Posted by Chris Anderson on Nov 25, 2019
Pictured (l to r):  Amy Rohler, Becky Robbins, Cheri Krull and Cynde Johnson
Becky Robbins introduced Amy Rohler – Rotarian and Executive Director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.  Amy has been the Executive Director for close to 2 years and has already made an impact on our community.  Amy was previously the Executive Director at Community Helping Hands.  
Amy began her presentation speaking about St. Susans.  Bonnie Scott-Sleight was scheduled to be our speaker, but she fell ill and could not be with us today.  Amy spent 8 years at the Gateway Center.  St. Susan’s is open 365 days per year and is a challenging place to run because their revenue comes from grants and fundraisers.  They truly are an important service provider in our community.  
Before Amy started her presentation, she made sure to give special thanks to Cynde Johnson – Marketing and Resource Development Coordinator for the United Way who was in attendance to assist Amy with the presentation.   
Amy mentioned that the Rotary presentation will be her 67th presentation for the United Way Campaign this year.  Wow!  The United Way funds a total of 30 programs. Each agency provides data every 6 months to the United Way which helps keep funders aware of the programs and where the allocation money is being spent.  
The United Way is a big proponent of collective impact.  They want everyone to be moving in the same direction and the same way.  In fact, many Rotarians have been on the United Way board or on the allocations committee, so they are keenly aware of the collective impact of the organization.  
There are very strategic decisions made about what gets funded.  There are very hard decisions to make.  United Way helps a lot of individuals in poverty but they also help working families.  Examples include scholarships for 4H. 
United Way believes 4H is a great leadership tool for kids who may become leaders of tomorrow.  It ties back into the collective impact on the community.  Working families may not need govt assistance, but need a small assist with getting back on track.  
All of us can benefit from a United Way program or may know someone who has gotten help.  
Amy also expanded on 211 – you can now call and text to this number to get help and supports.  211 connects you with local support services.  A trained operator takes the phone call and connects the person to the needed supports.  #1 call is about housing!  
United Way is a “backbone agency.”  Key to making change is people working together.  The community must align resources and work together for a better community.  This is the most valuable thing that United Way does.  
The bulk of the United Way funding comes from a lot of people giving a little bit out of their paycheck at different businesses in the community.  Sometimes the people who have struggled the most are the biggest donors.  This community really steps up!
Amy then showed a video to the club that highlighted the UWAY. If you missed the meeting, you can view the video here: