Growing up in Indiana is special because you get to know your neighbor, your friends at school, and their parents… who know your parents and probably your grandparents, too. You get to appreciate the home you come from, because the ones you love appreciated it just as much before you. You start to look out for one another, to check up on one another. There is nothing quite like supporting Wayne and Union County.
As we grow up, we see there is so much more to our small Midwestern hometown than we realized. Not everyone is having the same experience. Possibly yourself, or the people you know, are facing hardships or struggles, and at no fault of their own. But you know your hometown. You know to help your neighbor, and your neighbor will help you.
People who love Wayne and Union County as much as you, have created programs to support these very causes. There are many others in your community with a heart just like yours! Many are eager to help, but how can we do that? How can we do more?
Nathan Hogg, Owner of Hogg Helps, tells his story about how he came to want to support his community, Wayne County. It began by witnessing a repeating need in Wayne County. At 13, Hogg began his own entrepreneurial endeavors, a small business in his uncle’s barber shop. He created shoe cleaning kits and spent his Saturday’s cleaning shoes for $10. He built rapport in his community through this, and soon enough others his age began asking him what they could do to make money as well.
Over time, he noticed another common denominator in workforce development. Companies, organizations, and professionals are constantly seeking ways to engage the younger generations in the workforce. Hogg saw a way he could help.
He created Hogg Helps, where his vision is to empower youth for future careers and development in the workforce through support, mentorship, and education. A program to help achieve these goals called project WIN (Workforce Initiative Network) happened through a collaborative effort between Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Hogg Helps and Future Achievers and funding by United Way Whitewater Valley. Utilizing training created by Hogg Helps, WIN held classes 1-2 times per week over an 8-week course where teens learned how to write resumes and cover letters, complete job applications, and take part in mock interviews. The participants also get the opportunity to go out into the community and job shadow at different businesses. This helps show them other ways they can get involved in supporting Wayne and Union County.
When asked if he saw a greater value in getting younger generations involved in the community he said, “Yes, I absolutely do. I feel the main way we can get youth involved is by creating opportunities for them. Create stuff to do for the kids, include them! That was a big thing for me, I felt included in stuff, I felt welcomed, like I brought value to the table.” Today, he also works with Reid Health Community Benefit/Engagement. He values teamwork in every aspect of his life, as well as in his co-workers Sharrie Harlin, Brian Schlepper, and Jess Przybysz.
Doing More in Your Community
If you are moved by Nathan’s story, consider volunteering for an organization you are passionate about! Giving a little of your time goes a long way!
United Way of Whitewater Valley is proud to be a partner with Hogg Helps for all their work involved in Wayne County’s youth’s success. We support the Workforce Initiative Network and hope you can encourage a teen in your life to get involved. It can make all the difference for someone.
LEARN MORE ABOUT UNITED WAY OF WHITEWATER VALLEY
Now that you know more about the local programs the United Way is supporting in Wayne and Union County, are you ready to get started? Spread positivity and join us in our fight for the health, education and financial stability of everyone in Wayne and Union counties by donating today.
Get to know more about our program partners working in our four focus areas: childhood success, youth success, economic mobility, and access to health. Read more about their stories here, or sign up for our newsletter to learn more about what we do at United Way of Whitewater Valley.