South Bend, Indiana - United Way of St. Joseph County (UWSJC) announces the departure of acting President and Chief Executive Officer, Matt Harrington, effective June 30, 2017.  Harrington is leaving after over 3 years at UWSJC to fulfill a personal passion to serve the community as President and CEO of LOGAN Community Resources, Inc. where he served in leadership roles for 8 years prior to his time with United Way.

“United Way is a wonderful organization, where the important mission of reducing poverty is carried out by talented, committed people doing outstanding work,” said Matt Harrington.  “I want to thank the UWSJC staff, Board of Directors, and so many others for making my job so rewarding and enjoyable.  My time at United Way has been full of satisfying accomplishments, and I am confident the leadership at United Way will continue to forge ahead to serve the people of our community in the most intentional way.”

Under his direction, Harrington worked with United Way’s staff, Board of Directors, community impact partners, schools and various other entities within St. Joseph County to shift United Way’s focus to address the most complex social and pressing issue of poverty.

This shift in approach uniquely positioned United Way of St. Joseph County to implement a collective impact model. This placed United Way of St. Joseph County in a leadership role to encourage people and organizations to work together to identify strategies and solutions, which otherwise are not achievable through individual efforts.  Though convening, investing, and collaborating with individuals and groups, work will be to generate work centered on breaking the cycle of generational poverty and helping stabilize the families of today.

“My relationship with United Way does not end on June 30th,” says Harrington,  “As a resident and member of this community, I will continue to be engaged in United Way’s work as it relates to LOGAN as well as building a better results for children, families and our community.”

“Matt will be terribly missed, but United Way of St. Joseph County is committed to proudly continue the legacy he started”, said Kurt Meyer, UWSJC’s Board of Director’s Chair, “We wish Matt congratulations and the absolute best in his new endeavor as LOGAN’s new President and CEO.  We are very grateful for his contributions and commitment to continue to serve our community.”


JUNE 5, 2017


SOUTH BEND, INDIANA (June 5, 2017) – Nearly 500 volunteers from more than 20 local companies along with many local residents will be mobilized to tackle volunteer projects at local social service agencies, schools and community organizations through United Way of St. Joseph County’s Day of Caring, held on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

United Way Worldwide encourages local United Ways to organize a Day of Caring each year, which is an incredible collaboration between volunteers from corporate partners, residents, and community organizations.

“This is the first time United Way of St. Joseph County has hosted a local Day of Caring in several years. The relaunch this year was perfect because we saw an extremely strong interest among United Way supporters and the significant need among many local organizations within our community,” says Matt Harrington, United Way of St. Joseph County’s President and CEO.

United Way of St. Joseph County organizes this massive undertaking, perhaps the largest in the region, as part of its mission to connect the caring people of the community with opportunities to make a difference.  Through Day of Caring both individual residents and local companies send teams of employees to volunteer on projects that the service agencies might not have the manpower or resources to afford. Tasks to be completed run the gamut from packing backpacks for United Way’s Kindergarten Readiness Camps to painting, from feeding the hungry to gardening, and from cleaning and organizing to performing clerical tasks.

“Day of Caring is an opportunity to mobilize hundreds of volunteers to make making positive, long-lasting community change,” said Harrington. “This is a day when the St. Joseph community truly LIVES UNITED. What’s really special to me about this event is seeing our volunteers’ interest and excitement about their ability to change the community,” said Harrington.


All interested persons, companies, and agencies may register by visiting  Deadline to register is June 16, 2017. Two and four hour shifts are available in both the morning and afternoon.

Follow all the action on Facebook, Instagram Twitter #DayofCaring  #LIVEUNITED

Media is invited to these photo and interview opportunities on Wednesday, June 21 between 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 pm at Potawatomi Park, South Bend or contact Rachel Brown at   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 574/232-8201 ext. 231 to schedule a specific volunteer opportunity or interview.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Every year on April 28th, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember the thousands of workers killed and millions more who are injured or diseased because of their jobs.

This year, the Workers Memorial Service will be held Friday, April 28, 2017 from 4-5 p.m. at Howard Park Senior Center n South Bend and will remember the regional workers who lost their lives in 2016. The service will begin at the Senior Center and will include a walk to the Memorial Site. The event will be presented by the North Central IN AFL-CIO CLC, all affiliated unions and in partnership with United Way of St. Joseph County. Families of lost loved ones and the general public are encouraged to attend.

