Audio: United Way of Grundy County launches campaign to support local organizations

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The United Way of Grundy County has launched its residential campaign to support nine local organizations.

Door hangers are being distributed in Trenton neighborhoods. These hangers contain a brochure about the United Way and an envelope for monetary donations to be sent to the organization.

Spokesperson Denise Hamilton highlights that the organizations associated with the United Way contribute to building stronger communities. The United Way, she mentions, unites people to ensure access to quality education, secure good jobs, and lead a healthy life.

Participating organizations in the United Way of Grundy County include the Grundy County Council on Aging at the North 65 Center and Green Hills Volunteers.

Karen Otto, the North 65 Center Administrator, shares that they have used United Way funds to purchase insulated bags for home-delivered meals.



On October 3rd, Otto reported that 90 meals were delivered within the Trenton city boundaries. The North 65 Center maintains a backup list of drivers should regular volunteers be unavailable. If drivers from the backup list cannot deliver, then center employees step in.

Otto notes that the center is currently seeking volunteers for routes, which typically take about an hour, from meal pick-up to return. Volunteers should arrive at the North 65 Center by 10:30 a.m. Additionally, Otto mentions that delivery clients are asked to leave their doors unlocked during this time for the drivers.



Green Hills Volunteers, previously known as the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, aids seniors in feeling essential and valued. Otto remarks that when the name changed to Green Hills Volunteers, the volunteering age requirement was lowered. Now, individuals 16 and older can volunteer.



Other beneficiaries of the United Way of Grundy County encompass the Grundy County Juvenile Office, Juvenile Court Diversion Program, Community Food Pantry of Grundy County, Trenton R-9 Parents as Teachers, University of Missouri Extension, Grundy County 4-H Council, and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri.

Joe MacDonald, another spokesperson for United Way, states that the Grundy County Juvenile Office serves youth across Grundy, Harrison, Mercer, and Putnam counties. They deal with child abuse, neglect, and relevant legal matters. Approximately 250 referrals for this juvenile office are directed to the circuit court, with about half coming from Grundy County itself.

The Juvenile Court Diversion Program offers a sanction-based system designed for first-time offenders who don’t respond to traditional intervention methods.

Hamilton reports that the juvenile court diversion program utilizes its United Way funds for multiple purposes like drug and alcohol classes, community service, electronic monitoring, and on-site drug testing. These funds also support online education for at-risk youth in the Third Judicial Circuit.

MacDonald, who represents the Community Food Pantry of Grundy County, notes its growth and expansion. The pantry primarily relies on the Second Harvest Community Food Bank of Saint Joseph. Networking with other pantries has been on the rise, promoting shared resources.



Both the Jamesport Produce Auction and Smithfield have contributed to the pantry.

The Community Food Pantry of Grundy County primarily uses its United Way funds to diversify its food offerings, catering to over 250 families monthly.

Six other organizations are active participants in the United Way of Grundy County: Green Hills Volunteers, Grundy County Council on Aging at the North 65 Center, Grundy County 4-H Council, University of Missouri Extension, Trenton R-9 Parents as Teachers, and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri.

Hamilton speaks about the Parents as Teachers program, emphasizing its role in fostering community growth and preparing children for school. The program serves 55 families with children aged five or younger. These funds are vital for promoting family and child development, enabling the purchase of books, and organizing activities.

Representing the University of Missouri Extension, Hamilton notes that the organization remains active at 810 Washington Street in Trenton, despite losing its office manager.



She elaborates on how United Way funds benefit these programs and community health.

The Grundy County 4-H Council comprises members from the county’s three 4-H clubs. The focus is on teaching leadership and life skills to children.

The Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri, serving around 50 girls and volunteers in Grundy County, utilize its United Way funds for training and support.

The United Way of Grundy County’s residential campaign is underway. Door hangers with brochures and donation envelopes are being distributed in Trenton neighborhoods. Hamilton encourages those who missed out to donate by sending contributions to Post Office Box 146, Trenton, Missouri 64683. While there’s no set donation target, Hamilton expresses gratitude for all contributions, adding that donations are tax-deductible.

Individuals interested in volunteering countywide with the United Way can contact Hamilton, MacDonald, or Otto.