(Passionate. Optimistic. Women. Encouraging. Results) Making a positive impact in the lives of children and families in Shelby County

Encouraging literacy through kindergarten tutoring and allocating POWER-ful Grants

POWER, Shelby County United Way women’s initiative group, was organized in 2013 and is now over 100 members strong who develop financial resources, unite in service and are advocates for programs and initiatives that benefit children and their families in Shelby County.  Since 2014 POWER has allocated over $135,000 back into our community in POWER-ful grants and other initiatives that are funded through fundraisers and membership dues.  POWER’s EM.POWER.ED kindergarten tutoring program was started in 2015 in one kindergarten classroom, and has now expanded into every Sidney City Schools kindergarten classroom with the help of partner companies and community volunteers. POWER is providing professional and retiree volunteers Monday through Thursday as tutors.  Volunteers are asked to commit to a weekly or every other week one hour time slot, and are required to complete a background check. POWER has received the “Friend of Education” award from the Sidney Education Association for their support in encouraging literacy in education for kindergarten students. For more information visit
If you are interested in volunteering please contact Amy West at 937-492-2101 or

Day of Action

United Way Day of Action is an invitation for people and organizations around the world to LIVE UNITED and take action

Local company's employees show their volunteering spirit

Each year, communities around the world come together to harness the volunteer spirit and improve the conditions in which they live. During the United Way National Day of Action local companies and their employees along with other  volunteers complete service projects and provide many volunteer hours. Local participating organizations have included: Emerson, Peerless, POWER, Choice One, Cargill, Airstream, Wilson Health, US Bank, Juvenile Court, Honda, Edgewell, City of Sidney, Sidney Alive, Sidney Body CARSTAR, Ashley Himes State Farm, Board of Developmental Disabilities, Mutual Federal, Lochard Inc., Larger Construction, Ruese Insurance, Bridges Community Action, the Chamber Young Professionals, and the Shelby County United Way.

Student United Way holding hands logo

Student United Way

Student leaders making an impact in the community

Area youth helping to better our community

Student United Way was launched in 2017, with one junior and one senior from all 10 high schools in Shelby county participating. Four United Way board members help lead the initiative, along with Executive Director, Scott Barr. Throughout the school year students attend monthly sessions where they learn about the Shelby County United Way, funded programs, and issues facing residents in Shelby County. During the course of their term they are tasked with distributing $10,000 to organizations in our community. They choose the impact areas they think youth in our area are most affected by, and then invite nonprofit groups to submit grant applications for projects in those areas. Students review the applications, after narrowing down the list invite the remaining groups to do a personal presentation, and choose how to allocate the funds to those organizations.

The students become more educated about the needs in our community, the organizations that are meeting those needs, and in the process learn how to take ownership of bettering our community.


Imagination Library

Investing in Early Literacy

Imagination Library helps better prepare children for kindergarten

Reading to your child from birth is one of the most important activities you can do to ensure he or she is prepared for school and also prepared for life, research tells us. Sharing reading time not only helps introduce your baby to language but also aids in proper brain development and assists in strengthening your bond as parent and child.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was launched in 1996 for preschoolers in Sevier County, Tennessee, as a gift of encouragement for the children of her Smoky Mountain homeland. The program has since grown into an early literacy program for children under the age of 5.

In March of 2015, the Shelby County United Way collaborated with the Shelby County Libraries and many community funding partners to adopt Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for Shelby County youth under the age of 5. At no cost to the family, an age appropriate book is mailed monthly to the family’s address.

  • Children enrolled in Imagination Library are better prepared for kindergarten.
  • Children enrolled in Imagination Library are read to more often.
  • Children enrolled in Imagination Library have more books and visits to the local libraries than children not enrolled.
  • Wilson Health is enrolling all infants born at the birthing center.
  • Shelby County is the top affiliate in the State of Ohio with the highest percentage of participants.

The children’s classic The Little Engine That Could is the first book of each library and Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! By Nancy Carlson is the final book in the collection.

Families can register to receive books by visiting and click ENROLL NOW.



Get Connected. Get Answers.

2-1-1 is Shelby County’s information and referral service for people in need.

2-1-1 is Shelby County’s information and referral service for people in need.

Every day, thousands of people across the U.S. turn to 2-1-1 for information and support – whether financial, domestic, health, or disaster-related. 2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people from our community to essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A toll-free call to 2-1-1 connects you to a community resource specialist in our area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve – and save – lives.

Through 2-1-1, you’ll find information about:

  • Supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • Shelter and housing options
  • Rent/utility assistance
  • Transportation services
  • Medical and dental care
  • Support for individuals with mental illness or special needs
  • Substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation
  • Support for victims of domestic violence or crime
  • Disaster relief
  • Support for aging parents and senior services

Shelby County 2-1-1 is funded by support from:
City of Sidney
Shelby County Commissioners
Shelby County Health Department
Shelby County Job and Family Services
Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Shelby County United Way
Tri County Board of Mental Health & Recovery

Call 2-1-1 anytime, 24 hours a day.


Agape Distribution

Promoting Health and Well Being

Providing hope for the hurting and making it hard to go hungry…

Agape Distribution brings hope by providing groceries for at risk families through their food pantry, mobile rural food pantry, and urban sustainability project. They also operate a nonprofit store where agencies can purchase items at a fraction of the retail price.  Beginning in 1996 Agape Distribution has brought hope and changed lives with the help of numerous volunteers putting in thousands of hours making this organization thrive in service to our neighbors.  They put an emphasis on a balanced diet; Good Health Starts with Good Nutrition. Each family (of which 41% are working) may shop twice monthly receiving groceries for 36 balanced meals that help ease a struggling grocery budget.
Beginning in 1999 Agape began storing shelf-stable groceries in case of a crisis, an eight-week Strategic Reserve is maintained should supply lines be disrupted. This was especially useful during the Covid-19 pandemic where they saw an 18% increase.  Agape is thankful to be holding this Hunger Safety Net with local donors, corporate sponsors and foundations. Agape Distribution is a miracle of collaboration.

For more information visit: