2/21/2012 United Way

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COLUMBIA - Heart of Missouri United Way unveiled a new Community Impact agenda Monday morning that does not focus on services for senior citizens.

Organizations like the Boone County Council on Aging, or BCCA, will lose 30 percent of its budget when the United Way switches to the new Community Impact agenda. BCCA projects that it will lose more than $80,000 per year.

"These people have really made Columbia strong, and at a time where they were and they are the medically most expensive and it's growing the fastest, we've cut them off. It causes me great concern," said BCCA Executive Director Jessica Macy.

If interested in helping BCCA, click here.

Heart of Missouri United Way revealed the new plan to 160 community members at Columbia College. The new Community Impact agenda features new funding opportunities with a focus primarily on education, income and health for youth.

Heart of Missouri Executive Director Tim Rich said change must start from the beginning.

"As said by the volunteers in the community that we've surveyed, the focus has to be on youth and and families if we really want to prevent poverty rather than just alleviate its symptoms," said Rich.

Heart of Missouri United Way said it wants to help children achieve their full potential through education and help them enter school ready to succeed. Specifically, United Way wants to assist students read proficiently by third grade and make a successful transition in and out of middle school.

Heart of Missouri United Way plans to reduce the number of financially unstable families and individuals by increasing hard and soft employment skills. Also, the organization wants to arrange affordable transportation and childcare to enable employment, healthcare, social services and daily living activities.

Regarding health, the Heart of Missouri United Way will work to increase the number of youth who help make healthy choices by eating well, exercising and avoiding teen pregnancy, substance abuse and smoking. The non-profit group also wants to increase youth access to physical, mental and dental care.

If interested in helping out with the United Way, click here.