New United Way website to be launched Saturday

The Republic photo by Brian Blair The home page for the new United Way of Bartholomew County website.

United Way of Bartholomew County will celebrate the official launch of its new, comprehensive and more completely searchable website on Saturday at an easy to remember name of

Plus, the new site features an option in Spanish for residents whose primary language is that — or Hindi, Japanese, Chinese, or Haitian Creole, similar to the previous site.

United Way President Mark Stewart first publicly announced the new site at the Mental Health Matters annual meeting in April at The Commons. He mentioned that simplicity is important since many people in need already are under stress, and don’t want to face more pressure just to find basic items.

“We wanted to make everything as easy as possible,” said Magen Pillar, United Way’s communications director. “And we wanted a name that easy to remember and that reinforced United Way’s commitment to quickly get people the resources they need.”

The old site was accessed 614 times last month, with food being the No. 1 search, Pillar said. Toward that end, the new website includes a seemingly exhaustive list of free outlets for someone doing a simple one-word search for food.

That list includes everything from the Love Chapel food bank, the county’s largest, to the local blessing boxes around town to Ethan’s Table, operated by a local student and his mother. The site also quickly allows a searcher to have whatever information they mark to be texted to their cell phone for saving and for future reference.

Other information and topics included in the new site are housing, clothing, utilities, and other social services.

Stewart mentioned the importance of a site that can highlight a wide range of information quickly.

“When someone needs assistance, they need it immediately,” Stewart said. “This site ensures our neighbors have the basic information they need when they need it. As the hub of our community’s social services, we created this site to empower people to access the resources they need to reach their full potential.”

It’s significant that United Way can serve as such a clearinghouse, since its programs or services, from youth mentoring to senior exercise, reach about one third of Bartholomew County’s approximate 82,000 residents, according to the nonprofit’s figures.

The site also hosts the Bartholomew County housing guide, and the Help is Here printed brochure.

Plus, the website will also connect those in need with direct-service programs implemented by United Way of Bartholomew County, such as Covering Kids and Family.