Community Partner Spotlight
Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at the United Way of the Southern Tier.
Many people support the PRC’s mission to help families with young children: board members, staff, volunteers, donors and community partners. We’re excited to
spotlight Barbara Hubbell from United Way of the Southern Tier, which has partnered as a funder, early childhood development and family support partner with the PRC
How does the United Way partner with the PRC, and how has that changed over the years?
United Way began funding the PRC in 2002, a relationship which has morphed over the years. There was a period of about ten years when the funding was channeled through the Steuben Family Enrichment Collaborative, then we transitioned back to that direct funding relationship in 2018 as the collaborative evolved with Southern Tier Kids on Track.
Why does the United Way value the PRC?
United Way appreciates so much about the PRC, not the least of which is that they are a great neighbor to have across the hall (under normal circumstances!) The PRC is a valued partner in Southern Tier Kids on Track, the community partnership that is strategically focused on early childhood development, ensuring safe, nurturing environments and developmentally on-track children from birth to age 8. Strengthening families is such a big part of that.
Even before our focus on early childhood, having them as our neighbor, it was easy to see how the PRC connected with families and offered a tremendous facility for drop-in play and parenting education. Since 2013 and our laser-focus with Kids on Track, United Way has a much better understanding of the types of activities offered, and how those activities specifically help with the cognitive and social/emotional development of young children, as well as helping to support and develop the skills of the parents.
What other non-profit organizations does the United Way support or partner with?
United Way of the Southern Tier currently provides funding to 68 health and human service programs across Chemung and Steuben counties, which totals approximately $2.6 million annually. Forty percent of that total allocation is focused on the work of Southern Tier Kids on Track; the remainder focuses in the areas of Basic Needs and Senior Supports.
What is your role with the United Way? How do you work with the PRC?
As Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, I am involved with the work of Southern Tier Kids on Track, as well as any projects related to basic needs or senior supports – those areas of impact that United Way is invested in. As someone who has been with United Way for twenty years, I have had the good fortune of being at the forefront of the evolution of impact science, and have witnessed the growth and development of this United Way, from a simple pass-through funding organization to a community leader in collective impact. My role provides the opportunity to use my skills not only for allocation and investment oversight, but also allows me to become more involved with the science of impact – how we create large-scale social change, how that change is measured over time, and the work that is happening on the front lines with children and families.
My relationship with the PRC is mostly related to the Southern Tier Kids on Track partnership, in general, and in our convening of family resource centers, more specifically. I recently began facilitating conversation between the area family and parent resource centers, learning more about how we can all work together, learn from each other, and share resources in the best interest of children and families across the region.
When you’re not working for the United Way, what do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy watching my grandchildren grow, reading with them as often as possible. I also enjoy reading, in general. I regularly volunteer at my local library, and serve as Schuyler County representative on the STLS (Southern Tier Library System) Board of Trustees. During the temperate months, I can often be found hiking the Gorge and Indian Trails at Watkins Glen State Park. It is also a fun-fact that I have been a singer and bass player with “bar bands” for more than 40 years, and have a small DJ business, just for fun.
What was your favorite childhood game?
In a much simpler time, in a very rural community, we used to play hide-and-seek with all the neighborhood kids, outside, after dark, almost every night during the summer months. That’s something that doesn’t happen much anymore. I still have great memories of the excitement we created and the fun we all had!