How United Way of Summit & Medina Impacts The Community

Feb 26, 2024

At United Way of Summit & Medina, we do things differently. Our local, relationship-driven team works in, with, and for the community. We have Bold Goals for our community’s future and offer an ecosystem of direct services to get there. Donations to United Way of Summit & Medina stay with the community, going towards one-on-one and wraparound care that addresses the many barriers people face.

How We Meet The Needs Of Summit & Medina Counties

At United Way of Summit & Medina, our services are only impactful if they meet the practical needs of our communities. That is why we focus on having a strong relationship with our residents, ensuring we understand the barriers that keep them from safety, health, and success. We proudly offer a network of services that support their needs and provide them with a better future.


211 is a free and confidential phone line that community members can call when looking for support services. Our 211 call center is open 24/7 and is staffed by trained professionals ready to provide the caring conversation a resident may need. Whether they seek supplemental food and nutrition programs, prenatal care, or mental health support – United Way of Summit & Medina’s team is there.

Financial Counseling 

Through the Akron Financial Empowerment Center, we help local residents establish financial stability. This is done by giving them the support they need to budget and save, pay down debt and boost their credit scores. It is United Way of Summit & Medina’s pleasure to provide our community with access to financial counselors, tax preparation, and judgment-free financial empowerment.

Housing Services

Our Housing Services team coordinates access to homeless shelters, permanent supportive housing and rent assistance for community members in Summit and Medina County. Our case managers provide personalized services to those experiencing homelessness or facing eviction, providing the basic need of housing.

Tax Assistance

Community members with a household income of less than $64,000 can access free tax assistance thanks to our wonderful volunteers. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) brings in millions of dollars to the local community, dollars to help residents build their savings, reduce debt, and in return – invest in our community.

What Are Our Bold Goals?

Our Bold Goals are the focus of our work at United Way of Summit & Medina. They keep our eyes on what matters most and drive how we use our resources. We designed the following goals after witnessing what barriers our community members face. By 2028, we want to see our Bold Goals accomplished and the residents of Summit and Medina Counties on the path to success.

Ready For Success

Our first Bold Goal addresses preparing our youngest community members for success. We want to see 65% of Akron Public School 3rd graders at or above a 3rd-grade reading level. To reach this goal, we work closely with APS, hosting a handful of programs supporting Akron students’ literacy. This bold goal gets students on the right track early in their educational careers, setting them up to be productive community members.

Youth Success

Bold Goal number 2 addresses career readiness and has two parts. Regarding College and Career Readiness, we aim to see 90% of APS high schoolers graduating in 4 years, with 60% college or career-ready. Second, when considering Youth Opportunities and Success, we strive to see 60% of Akron youth employed or active in extracurriculars. This bold goal keeps our graduation rate up and ensures students are productive with their free time – two changes that will impact our communities in the long run!

Financial Empowerment

Our third Bold Goal is to empower 11,000 people in Summit County financially and 2,500 people in Medina County. To see these goals accomplished, we work with agencies that serve low- to moderate-income individuals, helping them move from living paycheck to paycheck and to financial stability. These programs can change the path of an entire community’s financial future, ensuring future generations are set up for continued success.

Health Equity

Our final Bold Goal focuses on health equity. By 2028, we want to see the black infant mortality rate in Summit County reduced to 6 per 1,000 live births. This objective is all about leveling the playing field for black pregnant women in our community. United Way provides women with case management services, housing stabilization services and addresses other barriers that they face.

How We’ve Already Made A Difference In Our Community

Our work toward Ready for Success, Youth Success, Financial Empowerment, and Health Equity keeps us focused and busy. While we aim to accomplish our Bold Goals by 2028, we are proud to have already made steps towards removing the barriers that hold our residents back.

From June 2018 to June 2023, we saw 4,057 residents take steps towards financial empowerment. Some examples of this empowerment include the 212 new bank accounts that were opened, a $2.4 million increase in personal savings, 10,213 financial counseling sessions, a $5.1 million decrease in debt, and much more!

We have also seen Summit County residents take advantage of 211. Our Care Coordinators assisted residents through 79,171 phone calls and 1,947 texts/emails. The online database has also been searched a total of 151,655 times!

We are thankful for how we have been able to support our residents so far and look forward to providing ongoing support, making an overwhelming system easier to navigate.

Our Ongoing Impact

Our Bold Goals meet the needs of residents in Summit and Medina and improve their lives. Support our goals and services by donating to United Way today. We are proud to be more than a pass-through organization – every dollar given to United Way of Summit & Medina goes directly to our work in the community. Every dollar makes a difference!

In our community. With our community. For our community.

Invest where it matters

Your donation directly benefits the people of Summit & Medina counties.

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