For more information on the event, contact Dawn Chapla from United Way of St. Joseph County at (574) 232-8201 ext. 228 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Collaboration is key in new United Way grants 
Grants makeover offers three-year funding

The Center for the Homeless and Hope Ministries will join forces this year on a new program where they’ll educate school employees, ambulance and emergency crews and others so they better understand trauma — like homelessness, abuse, neglect and domestic violence — and how it keeps people from making use of the help they need.

The program, called Building Trust, has garnered $270,000 per year from the United Way of St. Joseph County over the next three years. Several other agencies will help.

It marks some of the key changes in how the United Way is financing charitable efforts to fight poverty.

Gone are the one-year “allocations,” the old way of distributing money that came through fundraising campaigns. Now most recipients get three-year grants that started to roll out with the new fiscal year on Friday. United Way officials told the charities last year that they’d start with a “clean slate” — that the 40 volunteers who reviewed their applications wouldn’t consider what the programs had received in the past.

The United Way opened the grants up to any charity in the county and pushed them to collaborate, ensuring them a better shot at dollars if they did. Out of 45 programs that are receiving dollars, 18 have pledged to collaborate with other organizations. That’s in addition to eight initiatives that the United Way itself coordinates, all of which have multiple partners.

The idea, President and CEO Matt Harrington said, is to make better use of collective resources. He said programs fared better if they focused on the root causes of poverty — honing in on the United Way’s overall goal of erasing poverty — and if their efforts can be replicated elsewhere in the community.

That, Harrington said, gives the United Way a clearer, more measurable way of telling the community what it’s accomplishing. He said donors, particularly company executives, agree with the collaborative approach, having told him “it’s about time to get nonprofits to work together for the common good.”

As for the charities, “The process has been as transparent as possible, and I think they appreciate that,” said Sheri Niekamp, director of community impact.

Several programs that were financed last year did manage to win dollars under the new system. Some programs didn’t.

One of the collaborations is at the Early Childhood Coalition of St. Joseph County, where the United Way will spend $30,000 per year for the next two years so that, for the first time in its 2.5-year history, the coalition will have a paid staff member: a coordinator. Emily Rupchock, who started in that role in a temporary contract in March, said this will give the group more focus and leadership as its four work groups meet monthly to seek ways to improve child care and families’ awareness.

She also supervises early childhood programs at the Center for the Homeless, and she’s one of the 50 or so members of the coalition that include elected officials, business leaders, data experts and a lot of people who work in child care. The United Way was a founding member.

The Bridges Out of Poverty Initiative of St. Joseph has won $30,000 per year for the next two years to launch “investigative teams” to identify and seek solutions to local barriers that the poor face. LeRoy King, who started as Bridges’ director in March, said the program aims to eventually change community services, like improving access to transportation or medical care or any number of other results.

At first, it sounds just like the work that Bridges has already been doing: Bring people with resources — be it money, expertise, influence or skills — to sit and chat with people lacking resources. Get them to talk about the barriers that the poor run into and how to solve them. But that has all been very individualized, King said. The key difference with the investigative teams, King said, is that it would seek broader changes in the community.

“We’re not sure what may emerge,” he said.

King said Bridges sought a total of $600,000 from United Way over the next three years — far more than most programs typically receive — to pay for an extra full-time and part-time employee, along with stipends for participants, technology and other expenses in facilitating 160 people on the teams.

“We encouraged them to start small and perfect it," Harrington said of the $30,000-per-year grant. "Then they could scale it up and grow it from there.”

King said Bridges is now looking at doing just that, although more money still needs to be raised so that it can start up this fall. He noted that Bridges is also receiving all of the United Way aid it sought for two other programs.


United Way grants

• Total requested: $7.4 million over three years

• Total grants awarded: $2.28 million over three years

• Total for United Way’s eight initiatives: $1.4 million for one year

• Percent of donations used for administration, fundraising and marketing: 18.4 percent

• Descriptions of programs that received grants, or “Community Investments”: Find link at

• Amounts awarded to agencies and programs: Find link with this story at