Listening Tour with Emily Johnston, Outreach Program Manager with United Way Olmsted County

Listening Tour with Emily Johnston, Outreach Program Manager with United Way Olmsted County
February 21, 2018 Loretta Mogan

Emily works for United Way of Olmsted County as Outreach Program Manager. Members from Compassionate Rochester MN sat with Emily and asked her to tell us her path to compassion. Her story started off with quoting United Way of Olmsted County’s  (UWOC)  mission:  Uniting people and resources to improve people’s lives in our community. Emily also explained how UWOC unites people and resources in the community with a focus on education, health, and financial stability – the building blocks for a good quality of life. UWOC does this by convening the community to address key issues, collaborating to achieve a measurable impact, and connecting human and financial resources to achieve their mission. She also explained how United Way’s response to community needs is based on what is learned from their “listening events” where volunteers host community conversations and listen to the stories of our diverse communities.

Compassion has come alive at UWOC in a deeper realization of our interdependence. Emily explained how this is reflected in the way this organization works with fundraising and grant offerings. In 2018, UWOC will request proposals to partner and support programs that drive change in five key areas: Food Security, Housing Stability, Early Childhood, Independent Living and Connections. Recent changes to granting processes are focused on building stronger relationships with community organizations. Smaller nonprofits will benefit from an additional relationship focus with grantees, reducing some of the barriers to applying for grant funds that support needed services in our community and strengthen nonprofit organizations in our county.

Of great interest, Emily was excited to tell us about United Way’s 2-1-1 information and referral service. 2-1-1 provides callers with information on hundreds of services and resources. United Way’s 2-1-1 phone service helps you reach the right resource, right away. This service is state wide.

We would like to express gratitude to Emily’s work and devotion to compassion through United Way. Also thanks to this organization for their work in our community, Rochester.