United Way of Berks County serves as the backbone of the Oakbrook Collective Impact Council (OCIC). The goal of the Council is to prioritize the identified needs and coordinate collaborative efforts to respond to what Oakbrook residents have identified as their critical issues. The Council consists of individuals representing various nonprofits, education partners, the corporate sector, and Oakbrook residents. Using the Collective Impact model, community partners commit to work together to achieve the same goal and address complex social problems. This is a multi-year process, where the group looks to address the root cause of an issue and works to create positive change.
Collective impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a social problem using a common agenda and a structured form of collaboration. In contrast, isolated impact occurs when organizations primarily work alone to solve social problems. Organizations have been implementing collective impact for a long time. Successful collective impact collaborations include 5 conditions to ensure success:
Oakbrook residents are the foundation on which we build a collaboration of support. Through partnerships with a diverse representation of residents, community organizations and businesses, the Oakbrook Collective Impact Council (OCIC) is committed to improving the overall health of the Oakbrook community and providing a support structure to ensure each resident has the opportunity to succeed.
Collective impact recognizes that everyone possesses something to contribute. We are in the process of creating high impact-initiatives and community-driven programs with a goal to help Oakbrook residents live life fully. From our Oakbrook resident survey, we learned that:
Consistent, local access to adequate, nutritious, affordable food is one of our basic needs. Families who are food insecure experience greater health and social challenges compared to people who can afford healthy food.
Keeping children well fed is of particular importance, as studies have shown that students who have food security have higher academic performance numbers and have better social development among other factors.