United Way of Central West Virginia’s sponsored programs are responsible for providing direct services in response to identified needs in the community. This division works collaboratively with numerous partners throughout the greater Kanawha Valley area and statewide to deliver services effectively and efficiently. Operating with a budget of more than $2 million secured from local, state, federal, and foundation sources, our sponsored programs engage employees, members, and volunteers in strengthening families and improving the lives of people of all ages throughout the service area.

Jump To: Adolescent Health Initiative  |  Regional Teen Institute  |  LifeBridge AmeriCorps  |  Americorps VISTA  |  Information and Referral  |  Retired Senior Volunteer Program  |  Foster Grandparent Program  |  Earned Income Tax Credit Program (EITC)

Adolescent Health Initiative

The foundation for the Adolescent Health Initiative (AHI) is the fundamental and scientific principle that the more Developmental Assets young people experience and the more Developmental Relationships they have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of risky behaviors. The more they experience these assets and relationships the more likely they are to engage in positive behaviors. The Adolescent Health Initiative sees young men and women as vital resources in our community. AHI is proactive about building strengths, encouraging personal responsibility, respecting youth as actors in their own development, offering a consistent message about what is important and offering hope.

Regional Teen Institute

The Regional Teen Institute (TI), held each summer, is for students in grades 6 through 8 from Boone, Clay, Kanawha, and Putnam counties. Students participate in the week-long event, with students in grades 9-12 serving as youth staff. The goal of TI is capacity building by encouraging teens to build leadership skills, make healthy decisions and develop Action Plans to take back to their community. This is accomplished through developing a supportive environment to help youth make these decisions, through a lot of fun activities and making new friends.

For more information on the Adolescent Health Initiative, contact Cassandra Curtis director, at 304.340.3622 or visit the Regional Teen Institute website at youthmakeadifference.com 

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LifeBridge AmeriCorps

Since 1994, LifeBridge AmeriCorps has successfully created positive change for thousands of vulnerable and economically disadvantaged individuals across the state of West Virginia. The 

mission of LifeBridge AmeriCorps is to utilize a diverse group of National Service members to build and strengthen WV communities by addressing the most critical needs of citizens through service and volunteering. LifeBridge fulfills its mission by addressing fou

r Corporation for National and Community Service areas: improving educational outcomes, expanding economic opportunities, improving 

access to healthy futures, and impacting the quality of life of veterans and improving military family strength. Through the service of full-time members and leveraged volunteers, LifeBridge AmeriCorps provides immediate and long-term benefits by expanding individual opportunity, building family stability, and creating more sustainable communities.  AmeriCorps members receive extensive training to meet community needs and to meet their own personal and professional goals.

For more information about the AmeriCorps program contact Robin Bowman, LifeBridge AmeriCorps Director, at 304.340.3519 or Darnitta Elswick, Associate Director, at 304.340.3593.

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AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America), located in 12 counties in West Virginia, is part of a tradition of service and represents America at its best: making a sustainable impact, while promoting values of community, responsibility, and opportunity. Members recruit community volunteers to provide sustained reading opportunities for children, provide parent/child enrichment activities, and provide educational information for families in the areas of health, fitness and nutrition. Members also support literacy programs through grant writing and soliciting donations, and build organizational infrastructure to support literacy programs.

For more information about the AmeriCorps*VISTA program contact Reba Crossen, AmeriCorps*VISTA director, at 304.340.3620.

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WV 211 - Information and Referral

Life is unpredictable. That’s why caring people throughout the United Way of Central WV service area are ready to lend a helping hand – just when you need it the most.  Unit

ed Way of Central WV’s Information and Referral (I&R) and WV 2-1-1 match existing community resources and services with the individuals and families who need them.

When you need help or information about available services, you just need to dial three numbers, 211.  211 is an easy to remember telephone number that will connect you to the statewide Information and Referral Service.  WV 2-1-1 provides referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Keep in mind 211 is for non-emergency assistance only.  Callers needing emergency medical, fire or police assistance should call 911.

I&R oversees the annual Christmas Bureau, which was established to coordinate the efforts of the community in its holiday giving.  The Christmas Bureau is a partnership of 30 toy and food providers and agencies that take applications.  If you are in need of Christmas food or toys please call the Christmas Bureau after September 1 for information on resources in your area.

The staff of I&R work with FEMA, WV VOAD and Emergency Management during times of disaster to keep a list of shelters, warming or cooling stations, water suppliers, and other vital information to share with the affected public.

I&R remains involved in a variety of community activities that include but are not limited to Rebuilding Together Charleston, United Way Day of Caring, West Virginia Mountain AIRS (Alliance of Information and Referral Systems), Volunteer West Virginia, Family Resource Networks and educational/health fairs.

For more information about the WV 211, United Way of Central WV Information and Referral, you may call direct 304.414.4405 or toll free 800.540.8659.

Quick Guide Kanawha 

Food Pantries Kanawha

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RSVP - Lead with Experience

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is America’s largest volunteer network for people age 55 and over. Join RSVP and you join nearly 500,000 volunteers across the country who are tackling tough issues in their communities. RSVP of the United Way of Central West Virginia currently serves Boone, Cabell, Doddridge, Harrison, Kanawha, Lincoln, Marion, Mercer, Monongalia, Monroe, Preston, Putnam, Summers, Taylor, Upshur and Wayne Counties. Our members serve at a variety of area nonprofits, assisting local health care providers, emergency services, blood donor services, food banks, schools, and nursing homes. They help promote independent living through senior assistance, provide office support and computer skills to nonprofits, and take the lead in organizing neighborhood projects.

RSVP volunteers also support our signature programs: Trauma Dolls for health care providers, the distribution of File of Life Packets, and Disaster Preparedness Workshops.

For more information on this program, contact Kim Good, RSVP Director, at 304.340.3524

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Foster Grandparent Program – Share Today. Shape Tomorrow.

Since 1965, Foster Grandparents have shared their love, time and experience helping children in need. Foster Grandparent’s are role models, mentors and friends. Serving at schools, after school programs, day care and youth facilities they help children learn to read provide one-on-one tutoring, and guide children at a critical time in their lives. Foster Grandparents give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future.

If you’re at least 55 years of age and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent. Foster Grandparents volunteer from 15 to 40 hours per week and receive a small stipend so they may volunteer without cost to themselves. Our Foster Grandparent Program serves Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Putnam and Wayne counties.

When you volunteer, you’re not just helping others, you’re helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, volunteering promotes a positive outlook on life. If you would like to volunteer or want more information, contact Kim Good, FGP Director at 304-340-3636.

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Earned Income Tax Credit Program (EITC)

EITC is an IRS-sponsored program working with the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families (WVASF) and community organizations to provide high quality tax preparation to eligible tax filers - free of charge! There are EITC sites located statewide.

For more information about WV EITC locations, how to volunteer and other helpful information contact Cassandra Curtis or visit http://wveitc.com.

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