08/08/2017, By Valley of the Sun United Way
Here in the Valley, 1 in 4 children live in poverty, the fifth highest rate in the U.S., meaning families of 4 are living on less than $25,000 a year. However the impact doesn’t stop there.
Believe it or not, poverty affects each and every one of us.
A child living in poverty is twice as likely to repeat a grade and twice as likely to drop out of high school. When a student drops out of high school, he or she is twice as likely to live under the poverty line, be unemployed and use social supports such as welfare, trapped in the cycle of poverty.
See How This Impacts Every One Of Us In The Community?
United, we must fight for these kids and fight to break the cycle of poverty. We bring together donors, volunteers, businesses, elected officials, and other non-profits to break the cycle of poverty for every child, every family and every individual in our community.
No other organization unites as many people to fight poverty in as many ways as Valley of the Sun United Way.
How Are We Doing It?
Focus on kids.
A good education is critical to breaking the cycle for our community’s kids, so we’re focused on four important milestones:
- Support quality early childcare so kids are ready for Kindergarten.
- Ensure kids are reading proficiently by fourth grade.
- Give them the tools to make a successful transition from middle to high school – a major indicator of their future career and college success.
- Kids can’t do any of this if they go to school hungry and we know that hunger is a reality for too many kids living in poverty. Through programs like Breakfast in the Classroom and WeekEnd Hunger Backpacks, we provide kids the meals they need to be able to concentrate in class.
Focus on families and other adults in kids’ lives.
- Make sure they have a safe place to live
- Put food on the table
- Help build financial stability to pay bills and build savings
Focus on communities where they live.
The cycle of poverty runs deeper in specific local communities, working on the ground with the residents, schools and businesses in communities such as Maryvale and Guadalupe so they can create and execute solutions that make sense for the kids and families that live there provides a greater impact.
United Way uses every dollar, every volunteer hour and every bit of support to break the cycle of poverty for our kids, their families and their communities.
But, change won’t happen alone. We must unite and we must fight.