United Way of Mifflin-Juniata
 2009 MLK 2
Give Advocate Volunteer
Nearly one month after kicking off the 2010 "LIVE UNITED" campaign, the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata has seen positive movement toward a $596,500 goal.

At the time of this newsletter's release, $178,950 or 30% of the goal has been raised. Both Mifflin and Juniata Campaign Ambassadors are pleased with this year's United Way campaign progress. 
2009 MLK 2The Mifflin County Campaign Ambassadors are Dick and Linda Calkins, of Lewistown.  Currently semi-retired, they owned and operated Calkins Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Subaru.  Mark Partner, of Nationwide Insurance and Financial - The Partner Agency, has stepped up as the Juniata County Campaign Ambassador.  The 2010 Campaign Ambassadors are active citizens within the Mifflin-Juniata area.  Look for them as they help us promote our campaign!
By supporting United Way, donors are giving to 19 different agencies at once.  United Way dollars provide utility and grocery help, reading programs at the libraries, after school activities, scout programs, help for fire victims and victims of domestic violence, just to note a few programs United Way supports.
This year, a new incentive has been introduced to encourage residential donors or people who do not have the option to participate in payroll deduction in the workplace.  When people make their contribution by November 15, 2009, they will be entered into a drawing to win one of three sponsored prizes:
  • Contributions of $25-$49.99 - a $50 gas card from Snedeker Energy
  • Contributions of $50-$99.99 - a $100 gift card from Walmart
  • Contributions over $100 -  a $200 grocery card from Weis Market

The first Agency Spotlight focuses on the Coalition of HOPES (Help Offering People Essential Services).  Formerly known as the Energy Bank, HOPES is working hard to prepare for the cold winter season.

What is your mission and how do you work to accomplish it?

The Coalition of HOPES is a community partnership serving Mifflin and Juniata counties by working together to meet the needs of those in crisis and help them on the road to self-sufficiency.  HOPES works to streamline the assistance seeking process for utilities, food, shelter, and other basic needs by providing a single point of contact.  The spirit of HOPES is to offer appropriate help without enabling system dependency. Clients participate in self-sufficiency case management sessions, designed to assist with budgeting and finding employment, if able.
Can you share a success story?
Betty (name changed) had her first case management session in February of 2008.  She was overspending her budget by $61/mth, not knowing how she would buy fuel.  HOPES staff explained that income had to increase and/or expenses decrease.  The chances of Betty increasing her income were slim because of health issues, and her rent consumed over half of her income.  HOPES helped Betty take steps to become more self-sufficient.  She applied for and now receives the benefits of Section 8 housing.  She also applied for PCAP and qualified for a reduced rate for her electricity.  Betty purchased 100 gallons of fuel oil with her rent rebate and set up a budget plan with her oil provider.  She now keeps her thermostat at a lower setting and dresses in layers to conserve heat.  She also walks to town when she can and makes her trips count to reduce costs of gasoline.  Betty paid her credit card in full and stretches her dollars by buying groceries on sale and utilizing local food pantries and Angel Food Ministries.  As of October 2008, Betty now has $178/mth spare income after paying $125/mth toward fuel oil.  Betty's goal is to not ask for financial assistance in the future and to remain self-sufficient.
How does United Way funding affect your organization and how can people help you succeed?
United Way funding supports the Coalition of HOPES in two ways.  First, it allows the two case managers to work full time, therefore shortening the wait time of people needing case management services.  The United Way also provides the funds for "direct services."  This money is allotted for people who do not qualify for assistance from any other program.  HOPES also receives funding from state and federal sources, like the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), Housing Assistance Program (HAP), and Community Service Block Grant (CSBG).  Donations from churches and individuals also play a pivotal role in the success of this program.  Donations can be made to the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, designated to the Coalition of HOPES.
Volunteer for the Tax Season!
Although the tax season doesn't start for another 3 months, we are already looking for volunteers for the VITA program.  VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, volunteers are trained by the IRS to complete simple tax returns for low-income workers and families, as well as elderly, disabled, and English-as-a-second-language tax-payers.  The training allows the volunteers to learn about beneficial tax credits, like EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) and CTC (Child Tax Credit).  The entire program is free for the clients, so even if they don't receive any credits or refunds, at least they save the cost of a paid tax-preparer.

Last year, we managed to help over 110 clients save over $117,000 in refunds and tax credits with just 4 volunteer tax preparers!  Imagine what we could do with 8 volunteers! For more information or to request a volunteer application, contact Holly at 248-9636 or vista@mjunitedway.org.
You can LIVE UNITED by helping us spread the word. Imagine how many people we could reach if everyone forwards this to five people!

Tell Your Friends

You can LIVE UNITED by lending a hand to those who need one.  Contact the United Way office to offer your help!

Take Action

$1 Ladies Jeans
Every Monday in October
New Shelter Thrift Shop

Kids Cafe Afterschool

Mon-Thurs, 3:15pm - 5:00pm
LUMINA Center, Lewistown
*grades 1-12 welcome, supper served everyday*

Fri & Sat, 7pm - 9pm
LUMINA Center, Lewistown

SONshine Club
Every other Tues, 6:30pm - 8pm
LUMINA Center, Lewistown
*ages 6-14*

Generation Gutz
2nd Thurs/Month, 6:30pm - 8pm
LUMINA Center, Lewistown
*ages 12-18*

Lights On Afterschool Carnival

Oct 22, 6:30pm - 8pm
LUMINA Center, Lewistown
*kids and parents welcome*

Blood Drive
Oct 26, 10am - 3pm
Wal-Mart, Lewistown

Halloween Parade
Oct 28, 7pm

Blood Drive

Oct 29, 1pm - 6:30pm
Juniata Mennonite School

Halloween Safe Trick-or-Treat Night
Oct 30, 5pm - 7pm

Mifflin-Juniata Early Childhood Conference
Oct 31, 8am - 3pm
Cedar Grove Brethren Church, Mifflintown
*register by Oct 27*

Blood Drive
Oct 31, 9am - 2pm
Bethel AME Church, Lewistown

1/2-Priced Shoes
Every Monday in November
New Shelter Thrift Shop

Farm City Month

Daylight Savings Time ends
Nov 1
*turn clocks back 1 hour*

Book Sale
Nov 3 - Nov 7
Juniata County Library

Indoor Yard Sale
Nov 6, 8am - 2pm
ComPASS Center

Indoor Yard Sale
Nov 7, 8am - 12pm
ComPASS Center

Farm City Banquet
Nov 10, 6pm
Penn's Valley Christian Retreat, Ferguson Valley
*contact Juniata Valley Chamber of Commerce, 248-6713*

Happy Thanksgiving
Nov 26

1/2-Priced Outerwear
Every Monday in December
New Shelter Thrift Shop

Ice Festival
Dec 3-4
Downtown Lewistown

Kiwani Pancake Breakfast and Christmas Parade
Dec 5, 7am - 1pm
First United Methodist Church, Lewistown
*parade starts at 1pm*

For more events, visit our community calendar.

Have an event you would like us to feature?  Email Holly at vista@mjunitedway.org
United Way of Mifflin-Juniata                                                                                    (717) 248-9636 (Mifflin County)
13 E. 3rd St                                                                                                              (717) 436-0212 (Juniata County)
Lewistown, PA 17044                                                                                                                   (717) 248-5648 (fax)
                                                   United Way of America, All Rights Reserved