PERCY PROGRAMS - Direct Services

Percy Programs

Orrville Area United Way Percy Programs are direct service programs administered in our area to "fill the gaps" where services are not met by another non-profit. We partner with schools, churches, non-profits, and government to identify needs and effectively and efficiently meet them. We LIVE UNITED for the importance of early literacy, the value of financial stability, the satisfaction of a hot meal, and that every child deserves reliable footwear, their own bed to sleep in, and a full belly on the weekends.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Increasing children's language and early literacy skills is essential to achieving United Way's national educational goals. Today, local United Ways across the United States partner with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to increase access to high quality, age appropriate books. Orrville Area United Way's partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library ensures all children in Dalton, Kidron, Marshallville, North Lawrence, and Orrville have a great selection of books at home. Once enrolled, children receive one free book each month until their 5th birthday. Any child in Ohio between birth and age 5 is eligible for the program at no cost to the family.

Last year, local children received a total of 9,490 books through Orrville Area United Way. Our Imagination Library program started in 2009, in partnership with The Dollywood Foundation and the Orrville Rotary Club. Today, funding Imagination Library in our area is met through partnerships with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Ohio and United Way of Wayne & Holmes Counties.

Click here for more information or to enroll

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation for families with household incomes generally less than $60,000, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speaking tax-payers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. This year, Orrville Area United Way helped file 154 claims totaling $138,356 and saving taxpayers approximately $34,000 in preparation fees.

Friendship Meals

Friendships Meals distributes a hot meal the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Thursdays of each month from Christ United Church of Christ. There are no restrictions or requirements. There are many reasons that an individual or family may benefit from a hot meal - income, age, food access, work schedule, caretaker, health, exhaustion... Friendship Meals serves people from where ever their need is. Last year, 7,772 meals were distributed. Curbside service begins at 5:15pm, and meals are distributed first come first serve.

Click here for updates on Friendship Meals service schedule


Knowing that you need help is one thing. Finding someone who can help you is another. United Way's 2-1-1 connects you to resources such as rent and utility assistance, food, health-related services, homeless services, foreclosure information, senior services, family counseling, support groups, and parenting resources. Orrville Area United Way financially partners with United Way of Wayne & Holmes Counties to help those in our area access the resources they need.

Call 2-1-1 or Click here to search resources in our area 

Happy Feet, Sweet Dreams, and Backpack Percy Programs are administered in partnership with the Salvation Army-Orrville.

Happy Feet for Kids

At Orrville Area United Way, We LIVE UNITED that adequate footwear for children is essential for comfort, function, health, and dignity. Happy Feet provides shoes, winter boots, and socks for children from low-income families in Eastern Wayne County. Qualifying families receive two vouchers each year. Last year, 164 shoe vouchers were provided to area children.

Sweet Dreams for Kids

At Orrville Area United Way, we LIVE UNITED that a bed is a basic need for the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of every child. Sweet Dreams provides a complete bed for qualifying children in Eastern Wayne County. Christ United Church of Christ and Trinity United Methodist Church partner for Bed Builds. A completed Bed Build includes bed frame, mattress, sheets, blankets, and pillow. Last year, 10 beds with bedding were provided to area children.

Weekend Backpack Program

At Orrville Area United, we LIVE UNITED to fight hunger. Although there are programs that address food insecurity during the school week, too many children lack access to food on the weekends. The Backpack Program provides students at Dalton and Orrville Elementary Schools with backpacks of nutritious yet simple to prepare food to take home each Friday during the school year. Last year, 2,872 food Backpacks went home with local children through Orrville Area United Way.

Click here to watch a video about our Weekend Backpack Program!