United Way Of Greater Topeka Reports Progress Toward Goals

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Big goals which led to big changes in operations for the United Way of Greater Topeka are already fostering small changes in the community.

That was the update Tuesday from United Way officials at the organization's annual meeting.

The luncheon event at the Maner Conference Center officially welcomed the group's new board members and offered an opportunity to thank outgoing board members, as well as community partners, supporters and volunteers.

The organization is one year into its ten-year community goals, including increasing school readiness, shrinking achievement gaps, and reducing obesity and teen substance abuse.

President and CEO Miriam Krehbiel said, while it's too early for data, they can see it's working. She says they are hearing anecdotes of children doing better in school and more financially stable families. She says those small changes along the way offer optimism for big changes ahead and, in ten year, they'll be able to show they have met their goals.

The United Way provided funding to 40 community partners last year. The change to a funding structure targeted toward the specific goals did create some new partnerships, but also caused some controversy as some long-time grant recipients did not receive funding under the new model.

Tuesday's event also included outgoing board chairman Scott Griffith of INTRUST Bank formally handing over the gavel to new board chairman Kent Townsend of Capitol Federal.

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