United Way ranked no. 1

Alice Keefe
Created: November 08, 2019 09:35 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Every year, non-profits around the country work for those most in need in our communities.

United Way was named America’s number one charity by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a magazine that highlights non-profits.


“We’re stronger when we live united, and I think that appeal when we’re coming together and working together to improve community, to improve lives, is quite powerful,” said Jerome Ferson, president of United Way of Olmsted County.

He thinks it’s that message of togetherness that sets the organization apart.

“We’re a community change organization. We try to improve our community to benefit everybody, and we do that by helping unite resources with needs in our community,” Ferson said.

United Way connects people with volunteer opportunities, advocates for local issues like housing stability and mental health, and raises money to help solve community problems.

“United Way is just a fabulous convener in Rochester and Olmsted County. They bring people together,” said Jon Losness, executive director of Families First of Minnesota, a non-profit that works with young kids and families, and also partners with United Way.

“Our agency, Families First, receives funding from the United Way for a food pantry that we have with our head start program, but for also school readiness that helps children ages three to kindergarten get ready for kindergarten. They’re vital in the success of both of those programs,” Losness said.

Each year, United Way has a campaign to raise money.

“The money we raise here stays here and is put to use locally to help improve lives and help improve our community,” Ferson said.

This year, the goal is $3.25 million, which will help organizations like Families First provide vital services to the people in the community who need it most.

To find out more about volunteer or fundraising for the United Way of Olmsted County, visit their website here.

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