Community Impact Stories

Power of the Purse Grants Impact video

Community Impact Stories

Below you will hear from those whose lives have been impacted by the giving many of you do to the United Way of DeKalb County.  The funds donated to United Way allows us to support our 18 Partner Agencies, over 20 other charitable organizations serving DeKalb County, the My United Way 2-1-1 information and referral service, our annual Day of Caring, the Ramp It Up program, our Let’s Talk Early Learning Initiative, Kindergarten Countdown Camps, our Women’s Leadership Council, and many other programs that support health, education, and financial stability in our community.


DeKalb County Council on Aging

Twice a week, DART travels to Butler to pick up Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is a wheelchair bound resident at the Laurels of DeKalb. DART is able to give him the opportunity to visit his home in Auburn to spend time with his wife. Mrs. Jones is awaiting an operation and is unable to drive to Laurels to spend time with her husband. Without the DeKalb County Council on Aging's DART Program, this weekly connection could not be made. Mr. and Mrs. Jones continually express their appreciation for this opportunity!

Cancer Services

Sue was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 65.  Unfortunately, this began her second battle with cancer. Soon after this second diagnosis, Sue's daughter brought her to Cancer Services to meet Karen, a Client Advocate.  Sue was able to meet with Karen on a regular basis to obtain assistance with finances, counseling, and emotional support for her and her family.  They were also able to help them cope with the difficult side effects associated with cancer.

GKB Head Start

Kate is a foster mother who has had many children in Head Start.  The children attending Head Start are given and encouraged to reach many goals at school and at home.  Head Start provides learning opportunities for parents that provide them with information on effective parenting.  They work with families to become a team in order to provide the children an opportunity to become a productive part of society.   Kate says, "All of these opportunities make a transition from her home to the family home smooth and healthy for the child". 


RISE clients are now given an opportunity to be hired employees with a local manufacturing company.  At first, the local company provided six clients the opportunity to work on a packing line three days a week.  This company was impressed with the performance of these clients and offered three of them a permanent position with their company.  The manufacturing company has changed their hiring policy.  They are no longer hiring through temporary agencies but exclusively hiring RISE clients direct. 


Serenity House

Matt, a past resident of Serenity House, is thankful for the tools he was taught while living at Serenity House.  Matt suffered from alcoholism and had countless run-ins with the law.  Serenity House was able to teach Matt spiritual tools needed in order to live a clean and sober life, they helped him become a productive member of society and the father he is today.  Matt, now married and the father of two sons, is thankful for finding Serenity House and learning the life tools so his sons will never know the man who suffered from abusing alcohol.

St. Martin's

In 2014, the United Way of DeKalb County awarded more than $44,000 to various organizations serving DeKalb County citizens through Power of the Purse and Community Impact Grants. These grants funded projects from cribs and car seats for expectant moms at DeKalb Pregnancy Center to an elliptical machine for clients of DeKalb County Council on Aging and all the stages of life in-between! St. Martin’s Healthcare was awarded a grant for three Women’s Health Days through the Power of the Purse. During Women’s Health Days, medical professionals provided 271 mammograms, pap smears, and other exams for low-income women to prevent and treat disease. When Francine's Friends mobile unit was scheduled to be at St Martin's in February 2014, the staff mentioned to Jenny, a patient since 2012, that she should take the opportunity for a checkup. This mammogram led to a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis. Jenny has since had a double mastectomy and continues the recovery process with an optimistic outlook. She is grateful to St. Martin's staff and considers them great friends!