United Ways Come Together

Friday, February 12, 2021

United Way is about helping people and the challenges of the last year have demanded a new approach, a more ambitious vision.  As of January 2021, the United Way of Whitley & Kosciusko Counties has been formed as the two United Ways have come together with a mission to improve the lives of children and families across the region.

“We realized that the two organizations could do so much more together,” said Tammy Keirn, Chair of the Board of Directors.  “The two United Ways had been working closely for years, as we discovered we had so much in common.” In addition to a shared workforce, the region increasingly shares a strong live/play pattern.

The commonalities go deeper.  “The challenges our families face are real and complicated,” said Laura McDermott, Superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated Schools and a United Way Board member.  “This partnership gives United Way the muscle to make a difference for children.”

Two initiatives are hitting the ground running; Fill It Up and Read United.

  • Fill It Upis a monthly opportunity for community members to pick up a box from United Way and fill it with key items for children in need.
  • Read United is a digital effort connecting community volunteers with elementary school classrooms to read stories beginning in April.

Information about both initiatives can be found at www.unitedwaykosciusko.org.

The organization is led by Darren Bickel, who has been the President of the United Way of Kosciusko County since 2017 and has more than 20 years of United Way experience.  “I feel like the board members are really walking the walking.  They stepped up and found a way to be better stewards.  The future is bright,” said Bickel.

The business office for United Way of Whitley & Kosciusko Counties is located at 119 E. Center Street in Warsaw and the mailing address is PO Box 923 Warsaw, IN 46580.  The phone number is (574) 269-2592.  For any additional information, please go to www.unitedwaykosciusko.org