.

“If we see that there’s something that’s increasing in the community, something that’s really a high need, then we really try to pivot to meet that so things aren’t static,” Schiemann said. “Because if it was just static, it’s not really being innovative. It’s definitely not being strategic with dollars. And we want to make sure that we are placing donations in the highest and best use for people in the community.”

Each of United Way’s partner agencies have to submit applications detailing funding use, Schiemann said.

As a result of last year’s campaign, people in Ashland County were served 21,646 times by partner agencies, a 24% increase in service from 2019. People were living in poverty 13,381 of those times.

Last year’s funds had the highest usage in Ashland, Loudonville, Perrysville, Polk, and Sullivan, but were used across all zip codes in Ashland County. While every age was also served, adults ages 31-64 were served the most, followed closely by children (newborn to 18 years of age). Additionally, United Way’s partner agencies served 100 veterans.