28: Ohio

United Way Programs Help Local Residents of All Ages

When Albert returned home after three months in jail, he had hoped to make a new start. But from the moment the senior citizen stepped foot in his front door, he found that his life had been upended in more ways than one.

His home had been broken into and burglarized. “It was a culture shock coming home after three months of staying in there, to nothing – to a house that’s been broken into,” said Albert. Everything of value was gone.

Dawn's Story

Dawn’s enthusiasm for life and her love of family and community is evident in all she does. But her journey to happiness hasn’t always been easy.

Dawn and her family depended on the Greater Dover Area New Philadelphia Food Pantry, a network partner of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, during difficult times. Little by little, they realized the pantry offered more than just food; it provided access to numerous local resources, and, most importantly, compassionate friendship.

A Wounded Warrior's Story

A combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, "Jake" witnessed unspeakable horror including an IED that left him wearing the blood and brains of a fellow soldier on his uniform. Experiencing panic attacks, chest pains, claustrophobia and sleeplessness, at first, Jake thought he was having a heart attack. Going to sick call and cleared of a heart condition, he returned to combat. While these episodes continued throughout the rest of his second tour and for years thereafter, he denied what was happening to him.

LaShondra's Story

LaShondra was in a physically, emotionally and sexually abusive relationship for years. Several times she left him, and then the relationship would start again and so would the abuse. LaShondra would even move to different apartments, but her abuser would always find her. When he did, he often would assault and rape her. Later she learned close friends and family would tell him where she was.

Changing a tire - EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION

John popped off the hubcap from the green sedan, revealing the tire's bolts underneath. As John continued, he entrusted a wrench to one of the boys watching, helping him remove them one by one. One day, these young boys may find themselves on the side of a road, needing to change a flat tire. And because of John, they'll know how.

As the lesson finishes, John and the boys talk about school and life as their moms spend time inside with their mentors at Empower, a program committed to come alongside single moms to make positive changes in their lives.