Stanford hears how Heart of Kentucky United Way is helping Lincoln County

Published 6:13 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

STANFORD – Heart of Kentucky United Way provides Lincoln County and surrounding areas with a multitude of programs that benefit the community. 

The Stanford City Council heard an annual update from Stephanie Blevins, executive director of Heart of Kentucky United Way, during the council’s Feb. 8 meeting. 

Heart of Kentucky United Way does not receive any state or federal funding and is completely donation-based, Blevins said. 

Email newsletter signup

“We fund over 42 different programs in our communities and if it weren’t for United Way, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) would not be here in Lincoln County. The Salvation Army would not have come to Lincoln County. We help fund the Lincoln County Senior Citizens Center. We have VIPS which is Visual Impaired Preschool Services here in Lincoln County,” Blevins said. “A lot of these that you see are specifically for Lincoln County. So I just wanted you to know what United Way is doing in Lincoln County.”  

The organization has many goals when it comes to helping the communities it serves. 

“We have two goals in education: one that kids are ready to enter school ready to learn; one that once they graduate, they can be college, career and life ready,” Blevins said. “We want people to have income that supports themselves and we want them to be healthy.” 

Blevins said one program that she is very excited about is working with a group of 10 women, from Boyle, Lincoln and Mercer counties. Three of the women are from Lincoln County.

“…that have either just given birth or have given birth in the last six months. All of these three women are from generational poverty,” she said. “The goal of the 16-week program is to help them not only know what resources are available to them but help them move to more self-sustainability. I can’t tell you how excited we are about that program. We’ve had great success.” 

Heart of Kentucky United Way hosts several fundraising events each year, one of which is held in Lincoln County. 

YAKCOE is an event held at Cedar Creek Lake which features a scavenger hunt in kayaks and canoes. Participants hunt for hidden treasures to win tickets for door prizes and kayak for a great cause. This year’s YAKCOE event is scheduled for July 19. 

“This year we pulled from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, people came in to participate in this fundraising event,” Blevins said. “We give them a packet which has all kinds of places to eat in Lincoln County, things to do in Lincoln County, so thank you for your support in that event.” 

Another large event hosted in each county is the Day of Caring. 

“That is in September. Anything that we can do for our community, we bring volunteers, we have literally hundreds of volunteers that day so any kind of community beautification that we can do, anything to work with the schools. We’ve done the cemetery, we’ve done all kinds of projects around town, too,” she said. 

Blevins said 99 cents of every $1 that is donated stays within the four communities that the organization serves. 

“Only one penny goes to United Way Worldwide from every dollar and that goes to help national and international disasters. So not only are we making a difference locally but all of our pennies combined with all the United Ways across the country are making a difference within our country,” she said. 

Blevins invited council members to fill out a survey of opinions, ideas and thoughts on current programs. 

Mayor Dalton Miller thanked Blevins, saying he has seen the impact the organization has made over the years. 

Council member Eddie Carter said the group has done a lot of work at Logan Hubble Park in past years that he appreciates. 

“I know it’s been a great help,” he said. 

Thanks to United Way, last year 117 clients utilized transportation to doctor’s appointments, grocery, personal errands or to a center for meals; 147 victims improved their safety when fleeing/attempting to flee intimate partner abuse; increased student success in K-3 through individualized assessment and programming; three children with special needs, birth to three, made “good” to “significant” progress towards their developmental milestones; 512 low income domestic violence victims received legal counsel and representation in court to insure their safety; 301 senior citizens received hot, breakfast box/lunch box, home delivered and/or emergency shelf meals 85 number of GED diplomas were earned; and 29 children were given safe placements. 

In other business, the council:

  • approved a first reading of a resolution in reference to Withers Court; 
  • approved the appointment of Bridget Gilliland to the Lincoln County Ambulance Board; 
  • held a discussion about roads to be resurfaced and invited the public to comment regarding the project and priorities for use of tax monies for road and bridge purposes. Mayor Dalton Miller said he identified the following roads: Cut Off Street, Anderson Heights, Herndon Avenue, Spring Valley Drive, Harmon Heights and Darst Street if there is enough money available. 

“We’re going to ask that each street have a dollar figure to it and we will maximize our dollars and our street coverage based on that,” Miller said. The city has $151,000 to be used for road and bridge purposes. 

  • Miller provided the council with an overview of changes to the city’s personnel handbook including increasing sick time for employees, the amount of vacation that can carry over each year, and the requirement to call a company nurse on the injury hotline if you are injured at work. 
  • Miller said a new planned unit development is going to be off of Betsy Lane and the city is going to extend Betsy Lane around to High Street and make it a thoroughfare, which will make it safer in the winter time. In order to do any work on state roads such as U.S. 150, a study has to be completed.