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What’s new with United Way? We’ve been hosting a series of Community Conversations across both Franklin and Ripley Counties.


UWFC realizes that we’ve all been through a lot these past few years. We’re finding out what matters most to people in today’s realities.


We call this approach “Turning Outward” because we are listening deeply to all kinds of populations so the community can help lead the solutions. Each conversation takes about 2 hours using thoroughly tested questions that can help us learn enough to take clear action.


People have been excited to be part of these conversations. They feel more hopeful, often more energized, knowing these important questions are being discussed.


We’re learning not just about their needs and challenges, but also what their aspirations are for their families, communities, and themselves. We want to work toward our hopes and dreams, not just address life’s challenges in a narrow way.


We see so many complex challenges that no one can solve alone. Once we have strong and current knowledge, we can make well-informed decisions about how we use United Way’s resources.


We expect to finish our conversations in October and share a report to the community in November featuring findings and common themes. We know some issues will require multiple steps and collaborations to make real progress. Between now and then we will work best fit of what the community aspires for itself and what challenges the United Way is best suited to address.


Here are some examples of findings so far:


People want a healthy community with thriving families, caring, and connected, with access to resources and opportunities. Some of the main concerns mentioned across multiple conversations include:

  • Affordable living

  • Access to resources

  • Skills and education

  • Cleaner and safe communities

  • Walkability

  • Healthy individuals (including mental health)

  • transportation


One specific concern to note, is the desire of access to services and those services be connected and work collaboratively.


These conversations go much deeper than a survey or using other ways to capture information. We call the community conversations findings and themes “public knowledge” because it is a privilege to hear people’s stories and we have a commitment to share what we are learning and put it to good use.


Stay tuned for more sharing of public knowledge as we continue to host additional conversations in both counties! If you’d like to host or participate in a conversation, please reach out!


To give to UWFC you can mail a check to PO Box 105 Brookville, IN 47012 or give securely online at the website

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