United Way Involvement in the Community
United Way in partnership with Catholic Charities Financial & Housing Counseling, Tri-CAP, MN Job Service and LSS Financial Counseling have been working together on a financial coaches project to train community members on a Financial Literacy curriculum geared towards helping individuals take control of their finances to achieve financial stability. In September 2010, the planning committee recruited 64 community leaders to attended a 2-day training to serve as financial coaches.
Financial coaches are trained on a curriculum developed by LSS Financial Counseling entitled ‘Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy'. The curriculum was developed for use by agencies that serve low-income individuals and families, to teach economic empowerment skills and financial knowledge using different learning methods. The curriculum has been used to train over 1,200 front-line employees throughout the state of Minnesota. The curriculum is broken into four key areas 1) Budgeting to Create Savings, 2) Debt Reduction & Asset Building, 3) Building a Good Credit Rating and 4) Consumer Protection & Financial Institutions.
Each trained financial coach is challenged to share information from this curriculum with a minimum of 20 individuals to help increase their knowledge and skills related to financial literacy to help consumers make educated financial decisions. The financial coaches project is made possible thanks to generous donations from Bremer Bank, First National Bank of Cold Spring, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, ING DIRECT, Xcel Energy and Tri-CAP ARRA funds.
Anyone interested in getting connected to financial coaches or having this information shared within your organization should contact Christine Midthun, United Way of Central Minnesota at (320) 229-3510 or email@example.com
St. Cloud Area Human Service Council
United Way of Central Minnesota serves as the home-base for the St. Cloud Area Human Service Council. This is an active membership organization that improves the ability of local human services providers to respond to changing and growing needs through education, cooperative efforts and awareness of resources. As of 2009, fifty-three local human services organizations, school districts, funders, and government organizations are members.
Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday, every other month, 8 - 10 a.m. at varying locations throughout the St. Cloud area. Agendas include network opportunities, brief Council business meeting and educational programs on current issues and leadership development. Recent programs have included: changing demographics, mental health issues, affordable housing, grief and loss issues, domestic abuse and violence prevention, chemical dependency, etc … At every meeting there is an opportunity to update other attendees about new developments or efforts within your organization. One of the benefits of being a member is the year-round regular communication through email and meetings about other trainings in the community, human service position openings, and developments within organizations that are important for all human service providers to know. The Council also invests in staff/volunteer training videos that are available on loan at no cost to members. These are available by calling United Way 2-1-1.
There is also an active public policy committee of the Council which works to raise awareness of members about the statewide budgeting and legislative process and how to educate elected officials about services and needs of your consumers. Trainings have been held in partnership with the MN Council of Non-Profits. Forums have been held with candidates and elected officials.
A leadership committee of elected Council officers organize the meetings and plan programming.
Click here for a membership form.
For information contact Betty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-252-0227.
Warrior to Citizen initiative in Central Minnesota
The Warrior to Citizen local planning team’s main goal is to engage community members in support of troops and their families.
- Increase community understanding and awareness of the day-to-day issues and challenges faced by veterans and their families
- Provide targeted training and education through collaborative efforts regarding the positive actions that employers, educators, human services and health care providers and government entities can take to support veterans and their families
- Help ensure access to services for veterans and their families
More than30 different organizations and many individuals have been active on the Warrior to Citizen planning team including United Way of Central Minnesota, the VA Medical Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota, MN Work Force Center, Mayors of St. Cloud and Sartell, STARS for Children’s Mental Health, Child Care Choices, Catholic Charities, Independent Lifestyles, American Red Cross, veterans’ organizations, family members of troops, veterans, faith communities the list goes on ….
More than 300 local community members have participated in educational and awareness building sessions held in 2007 and 2008. The local initiative was kicked off by Senator Tarryl Clark. The Warrior to Citizen planning team is currently focused on helping our local cities become Yellow Ribbon communities, demonstrating their commitment.
Click here for additional resources.
Local community members are invited to become involved. Contact: Betty at email@example.com or 320-252-0227.
Each year, United Way of Central Minnesota convenes local human service providers who provide special help over the holiday season: toys, food, clothing and household items for individuals and families who are struggling financially. These providers work together to help ensure that available services reach the people who need this help and open up opportunities for donors (individuals, families and companies) to contribute. Catholic Charities, CROSS Center, Anna Maries Alliance, county social services, and The Salvation Army are among the organizations involved.
In addition, United Way 2-1-1 Community Help Line staff and volunteers compile a listing of all providers of holiday giving programs throughout the 8 county United Way 2-1-1 service area. This is distributed to human service providers to assist with referrals of people requesting help.
Free Tax Preparation Sites and Earned Income Tax Credit awareness
Trained and certified volunteers assist hundreds of local households prepare and submit their tax forms. This is done through AccountAbility Minnesota and local community partners who provide sites: St. Cloud Technical College, Falcon National Bank in Foley, The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.
United Way of Central Minnesota helps in recruitment of volunteers and promotion of the free tax sites which has substantially increased use of the sites and Earned Income tax refunds back into our Central Minnesota communities. The increase in number of households using the tax sites last year was 36%.
AARP also operates a free tax preparation site at Whitney Senior Center.
For more information, contact the United Way 2-1-1 Community Help Line by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-543-7709.
St. Cloud Area Volunteer Coordinators (SCAVC)
St. Cloud Area Volunteer Coordinators (SCAVC) is a local membership organization composed of people from community organizations and agencies in the greater St. Cloud Area who recruit and support volunteers. SCAVC’s mission is building the profession and promoting volunteerism. United Way of Central Minnesota and many other area non-profits are active members. Meetings are held 10 times annually on the 3rd Tuesday, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at varying locations. Programs and presenters focus on volunteer management, trends, community issues and resources. Individual and organizational memberships are available at a very reasonable annual fee. A membership application is available on the SCAVC website. If you are in the field of volunteer management, participation in this organization is recommended as a means of connecting with your professional peers, building on your skills and community connections.
St. Cloud Area Volunteer Coordinators
P.O. Box 95
St. Cloud, MN 56301-0095
For additional information on SCAVC, contact Mary Krippner, United Way Community Volunteer Coordinator, at (320) 252-0227.
SCAVC is affiliated with the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA). Members of SCAVC receive a discounted membership rate when joining MAVA.www.mavanetwork.org