United Way Works to Improve Health and Meet Basic Needs

When individuals are unable to meet their immediate needs, it is more difficult to focus on long-term goals. Whether it is a neighbor without health insurance, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, United Way recognizes that basic needs services are essential to the most vulnerable in our community and critical to getting people back on the road to self-sufficiency.

Success Stories

Martha, a resident of Hardin County, a full-time student at ECTC, a mother and wife, hadn’t been feeling well for some time. While her husband and son did have insurance, she did not. Unfortunately, she didn’t qualify for assistance and couldn’t afford the high premiums offered by her husband’s employer or on the healthcare exchange. After learning that she did qualify for assistance at the Community Health Clinic, Martha began seeing several volunteer physicians, eventually learning that she would require open heart surgery. A short time later she found herself in surgery having a triple by-pass, later learning that she had 70, 80 and 90 percent blockages. Martha is now in rehabilitation and is giving back to those that helped her by serving as a site VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) for the Community Health Clinic.

How We Help

Funded Programs

  • Community Health Clinic: $91,031.48 & VISTA Placement ($3,500)
  • Silverleaf: $35,000
  • Community Action- Senior Companion Program: $8,000
  • Meade Activity Center- Summer Camp: $8,000
  • Meade Activity Center- Youth Sports: $4,000
  • American Red Cross- Disaster Preparedness & Relief: $10,000
  • Feeding America Kentucky's Heartland- Hunger Relief Program: $35,000
  • Feeding America Kentucky's Heartland- Childhood Hunger Program: $42,000
  • Grayson Co. Alliance- Food Pantry: $55,000
  • Grayson Co. Ministerial Association- Financial Assitance: $10,000
  • Helping Hand of Hope- Emergency Assistance: $86,500
  • Magnolia Cumberland Presbyterian Church- Shepherd's Pie Food Pantry: $18,000
  • Meade Co. Angel Ministry- Christmas Assistance: $7,500
  • Grayson County Schools- Caneyville: $5,000
  • Springhaven Domestic Violence Program: $60,000

Resource Referrals

United Way is a centralized resource of nonprofit programs and services, and refers hundreds of people in crisis each year to agencies that can help meet their needs.  We are always working to organize existing resources in our community so we can make more efficient referrals.  Our resource guide is available online anytime to those in need or for use by other organizations that could find this information helpful.

Give a Day for Hunger

In a partnership between United Way, Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland, and HealthSouth Regional Lakeview Hospital, the Give A Day for Hunger initiative mobilizes hundreds of volunteers to fill bags full of food for children living in poverty in Hardin County. The Give a Day for Hunger initiative originated in 2014 from a then 10 year old student, Nate Jarboe, who came to United Way wondering what happened to his classmates who relied on food from the BackPack Program while school is not in session during spring and fall breaks. In 2015, over 352 volunteers joined together for the 3rd and 4th Annual Give a Day for Hunger initiative to provide Hardin County School students with an extra bag of food from the BackPack Program over spring and fall breaks. As a result, volunteers gave over 553 hours to fill 4,832 backpacks that ensured no students would go hungry.

Housing & Homelessness Coalition

Through our research into community needs over the last several years, we learned that our nearest homeless shelter in Louisville was not able to take individuals and families from our region as had been thought to be standard practice in the past. This new understanding led to the development of an organized interagency effort to provide a local solution for those facing homelessness during the winter, and develop a plan to serve these families throughout the year. Our AmeriCorps VISTA program was able to provide a full-time position to support these collective efforts. We are proud to know that our community has responded to this need by offering an emergency shelter program from December-February in partnership with multiple churches. To learn more about the Coalition's work contact United Way of Central Kentucky at (270) 737-6608.

Improving Access to Healthy Foods

In addition to funding the distribution of produce through Feeding America’s Farms to Foodbanks program, we have helped companies like Altec engage their employees in growing healthy fruits and vegetables for those in need. Altec’s Grow for Good initiative encouraged staff to plant extra seeds in the spring so additional produce could be developed through our partnership with Feeding America. This was an easy and low-cost way for more local residents to have better access to fresh foods they may not otherwise be able to afford.

Project United 2015

United Way took their premiere community-wide volunteer event Project United on the road for the first time to Grayson County to transform a vital organization in the community, the Grayson County Alliance. Over 40 volunteers from local businesses across the region gave the new Alliance facility a makeover. Volunteers gave 200 hours to refurbish the Alliance’s facility donating paint, supplies, décor, and other items at an estimated value of over $20,000! This new facility will support the Alliance’s efforts to offer more services such as Nutrition Workshops, which serve to teach families how to make healthy food choices. Last year alone, the Alliance’s Food Pantry served over 900 households (400 of those being children). 

“The generous gift means a longtime dream of housing our programs under one roof would finally be realized.” - Melissa Williams, Former Grayson County Alliance President

FamilyWize Prescription Savings Program

Do you or your co-workers need prescription medications that are not covered under their insurance, or have high co-pays or annual deductibles?  In a partnership between United Way and FamilyWize Community Services, United Way offers free discount cards to local families.  The cards are like coupons that can be used as much as you want, with 46% of the prescriptions filled through this program last year costing $15.00 or less. There’s even a Drug Price Lookup Tool provided free of charge on and via the free FamilyWize app. Just enter the name of their medication and zip code to see which local pharmacy has the best FamilyWize price prior to filling your prescription.  If your company would like to offer this benefit, we can provide free cards and materials to share with your employees.  Learn more about this program here or download your card today.

FamilyWize and United Way have partnered to help almost 10 million people save more than $1 billion on the prescription medications they need. This effort has helped improve the health and financial stability of individuals and families in our communities nationwide. For more information on this impact, check out this Health Impact Report.