News Brief - August 26, 1999

United Way Needed Now More Than Ever

We've been hearing that the economy is at its best in years.

Yet, a mind-blowing four out of ten kids in Dayton live in poverty.

People in our community need our support now more than ever. With Dayton's poverty level more than twice the national average of 18%, the upcoming United Way campaign is crucial to ensuring 40% of our city's children don't sink deeper into the bog of helplessness.

United Way funded programs are expected to reach the outcomes we've helped them established for themselves. Thus, United Way is achieving real results in this community.

Montgomery County's unemployment rate is 4% - placing us fourth out of the ten largest Ohio Counties. Luckily we have programs that address these problems. Last year United Way programs:

  • Taught 1,044 disadvantaged adults how to complete a resume and job application.
  • Gave 815 disadvantaged or disabled adults the skills they needed to find and keep a job.

Montgomery County has a 5.56% teenage pregnancy rate. In 1998 our funded programs:

  • Taught nearly 200 low-income parents positive parenting skills.
  • Counseled 97 pregnant teens.
  • Helped 615 teens cope with the pressures of teen pregnancy/parenting.

The Artemis Center functions as a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. Still they have too many clients. In fact, four out of five of our inmates in prison, hail from homes where they experienced domestic violence. Now more than ever, families need help from United Way. Especially since children from violent homes are six times more likely to commit suicide. Last year some of our programs:

  • Linked 5,900 victims of domestic violence to services to increase their safety.
  • Provided a safe haven for 429 victims of domestic violence and their children.
  • Trained nearly 1,300 police, health care, and counseling professionals to improve services for victims of domestic violence.
  • Educated more than 2,700 high school and more than 3,400 junior high school students about how to have violence free relationships.

The Miami Valley Literacy Council is working to help some of the 40,000 illiterate adults living in our community. But they can't do it alone or without United Way's support. Last year our services:

  • Taught more than 280 adults how to read.

These statistics of need are staggering. Underneath a well-publicized growing economy, are people who need help. And they live minutes from you. Or, they may be you. We are proud that United Way is a leader and partner in improving the community for all of us.


The Man Running the Show

Q: Starting catcher for the Yankees or chamber work?
A: Chamber work.

Q: President of the United States or chamber work?
A: Chamber work.

There is no other job that Phil Parker would rather be doing than running the . He enjoys it that much.

Phil avers that his professional purpose is to build and nurture a positive business environment...a portion of that purpose is encouraging businesses to participate in the United Way Campaign. Phil is this year's General Campaign Chair.

His extensive knowledge of the business community is providing a unique approach to this year's campaign.

He is aware of the tremendous giving potential and he is adamant about broadening United Way's funding base. One of the avenues he sees as most important in accomplishing that is targeting the entrepreneurial businesses in the community. "That is where the wealth is," he says.

He also says reaching more people can be done easier through information technologies. Even, he says, if it means we have to step out to the edge of change. Phil constantly seeks to reinvent.

It's smart. And it's practical. Phil believes it is of the utmost importance to be a part of the prosperity and growth of not simply the business community but every part of the community.

But right now he knows there is much work to be done. He sees too many working people who are living below the poverty level right here in Dayton. "I'm no bleeding heart, my wife will tell you that," Phil says. "But I really do care about what happens in this community.

He admits he doesn't spend all of his waking moments contemplating social service issues, which is ultimately why the United Way is such an important piece of our community. For that reason, he trusts United Way as responsible stewards of his donation.

"Whenever I leave this community, no matter how I go out, I want to leave it better than I found it," he says.

We do know that if he leaves through retirement, chances are good he'll head to a fertile fishing basin in the Atlantic Ocean, where he'll patiently wait long hours for his beloved Bonefish, Snook, Tarpon. Originally from South Florida Phil enjoys numerous fishing trips every year. The most impressive of his spoils, though eventually returned to the water where they have a chance to survive, have been measured, and molded for posterity's sake. They are displayed in his office.

He simply loves fishing!

Which obviously begs the question&a lifetime of fishing in the Florida Keys or chamber work?

Phil insists, chamber work.

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United Way of the Greater Dayton Area
184 Salem Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45406
Voice: (937) 225-3001, Fax: (937) 225-3074