Year In Review: United Way Impacts The Valley

Year In Review: United Way Impacts The Valley

01/04/2015, By Valley of the Sun United Way

Valley of the Sun United Way transforms lives and entire communities year-round in Maricopa County. Thanks to the generosity and dedication of more than 6,000 volunteers, 90,000 individual donors and hundreds of community partners, it was focused on achieving its three bold community objectives:  End Hunger and Homelessness, Ensure Children and Youth Succeed and Increase the Financial Stability of Individuals and Families. By uniting diverse partners, United Way is building caring communities where each person has the opportunity to achieve the aspirations we all share: a good education for our children, a roof over our heads, a meal on the table and the security that comes with financial self-sufficiency.

“Our supporter’s generosity and dedication makes the Valley a better place for all of us to live, work and raise our families,” said Valley of the Sun United Way President and CEO Merl Waschler.

Community highlights in 2014 included:

  • Partnered to end chronic homelessness among veterans in Phoenix with diverse organizations.
  •  Broke Guinness World Record to end chronic hunger with Arizona State University, ASU Student United Way and more than 2,000 volunteers which assembled 1,993 Weekend Hunger food bags.
  • Developed community partnerships to create 1,000 units of permanent supporting housing by the end of 2015 and we have reached the three-quarter mark towards achieving this goal.
  • Implemented the virtual tutoring program in targeted partner elementary schools in Phoenix and Glendale with 240 volunteers and 240 students to improve literacy for third graders.
  • Trained 3,500 parents and provided more than 8,233 School Readiness Kits to prepare children for kindergarten
  • Distributed 15,000 WeekEnd Hunger backpacks filled with meals at eight local schools for students who may not have a reliable source of food over the weekend.
  • Provided academic assistance to 90,000 students.
  • Alongside our community partners, we distributed 77 million meals to families, children and senior citizens.
  • With our partners, we assisted 4,000 individuals complete job training and obtain employment, and provided financial literacy education to over 1,600 adults.
  • Helped 1,340 hardworking taxpayers to claim nearly $2 million tax refunds including tax credits they earned to improve their financial stability.
  • Served more than 5,000 adults and provided thousands of connections to life-changing services to end and prevent homelessness at Project Connect events.
  • Supported homelessness prevention and intervention with one million nights of emergency shelter.

You can be the one to change the life for a young child like Jaffet Reyes in Phoenix and strengthen his literacy skills or Gabriel Hernandez from Tempe, a formerly homeless veteran, who now has a place to call home.

It’s easy to volunteer or join a group.

  1. Women’s Leadership Council a powerful network of women committed to early literacy for young children and to advocate and volunteer to strengthen the community.
  2. Generation United, a group of philanthropic young leaders to network and learn about crucial health and human service issues facing Maricopa County.
  3. Volunteer at Project Connect to connect people to more than 30 life changing human services in one day under in one central location at vsuw.org/volunteer.
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