Focusing on Health

Centre County United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Centre County. These are the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community.  In order for a local human service non-profit to be in the United Way network, the programs they receive funding for must focus on at least one of these three areas.

Health impacts every aspect of human life. Addressing the preventative aspect of physical and mental health issues, while also addressing intervention needs, creates opportunities for our neighbors to achieve their optimal health and independence.

Centre County United Way funds programs at the following agencies that focus on physical and mental health by providing:

American Red Cross – Mid Central PA Chapter –disaster relief, blood services, and Armed Forces Emergency Social Services
Centre Care Volunteers (formerly Centre Crest Auxiliary) - a variety of resident services that help to improve their quality of life
Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM) –no cost dental care to uninsured and underinsured Centre County residents
Easter Seals Western and Central PA –an inclusive pre-school/child care program and summer day camps for children with and without disabilities along with occupational, speech, and physical therapies to children with developmental delays
House of Care –personal care housing and services to individuals with limited life expectancy
Strawberry Fields –mental health case management services to children, adolescents, and adults with a serious mental illness
The Arc of Centre County –services to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families, including employment, residential and home-based services
Tides – provides peer support services for children preschool to age 18 and their loved ones who are grieving from the death of a significant person in their life
YMCA of Centre County - programs that nurture the potential of youth and teens, improve our community’s health and wellbeing, and provide opportunities to give back and support our neighbors

Each year thousands of our neighbors are impacted by the programs offered through the United Way partner network. These programs impact their health and overall wellbeing, which in turn impacts our community by making it stronger and healthier. One of our neighbors who is living that impact is Margaret.

Margaret has an intellectual disability and has lived on her own for most of her life. She has a history of trusting people that have used her for the little she has– money, food, or even a place to stay. She has experienced the loss of a child and has survived a life marked with mistreatment, substance abuse, and exploitation. As Margaret aged her health drastically declined and she did not seek medical care. She did not take her medications and barely left her apartment. Life circumstances led her to believe she did not deserve better.

Margaret’s living conditions were unsanitary, her apartment was unkempt, and she was not caring for herself. Her self-neglect left her with few choices. She hesitantly moved to a residential community home believing her time with The Arc would be temporary. She was afraid her past actions would sneak up on her and she would be put out on her own again. Of course, she had ups and downs and adjustments to make but in one short year, Margaret made tremendous progress. Now she attends doctor appointments and is working through health challenges one-by-one. She loves having her hair and makeup done and takes pride in her appearance. She has formed bonds with housemates and trusts the support staff who care for her. She spends her days drawing, watching movies, and enjoying the company of others. She is witty, honest, and bold. She has come to appreciate life and is determined to continue to grow with the help of her community.  For the first time in her life, Margaret has goals. She has looked in to obtaining her GED and is pursuing interests in her Native American culture. She is working on managing her emotions and becoming equipped with the tools and strength to live a safer, healthier, and happier life. She finally feels she is part of the community and is considering participating in support which will enable her to connect with those outside of her home.

Thanks to The Arc and United Way donors who LIVE UNITED, Margaret is living a better quality of life.

For more information about Centre County United Way visit