Dear Franklin County Volunteers,

The United Way of Franklin County is coordinating a Red Cross training to prepare local resident volunteers for various situations that arise in our community.
We specifically need trained volunteers for fire calls (the volunteer who shows up at a house fire to provide items to help secure lodging and get basic necessities to the family who has just lost their home); We need trained volunteers for medical, physical, and spiritual help in case of a natural disaster where Franklin County would need to put up a temporary shelter; We need trained volunteers for warming centers during power outages on very cold days; we need volunteers to help run our Temporary Emergency Shelters for local homeless families when the weather is life-threatening. All of these possible volunteer opportunities require a Red Cross certification. Are you, or someone you know, willing to take this training?
If you would like to be part of the solution to these community needs, shoot me an email by Tuesday, February 19th. The Red Cross just needs us to confirm that there is a community interest. Once we have a count of how many people might be willing to help, we will coordinate the training for the best time that works for those who are interested.
Leigh Hanson
Volunteer Coordinator
United Way of Franklin County434 South Main St./P.O. Box 233

Ottawa, KS 66067

Leigh’s Cell: 913.226.8607
Executive Director Meg Pearson’s Cell: 816.529.8959


Thank You for Helping A Local Ottawa Couple Stay Warm and Get Healthy!

Hello Franklin County Friends and neighbors… Last week, we had an unfortunate situation in our community where an elderly couple who live in the country on a fixed income encountered a medical crisis that left them unable to pay the bill for their propane tank to be refilled.

Traditionally, we have some grant funding to help cover things like utility bills but those funds could not be used for propane tank refills.  Therefore, we asked EVERYONE we know to chip in and help this couple while they recover from their medical challenges.

Our goal was to raise $600. Thanks to you and other caring community members… we met that goal this afternoon. 

Thank you for your generosity!

United Way Chamber Coffee 2019 Campaign Kick-off Event

Join Us for a Cup of Jo!


When:   Sept. 28th from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.


   Where:  Bank Midwest at 434 S. Main Street Ottawa, KS 

What: United Way is excited to invite you to our Chamber Coffee 2019 Campaign Kick-off Event.


What do you usually spend on your morning coffee?

We challenge you to donate that amount to

United Way during the event!


We would like to thank the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Mug Shot Coffee and Bank Midwest for sponsoring this event!


Estate Moving Auction Sale to Benefit United Way of Franklin County Raised $8,000 on July 28th!

    Ottawa, KS- We would like to thank all of the volunteers, historic home tourists and auction attendees who participated in our Estate Moving Auction Sale fundraising event on July 28th! With your participation and the donations from Tommy Kitchens and Ottawa University, United Way successfully raised $8,000 to help provide vital human services in Franklin County!

    On July 28th, for a suggested donation of $3 a person, about 70 people toured the famous red brick home with a turret located at 718 South Cedar Street in Ottawa, KS 

    In addition, about 80 people attended the Estate Moving Auction Sale and were able to pick up some wonderful collectible items from the sale (for a list of items sold, please see the sale bill below)


When: July 28th from 9:00 to close

Where: 718 South Cedar Street Ottawa KS 66067

Who: Tommy Kitchens and Ottawa University hosted this auction to benefit United Way of Franklin County

What: All proceeds from the tours and live auction were donated to United Way of Franklin County in order to help provide vital, direct human services to those in need in Franklin County, KS.

To view some of the Auction Items and a few pictures of the famous home please visit:


Thank you to those of you who helped us make this event a success by attending and by passing this information on to other United Way supporters and friends- People like you make our community a better place!


Help Fill the Bus During United Way’s School Supply Drive!


How You Can Help:  The goal is to “Fill the Bus” with all of the things our community’s most vulnerable will need this school year (school supplies, clothing, healthy snack foods, shoes, coats, hygiene products and other necessary items). NOTE: All of the items donated during Fill the Bus will be distributed to youth in Anderson and Franklin County by ECKAN. In addition some of the materials will be given to Communities in Schools who will then help kids in USD 290 with supplies and needs throughout the school year. 

Fill the bus supply lists.docx –

Thank you for making life better for a child in our community!

FREE STEM Robotics Club for Kids… Join us!

United Way Brings a FREE STEM Robotics Club to Franklin County Youth!


    United Way’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program is expanding with exciting changes this year!

    In addition to the FREE STEM LEGO Robotics club held on the 3rd Saturday of each month, Derrick Larcom from the Ottawa Library’s technology department will be offering classes that will encourage the club participants to take their skills further to build and code their own LEGO creations! Mr. Larcom will also be teaching a FREE 3-D printing design class where students will be able to take their creations to the OYAA art club and print real 3-D objects and creations!

    In conjunction with the Library and the Ottawa Community Arts Council, the STEM United Youth mentoring program is an inspiring endeavor designed to help our community youth set high career goals for their future!

    The LEGO Robotics Club has these qualified mentors working one-on-one with the students:

Dr. Jeff Kelley:  Psychometrician

Lori Kelley:  Former Family Lawyer with law degree from Washburn University

Stan Grigsby:  Physics Professor at Ottawa University

Gene Beauchamp:  Degree in Agriculture Economics.  Currently in Systems and development of packaging systems with Robotics

Leigh Hanson:  Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education, STEM Volunteer Coordinator for the UW, and Art Education Program Director for the Ottawa Community Arts Council

Derrick Larcom:   Ottawa Library’s IT Specialist. He has a BS in Information Technology with a certificate in Advanced Software Design. He has spent 12+ years working with USD290 students and computers either through the Alternative School programs or as a building level Technology Aide. He enjoys 3d printing and is currently working on wiring, designing, and printing a replica MSE-06 “Mouse” Droid from Star Wars with his son.

Meg Pearson:  Executive Director for the United Way of Franklin County

Josh Pearson:  Former Nuclear Power Plant Operator with a background in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

    The STEM LEGO Robotics Club meets one Saturday a month from 10 a.m. to noon at the Carnegie Building at 5th and Main in Ottawa. Club meeting dates this year include: May 26, June 23, July 21, August 25, September 22, and October 20.

    Check with the Ottawa Library to register for this summer’s robotics and 3-D design classes.  For more information contact United Way at or (785) 418-2015.

Buy Fabulous Local Art and Help Franklin County Youth!

With over 70 pieces of local, professional art and 180 pieces of art made by local youth,  you will be able to find the perfect, unique Christmas gift for a loved one this holiday season! All proceeds benefit CASA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Reach for the Stars and the Ottawa Community Arts Council’s youth programs.  Join us for the 6th annual Holiday Festival and Auction: