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United Way thermometer makes a comeback in Jessamine County

After a five-year span of being absent, the United Way thermometer was put up on Friday. 

United Way of the Bluegrass is a regional organization made up of nine different counties — Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Madison, Montgomery, Jessamine, Scott and Woodford. 

The organization has a Big Bold Goal that 10,000 families in the Bluegrass will be self-sufficient by 2020, said Carol Bates, vice president, regional partnerships of United Way of the Bluegrass.

“Everybody’s journey to self-sufficiency is different, and we recognize that,” Bates said. 

For economic success the organization focuses on four key drivers: basic needs, school readiness, student success and financial stability. 

“We look at what is the root of the problem,” Bates said. “So that we can provide funding or programming to those individual needs so that they are not repeaters.” 

The organization works with programs such as CKEEP, a tax aid service, Adult Education, the Community Senior Center in Nicholasville, and the Salvation Army, to provide communities in central Kentucky with long-term solutions. 

Normally the thermometer is placed at the courthouse, but due to Spooky Time on Main activities on Halloween, it will remain at Central Office until Tuesday. 

The thermometer, which resides on a frame built by the Jessamine County Future Farmers of America, is a gauge to show how much money has been raised for the Jessamine County Campaign.  

The money that comes from various businesses and organizations in Jessamine County, including the school board, goes back into the community through various programs.  

Those who need assistance and would like to learn more about the various programs provided by the United Way of the Bluegrass can either find the information on their website, www.uwbg.org or can call the 24/7 call center at 211. 

“We receive so much benefit from this, that’s why it’s so important,” Superintendent Kathy Fields said. 

After the thermometer was put up Fields met with her superintendent forum — a group of students ranging from athletes to artists who are in this group from fourth grade until graduation. 

“They don’t hesitate at all to tell me what they think and i love it,” Fields said. 

She said she will be placing the school-wide campaign in the hands of the students in the superintendent forum for them to use as a voice, and she is confident they will take it and run with it. 

Though the $25,000 goal is a combination of various sources, Fields said Jessamine County Schools will take it on as their own goal. 

The business campaigns for the United Way of the Bluegrass ends in December, but the school-wide campaign will go on until the spring. 

“We’re just so proud to partner with the United Way,” Fields said. 

Those who wish to monitor the progress of funds raised for Jessamine County can find the thermometer at the Jessamine County Courthouse.