Have a Question? Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the service area?

United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley serves both sides of the river: Belmont County and a portion of Monroe County in Ohio and Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler Counties in West Virginia.

Who governs the United Way?

Local volunteers serving on the board of directors. Currently there are 36 members representing all segments of our community.

How many member agencies are there?

24 agencies provide a wide range of services.

Does United Way help the middle class or just the poor?

United way agencies help all people – regardless of income. You are a rare person if you or your family never uses a United Way agency. United Way services include lessons at the Y, Scouts, family counseling,  services for the elderly, disaster relief, health care, as well as crisis intervention and educational programs.

Is it true that United Way agencies charge for services?

Some do and some follow income guidelines for service. Your United Way contribution helps to insure that services are available to everyone. Those who can may be asked to pay part or all of the service cost. Generally, agencies have a sliding fee scale, based on ability to pay.

My spouse and I both work. Why should we both give?

Because you have separate incomes. United Way asks that we each contribute according to our individual incomes to help make our community a better place to live and work.

How much of what I give actually goes to agencies and services?

Ninety cents of every dollar collected. The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is proud that its combined fund-raising and administrative costs are among the lowest in the nation. Most people spend more  on tips.

Who decides how the money is distributed?

Local volunteers serving on the allocations committee and board of directors. Volunteers carefully review requests for funding, visit agencies and consider the need for funding. You as a contributor can designate your contribution to your favorite health and human service agency, whether or not the agency is a United Way member agency.

How do I know my pledge really goes to help the people who need it?

Only when you give to the United Way can you be assured that those with the greatest need will be helped. This is because local volunteers serving on the allocations committee and  board of directors monitor local community needs.

Why should I give when the United Way supports an agency I don’t like?

The United Way has 24 member agencies, which on a year round basis provide a wide range of services to Ohio Valley residents. You also have the opportunity to designate your gift to your favorite charity.

Who pays for United Way luncheons and special meetings?

Volunteers attend luncheons on a dutch treat basis.  No contributions to the United Way pay for luncheons or other meetings.

Why should I support United Way instead of agencies directly?

If we just support our favorite charity or those widely publicized, less known agencies providing very crucial services like Sexual Assault Help Center, Family Service and Information Helpline would not exist. Giving through United Way encourages agency collaboration and other cooperative actions to reduce costs in the nonprofit sector.

Why do agencies join with United Way?

Agencies choose to seek United Way membership because of the advantages of pooled administration and fund raising costs, as well as being a part of an organization respected for its accountability.

Other than financial support of the 24 agencies – how does the United Way benefit the community?

United Way provides education on services provided in our community – not just member agencies.

United Way serves as a clearing house for donated items i.e. linens, office furniture, office equipment, etc.  These items benefit all agencies – not just member agencies.

United Way and Catholic Charities West Virginia were instrumental in the formation of the Northern Panhandle Long Term Recovery Committee which helped victims of the September 2004 and January 2005 floods/disasters with unmet needs.

United Way in conjunction with First Commitment and the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley provided boardsmanship training for board members of non-profit organizations in the area.

United Way works collaboratively with other organizations in the Valley to meet unmet needs and provide services.

 The United Way administers the local Emergency Food & Shelter Program for Belmont, Ohio and Marshall Counties.

The United Way has been involved in the creation of the WV 2-1-1 which was officially launched 2/11/05 by Governor Manchin.

United Way is the sponsor for Belmont County Ohio 2-1-1

What is 211?

2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical social services needs. Just dial 2-1-1 anywhere in WV and in Belmont County, OH and you will be connected to a representative that can give you proper referrals for your needs. This is a FREE service.