United Way
Indiana 211

4Community Achievement Reception


January 27, 2011

Contact: Beth Rattray, 457-6691 or

4Community Recognizes Achievements/Mayor proclaims 2011 "The Year of the Family"


Kokomo, IN, January 27, 2011/Press Release/ -- 4Community organizers held a reception at the Senior Citizen's Center from 5-7pm to celebrate achievements made since March of 2009 when discussions of 4Community first began. The group determined the focus of the 4community effort would be Strengthening Families including the vision statement Families Come First in Howard County and is chaired by Craig Severns.

Mayor Greg Goodnight proclaimed 2011 "The Year of the Family" and discussed how the city could help strengthen families. He also discussed the new City Line Trolley and its increased popularity.

Lori Tate, President of United Way, explained how the project was modeled after one in Evansville, Indiana. Tate described how 20 years later Evansville has benefited greatly in under-served areas and has brought in significant grants and other resources. 

Two neighborhoods, Pine Valley and the area surrounding St. Patrick Church, the Near Northwest, have been picked as pilot areas. These two neighborhoods are lead by neighborhood champions and have identified needs/assets. From these plans many programs have emerged some assisted by "The Big Table Council" that helps link neighborhoods to potential resources. 

Jeff Newton, Kokomo Urban Outreach, spoke on the progress that the neighborhoods have made and possible future goals.

Two of the newest programs are Baby University and Food to You. Facilitated by Kokomo Urban Outreach and 5 other partners, Baby University strives to educate parents on child development, home safety, cooking with food pantry items, single parenting, CPR and coping with crying. Food to You, a partnership between Kokomo Rescue Mission, Kokomo Urban Outreach, Grace United Methodist, and Center Township brings a rolling food pantry to four neighborhoods, two being the pilot neighborhoods.

Neighborhood councils, weekly tutoring sessions, a computer lab and friendly neighborhood Christmas door decorating contests are other plans that have been put into motion through 4Community.

Craig Severns asked residents to spread the word of neighborhood heroes, stories of people who go above and beyond through acts of kindness. Forms were made available and will be collected by United Way of Howard County.

Acoustic vocals by Sean Verlee and the Slack Family Performers provided entertainment.

The 4Community partners are Always Best Care Senior Services, Bona Vista, Bridges Outreach, Center Township of Howard County, Family Services Association, Head Start Fatherhood Initiative, Howard County Health Department, Howard Regional Health System, Indiana University Kokomo, Ivy Tech Community College, Kokomo - Center School Corporation, Kokomo Howard County Public Library, Kokomo Rescue Mission, Kokomo Urban Outreach, Parr United Methodist Church, St. Joseph Hospital, Dr. Marilyn Skinner, Shearer Business Solutions, United Way of Howard County, Western School Corporation and YMCA. 

4Community is facilitated by United Way of Howard County and partially funded by Indiana Association of United Ways.