For the past 40 years, a nonprofit organization nestled on High Street in Waynesburg has contributed to the economic of Greene County. Greene County United Way is a catalyst for change, care and community, said MaChal Forbes, executive director of Greene County United Way.
Though many do not know of their existence, it is felt heavily by the 17 organizations that directly benefit from the United Way’s funding.
“We’re trying to get out there as much as possible. I think it’s hard to hit everybody all of the time. We’re trying our best,” Forbes said. “We work with 17 different human-service agencies that provide programs that are a necessity to anyone that is struggling.”
Greene County United Way has two main goals in the community: to bring people together to form solutions for challenges Greene County residents face and to help all of the residents in Greene County.
“Our main goal is to bring people together to solve big problems and critical issues. We support agencies and nonprofits that provide educational programs, after-school programs, summer programs…,” Forbes said.
The Salvation Army’s utility-assistant programs, Corner Cupboard Food Bank Pantry-Distribution Program, Bowlby Library’s summer reading programs, Catholic Charities pregnancy and parenting programs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters are just a few of the agencies and programs supported by Greene County United Way.
Forbes outlined the hope of Greene County United Way as it tackles comprehensive issues in the community.
“We financially support programs that are a necessity to people in our community, but really, above and beyond that, it is bringing the people together,” she said. “As we work together, not only do we solve past issues but current issues, we look to see what’s coming down the pipeline in the future to either try to create a solution before it gets here, or to be on top of it when it does.”
As a nonprofit, Greene County United Way receives a vast majority of its funding from community donations and place campaigns, as well as some fundraising.
“You can give two different ways,” Forbes said. “You can give to the United Way, and it goes into our community impact fund which is the money we then give back out to those 17 programs within the community. Or, you can also give through the United Way, and we will take that money that you designate to whatever charities and make sure that it’s distributed to them.”
Forbes said the United Way’s uniqueness stems from their three main priority areas: education, health and wellness, financial stability and emergency assistance, which gives them ample room to help people.
“What I can tell you is that I love my job; I truly love my job,” Forbes said. “I grew up in Greene County and I have lived here almost my whole life. It brings me such joy knowing I am helping people in my community and that by being a part of Greene County United Way I’m making this place better.”
To celebrate its legacy and impact, the United Way held a pig roast at Thistlethwaite Vineyard in Jefferson, Pennsylvania, this past Saturday. The event was open to the community and had live music, games, raffles, wine tasting and a portable s’mores bar.
Though Forbes holds a part-time position at Greene County United Way, she knows it is always a full-time position to care for those around you.
“I would hope that if somebody contacted us, whether we could help them directly or not, that they always knew we were a resource to those in need. We’ll be that shoulder to cry on if they need it. I would love for our legacy to be that there’s no judgement, everybody struggles at some time or another and when that time comes, they can call us.”