GRANGER TWP. — United Way of Medina County honored partners and donors Wednesday at its annual meeting.
“It’s time for us to thank people, to recognize people,” United Way CEO Cheryl Parzych said at the agency’s annual meeting at the Lodge at Allardale.
“It’s really to reflect what we’ve all done together this past year and then to think about were we’re headed … and to keep people together.
Drew Liebrecht of 3M, a global innovation company with a branch in Medina, accepted the Workplace Campaign Award on behalf of his company.
The Business Partner of the Year award was presented to Jamie Marks, Jenny McPherson and Steve Allison of Fire-Dex, based in Medina, and Member of the Year award was given to United Way volunteer Deb Armenta, of Medina.
Following the awards presentations, members highlighted programs United Way has helped this year.
Debbie Boehmke, United Way’s Employing Medina County program manager, said the organization supported transitional housing such as the Promise Place and Faith House in Medina, both of which are operated by St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church and maintained by church member Jim Frame.
These facilities provide housing for families who are nearing the poverty level and need help getting back on their feet.
United Way also helped to fund the Summer Reinforcement program in the county that provides learning opportunities for students during the summer.
This school year, United Way will begin its Wraparound Initiative at Garfield Elementary School in Medina.
“The newest thing that we have … is the program at Garfield School. It’s called a wraparound model, and all that means is that, for youngsters in need, they have social service needs, that we have someone there on-site that reaches through to them,” Parzych said.
In a previous Gazette story, Parzych explained the Wraparound Initiative will fund an agency that will assist in hiring a coordinator with experience in early education and social services. That person will be a liaison between students and other social service agencies.
She said the more time teachers spend worrying about their students, the less time they have to prepare to teach them. She said 70 percent of students at Garfield qualify for free and reduced lunches.
Support for United Way comes from various sources, including local business owners, who value helping others and want to set an example in the community, Parzych said.
For more information about United Way, visit www.unitedwaymedina.org.