We are working all over our community every day to empower our neighbors to live better lives.
United Way focuses on youth success, family financial stability and health, because these are the essential building blocks for a good quality of life. We raise awareness surrounding key issues that affect everyone and promote social and policy change that helps strengthen people and our community.
United Way identifies and builds on community strengths, helps individuals and groups with specific community interests find ways to contribute their time and talents, support community change efforts, advocate public policy changes, and support direct service programs.
United Way ignites our community to give, advocate and volunteer so that our youth succeed in school and in life, our residents are healthy and our families are financially independent.
UNITED WAY WORKS TO END AMERICA’S EDUCATION CRISIS
Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes. These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.
In 2008, United Way Worldwide launched a 10-year initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it.
We can’t focus on high school alone. High school dropouts are 12 years in the making, usually starting early childhood education behind schedule. United Way’s model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families – strategies and approaches rooted in research. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a birth to 21 continuum.
UNITED WAY HELPS AMERICANS ACHIEVE FINANCIAL STABILITY
As many as one-third of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of housing, healthcare, and education and currently, 40 million Americans are working in low-paying jobs without basic health and retirement benefits. For families walking a financial tightrope, unable to save for college, a home, or retirement, United Way is here to help.
In 2008, United Way initiated an ambitious 10-year plan to cut in half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable. With your help, we believe that by 2018 we can help 1.9 million working families get on the road to economic independence.
To address the obstacles that prevent hard working families from getting ahead financially, we launched the Financial Stability Partnership™, an initiative that promotes community-change strategies to help families meet their basic needs, while gaining the financial capability to plan for, and accomplish, their long-term financial goals.
Over 300 United Ways and their local community partners are engaged in activities to help build the financial stability of families in their communities.
UNITED WAY WORKS FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA
Whether it is a neighbor without health insurance, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling with mental illness or an addiction, United Ways are working to ensure everyone has access to affordable and quality care.
Since 2008, we’ve been working to achieve our bold, 10-year goal: to increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors by 2018.
Achieving our goal requires us all to become more aware of health risks and the potential effects they have on ourselves and others, starting from before birth. Working to change policies and practices, such as extending health care coverage, will enable more people to live healthier lives.
- More than 33% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. That’s 25 million kids and teenagers.
- Children with health coverage are better prepared to learn in school and succeed in life.*
- The number of Americans without health insurance has increased steadily since the beginning of the century, now totaling about 47 million. More than 80% are working families.**
- 8.7 million children live without health insurance – more than the total number enrolled in the first and second grades in U.S. public schools.***
*Institute of Medicine. From Neurons to Neighborhood: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington DC:National Academies Press, 2000.
**Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates from the March Current Population Survey, 2007 Supplement.
***Compiled by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), University of Minnesota School of Public Health, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey 2007.