The United Way of Monmouth & Ocean Counties (UWMOC) is a New Jersey nonprofit organization that bridges the gaps to education, financial stability, and health for every person in the community. On this episode, we have Lori McClane, UWMOC President and CEO; Christine Jagerburger, UWMOC Vice President of Community Impact; and Patti Harvey, UWMOC Vice President of Engagement to discuss their mission, vision, and the important work UWMOC does to better the
Understanding the Mission: Bridging Gaps for a Quality Life
Lori, at the helm of UWMOC for five years, began by articulating the organization’s core mission – bridging the gaps to education, financial stability, and health for every person in the community. She emphasized the importance of these pillars as foundations for a good quality of life. What sets UWMOC apart is its commitment to community engagement, listening to feedback, conducting research, and implementing innovative approaches to bridge these gaps effectively.
Local Focus with Global Roots
Lori illuminated a lesser-known facet of UWMOC: it is one of the 13 affiliates of United Way Worldwide, a global organization with over 1,200 branches. Despite the global affiliation, each United Way operates independently, focusing on local fundraising and community impact. UWMOC stands out by living local and supporting local initiatives within Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Programs Making a Difference
Christine provided insight into some of the impactful programs UWMOC runs. The Financial Success Center, launched in 2015, has now collaborated with New Jersey 2-1-1 to offer a single phone number providing access to financial resources 24/7. Additionally, UWMOC collaborates with 75 schools to support youth and families through initiatives like the Warmest Wishes Coat Drive, Basic Needs Work, and partnerships with the Visiting Nurse Association.
Getting Involved: More Than Just Donations
Patty highlighted avenues for community involvement, such as the ongoing Warmest Wishes Coat Drive and the Basic Needs Initiative. Both individuals and companies can organize drives or contribute through the UWMOC website. The organization also hosts events like the United for Impact wine event, food truck festival, and offers numerous volunteer opportunities for those eager to make a direct impact.
Youth Initiatives and Career Pathways
Christine elaborated on UWMOC’s commitment to guiding youth through programs like Project Spear and North Star. These initiatives provide hands-on, classroom-based learning, exposing students to alternative career pathways beyond traditional academic routes. By fostering partnerships with schools, UWMOC ensures that young minds are equipped for a variety of career choices.
Embracing Change: Responsive and Relevant
With over 20 years of experience, Christine emphasized the adaptive nature of UWMOC. The organization remains rooted in the local community while consistently evolving to address changing needs. A prime example is the Basic Needs Initiative, a response to the unmet need for essential hygiene products in households facing financial struggles.
Connect, Engage, and Impact Locally
To learn more about UWMOC and explore ways to get involved, Lori encouraged listeners to visit the official website at uwmoc.org. The website serves as a hub for understanding the organization’s mission, discovering initiatives, and providing a platform for donations and volunteer sign-ups.
In conclusion, the podcast episode offers a compelling narrative of the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, portraying it not merely as an organization but as a dynamic force driving positive change at the heart of the community. UWMOC’s commitment to local impact, adaptability, and community engagement truly makes it a beacon of hope and support for those in need.