Success Stories

The dollars you donate to the United Way of Williams County help real people in our communities.

These success stories will show you how people are helped with your generosity.  Please note that the names have been changed to protect their identities.

Summer recreation program helps mentally handicapped in our county

The Williams County Association for the Mentally Handicapped, with the help of funding from the Williams County United Way, is able to offer a group of consumers the opportunity to travel out of state for three to four days. Most of these consumers do not get the chance to leave the state of Ohio let alone Bryan, so the association thought most of them would be excited to participate on this trip.

The summer recreation program offers a vacation to individuals that would not otherwise be able to afford to take one. It allows the consumers the opportunity to take time away from work and peers and enjoy recreational and social opportunities that are not usually offered to them. It also gives family members respite time while away from their loved ones.

The group makes a journey on a chartered bus and even has their own escort from Evelyn’s Excursions. The Association has planned these trips the last five summers for the group. The number of participants continues to increase yearly and nothing but positive feedback is received from the surveys.

Over the last five summers the group has traveled to Lancaster/Hershey, Pennsylvania, Pigeon Forge and Memphis Tennessee, the Wisconsin Dells and Niagara Falls. All but one of these destinations was suggested by several of the consumers on their survey. They have had the opportunity to visit a variety of popular venues while vacationing to these destinations. Each and every one of them enjoys the time they spend away from home and look forward to the annual summer trip.

Red Cross volunteers help when disasters happen

The American Red Cross of NE Indiana, Williams County Branch has had a very good year.  This year we served many families needing immediate help after disasters just like we have in the past but this year has been different.  Our success this year has been in the number of residents wanting to become disaster volunteers and following through with the classes needed to fulfill the requirements set out by the American Red Cross.  These classes are developed to assure each volunteer has the necessary tools to do the job even in some of the most unlikely situations.

When disasters happen, as you have seen throughout the United States during the past few years, shelters are needed to be opened and manned.  Williams County has many facilities which we have agreements with to be used as a shelter and therefore our local volunteers who have been trained would be ready to greet the residents who have been displaced from their homes.  They not only open a shelter but also organize meals and a place to sleep for disaster victims.

Now these volunteers are not just trained to work in our local area, we have had many of our residents actually work in some of the larger national disasters.  A few of these disasters were 911, California Wildfires, Katrina and various other hurricanes.  At this time, we have a volunteer who is driving the Emergency Response Vehicle delivering meals to residents after Hurricane Sandy.

We have been very pleased with the increased interest in volunteering for our disaster team in Williams County but we can always use more people who have the time and interest to take these classes so that our County will be even better prepared.  If you would like more information, please give our office a call at 419-636-3449.

“Lori” helped by H.E.L.P.

"Lori," a pregnant mother with 2 toddlers called  H.E.L.P. on Friday morning and asked for assistance with getting her water turned back on.  After confirming with the utility the amount of the bill and the reconnect fee, payment was promised and her water was turned back on that very afternoon.

“Diana” finds a safe place at the House of Ruth

"Diana" and her three young daughters came to the House of Ruth from Williams County, to get away from an abusive boyfriend. Diana told the staff she was a very motivated person and she planned to do what she had to so she and her children would be safe.

A couple of weeks after entering the shelter, Diana went out with a friend and came back with a job. She told the staff she had also found housing that day, which would be walking distance of her job.

Diana stayed in the shelter as she secured household items and child care with referrals from the House of Ruth. While in shelter, Diana attended the HUGS (Healthy Understanding, Growth and Support) group and stated that she felt it really helped her understand what she had been through.

Diana now has a better paying job and a vehicle, and still appreciates all that was done for her while in the shelter, and knowing that she can contact the staff for help, even after she had left.

Cancer Assistance advocates for “Lauren”

"Lauren" has been helped by Cancer Assistance of Williams County since March of 2012. CAWC helped her with financial assistance for immediate medical bills, but also assisted getting her insurance coverage.

She had never been exposed to the Medicaid system, and needed the advocacy provided by CAWC to help her understand and get the right paperwork in. CAWC also negotiated with the medical providers to lower her balance.

In working with Cancer Assistance, Lauren gained confidence and a voice.

“Paul’s” life transformed by Potter’s Hands Restoration Center

"Paul" is a forty-something gentleman who came to Potter's Hands Restoration Center directly from the hospital. He had just been released after spending two weeks detoxing from alcohol poisoning. He has had a problem with alcohol abuse and addiction most of his adult life.

"Paul" had tried various other rehabilitation facilities in the past and had limited but not sustaining success. Through the program at Potter’s Hands Restoration Center, he has been able to transform his life. Where he once felt helpless about his addiction and situation in life, he has found a sustainable hope in God. His life has been transformed. Unworthiness, shame and unforgiveness have fallen away and are replaced with a renewed joy, happiness, peace and purpose for living.

He is currently working full time at a job he likes, has a place of his own and is giving back to the church and community in which he lives. A big thank you to United Way and all the donors. You are making a difference in the lives around you!!