United Way Helps support local families

Great River's United Way in Onalaska helps fund over 100 programs in our area

Great River’s United Way in Onalaska helps fund over 100 programs in our area. This year they are hoping to raise more than $2 million for those programs,but only has $1.7 million raised so far.
Before she gave birth, Angela Fisher’s dreamed of the happy and full life she wanted to provide her son with.

“When my son will was born with Down Syndrome those hopes didn’t change,” Fisher said.

She contacted Birth to Three Developmental Center, a program helped funded in part by the United Way to keep those hopes alive. United Way’s involvement with will’s case is what helped make his developmental¬† therapy possible.

“It is expensive to have those people come into your home and work with you on occupational therapy speech therapy,” Jamie Korn, the director of development for United Way, said.

Speech therapy was particularly tough for Will.

“The structure of their mouth is entirely different, so the tone can make it hard for him to pronounce words,” Fisher said.

So they gave him an extra assignment: sign language.

“For him it’s kind of a building block in his language,” Fisher said.

Fisher and her son are communicating like never before.

“I would say that Will knows in excess of 50 signs,” Fisher said.

Fisher said United Way did more than help pay the bills.

“Through the programs that it offers it provides more than just supportive services to people in need it provides hope,” Fisher said.

In addition to helping fund Birth to Three, United Way helps support programs that deal with domestic abuse victims, disaster relief, and the homeless and hungry in our community.

All of the programs funded by United Way to make sure that they meet specific needs in our area.

To learn more about United Way or to help them reach their funding goal you can go to Greatriversunitedway.org