United Way’s Financial Empowerment and Coaching Programs

Aug 15, 2023

Nearly everyone worries about money at some point. Whether you’re struggling to pay monthly bills, feeling buried by debt or dealing with unexpected expenses, the stress and anxiety can be overwhelming. And it often seems like you’ve got to figure it all out on your own.

But at United Way, financial help is available for all residents of Summit and Medina counties, regardless of income. Helping people free themselves from financial fear is one of the ways we are in, with and for our community.

Our financial coaching, tax prep assistance and banking services are essential to our goal of building a new ecosystem that breaks down barriers to a better life for everyone. We meet people where they are, skip the judgment and work with you to find lasting solutions that lead to individual financial empowerment — and that means a brighter, more stable future for you, your family and our entire community.


What Is Financial Coaching?

There’s a lot we can’t control in this world — but your finances are something you can absolutely take charge of. One-on-one financial coaching involves working with a professional to organize and prioritize your assets, debts, bills and other financial obligations. It’s rediscovering your autonomy over your family’s economic situation and finding sustainable strategies to help attain your goals for a more stable and abundant life. That’s what financial empowerment is all about!


Benefits of Financial Empowerment Coaching

Many of us grew up in households where money was never discussed. Or if it was, the discussion focused on what we couldn’t have because we couldn’t afford it. Goals like buying a new car or owning a house were often taboo, as they felt too far out of reach — and admitting it out loud was an embarrassment.

At United Way, financial assistance happens in a “judgment free zone” where you can talk about all your needs, wants and obligations freely and openly. We want to help you find financial empowerment that delivers:

Reduced Stress Levels

Worrying about money can make you feel alone and stressed. That’s why a big part of our financial coaching involves talking — about the income you have, the money you need to pay your bills, the financial habits you picked up from your family of origin, mistakes you’ve made and ways to improve. Talking openly about your financial situation helps lessen the fear and shame we can feel around money, which can bring down the amount of stress we often feel about it.

A Better Understanding of Financial Concepts

Do you know how to create a household budget that includes putting aside some savings every month? What about how to get student loans out of deferment? Or how to pay down credit card debt? No matter how much income you have, these concepts can be difficult to implement on your own. Helping you understand these and other strategies is a main objective of United Way financial help — because they are the building blocks of financial empowerment that will pave your path to financial freedom.

Creating Attainable Goals

Are you dreaming of owning your own home? Would you like to be debt free one day? Does a new car, washing machine or other big-ticket item always top your wish list yet never seem within your budget? Whatever money-focused goal you have, financial coaching from United Way can help you get there. Our coaches can help you break down the goal into manageable steps and figure out a realistic plan for achieving them.

Financial Help For All

Financial instability does not discriminate —and neither does United Way. Living paycheck to paycheck is a reality for more than a quarter of Medina County’s population, and the reasons for financial struggles are as diverse and complex as the people themselves. Our Bold Goal 3 commits us to helping 2,500 Medina residents achieve financial empowerment by offering fee-free services that build the confidence, competency and courage needed to move forward in a new way. That’s help for all that helps all of us.


United Way Financial Assistance Services

United Way’s direct services focus on meeting the needs of the community and breaking down barriers to financial empowerment. United Way financial help is available to all residents of Medina and Summit counties in the form of:

One-on-One Coaches

Financial coaching can bring hope to what seems like the most hopeless of situations. Whether you’re learning to manage money after divorce, struggling with unreliable income or trying to avoid falling into credit card debt, our in-person coaches work with you to find solutions. We walk beside you through the entire process, listening to your worries or fears and helping you overcome them to take control of your financial life. Our coaches want nothing more than to see you develop the skills and confidence to achieve your goals and embrace your rightful financial empowerment.

VITA Tax Assistance

Skip the April Anxiety and let United Way help do your taxes this year! Volunteer Income Tax Assistance is a national program of United Way financial help that’s been available for over 50 years. Professionals volunteer to offer free tax preparation services to Summit and Medina County households with a total income of $60,000 or less. There are several options, including in-person tax prep by appointment, fee-free facilitated self-filing and the opportunity to ask questions of a tax professional if you are completing your own return.

Bank on Rubber City

Not having access to a bank account can be expensive. That’s why United Way financial assistance programs include safe, affordable banking for Summit and Medina county residents through Bank On Rubber City. If you’d like to keep more of your earnings, spend less on banking fees, develop consistent saving habits and take advantage of features like free bill payments and affordable credit lines, this financial help is for you! We coordinate services through reputable banking institutions so you can take control over your money and work toward financial empowerment without paying so much for it.


How to Get Financial Help From United Way

Ready to join with United Way, help yourself stress less and see how far financial coaching can take you? Check out all our services in the online United Way financial empowerment center — then come to Taste of Medina September 7 at the Blair Center at Westfield! Enjoy an evening of great food, live music and community fun while learning about how the United Way can help you move into a future that’s free from financial fear.


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

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

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