James Taylor

Erica Gibson / WBAA News

Dusty Miller is a kindergarten teacher at Lafayette’s Vinton Elementary School. His students are learning how to write their names, handle scissors and recognize shapes and letters -- all important skills for kindergartners. 

But Miller’s students aren’t quite kindergartners, or at least, they won’t be until the fall. They’re kids who have no preschool experience, or know English only as their second language, and are at risk of falling behind their classmates when school starts. 

Rob Slaven / https://www.flickr.com/photos/robslaven/11391992723

Tippecanoe County leaders are advocating the creation of what they’re calling a “single point of contact” system for preventing and eliminating homelessness. They want to streamline the multiple services used by the homeless to make it easier to get them back on their feet.

City of Lafayette homeless and community outreach director Adam Murphy says there are bottlenecks in the current system which stop those wanting for services from getting all they need.

The United Way of Greater Lafayette is 54% of the way to its annual fundraising campaign goal. However, community donations are lower than they were a year ago.

CEO James Taylor says, with fewer than five weeks to go, raising awareness is key to helping those in need.

“Part of what we want to do is beat the drum and help people understand that now is the time to be making their gifts and doing whatever they can to help us reach that goal.”

The campaign is aiming for a $4.9 million target. So far, $2.66 million has been pledged.

A Lafayette manufacturer’s successful fundraiser means $165,000 is going to local charities.

Wabash National raised most of that from its corporate suppliers’ golf outing Wednesday. President and CEO Dick Giromini says businesses need to reach out and help area service agencies.

“With federal funding continuing to decrease, state funding continuing to decrease to support a lot of these programs – it really becomes important for us to step up when we can,” he says.

The United Way of Greater Lafayette is kicking off the next phase of its annual fundraising campaign. The goal is $4.9 million, a slight increase from last year.

CEO James Taylor says the needs in the community continue to grow, especially in the local chapter’s focus areas of education, income and health.

“All of those things are interrelated. They work off of each other. They make a lot of sense, so we’ve really seen a lot of resonance in education-income-health,” he says. “It also reflects what we’ve done for 90 years now.”

A literacy program in Tippecanoe County elementary schools is boosting reading skills. The Lafayette School Corporation reports seeing a double-digit increase in the I-Read scores of schools which are part of Read to Succeed.

The program is expanding in its third year and seeking more volunteers who can spend one hour each week in the classroom. More information about the program and volunteering is HERE.

Read to Succeed organizers thank volunteers

May 9, 2013

A literacy program in Tippecanoe County continues to grow.

Greater Lafayette Commerce and the United Way of Greater Lafayette organized the Read to Succeed effort two years ago. It brings community volunteers into the classroom to help students in kindergarten through third grades in eleven schools.

United Way C.E.O. James Taylor says the program is just one part of improving reading skills.

Helping more people file their taxes is one goal the United Way of Greater Lafayette has this year. The organization held its annual meeting Wednesday and announced it nearly doubled the number of low-income families served last year. The dollar amount of tax refunds filed through the program increased by almost $150,000.

United Way of Greater Lafayette exceeds goal

Nov 15, 2012

The United Way of Greater Lafayette exceeded its annual campaign goal by $2,824. It was aiming for $4.75 million this year.

Campaign Chair Bill Olds says pledges were still coming hours before the announcement.

"You wonder, sometimes, if you'll ever get to goal, but amazingly, every year, this community comes through in a big fashion."

He says he appreciates the number of organizations, businesses and individuals who step up and donate.

Olds credits the United Way staff and hundreds of volunteers who made the effort a success.

United Way campaign effort ends Thursday

Nov 12, 2012

The United Way of Greater Lafayette is closing in on its $4.75 million fundraising target.

The community-wide effort to help fund 23 nonprofit agencies began earlier this year, but got underway in earnest in mid-September.

A victory celebration is planned for 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Sylvia's Brick Oven in downtown Lafayette.

More information about the United Way campaign and making a donation is HERE.