One organization is preparing to make a big impact in the tri-county region over the next year.
The United Way of Muskingum, Morgan and Perry counties is investing nearly $500,000 into 19 area programs.
Executive Director Meg Deedrick said an investment committee donated over 400 hours to determine how the money will be distributed.
"We took a look at what they submitted as needs in their particular programs and how they're serving the community and where they're producing outcomes and made recommendations for funding based on that. So that is coming from the agencies, those who are serving our communities," said Deedrick.
The organization will be investing over $200,000 into education and youth development programs, and over 100-thousand dollars into various social services.
"We are grateful to the donors, who invest the money. We are grateful to the volunteers to lend their expertise in determining, making recommendation for investment and we're grateful to the agencies who we partner with to provide programs to change the community," added Deedrick.
Deedrick says that 81% of the money raised by the United Way supports direct service programs.