For 95 years United Way has belonged to our community, and has partnered with our community to solve its most pressing issues. Last week, we celebrated our supporters at our virtual event in honor of our 95th anniversary. If you missed it, you can watch the recorded live stream HERE on YouTube.
Although Maricopa County’s needs have changed over the years, what remains constant is United Way’s unique role at the intersection of community leaders, businesses, donors, and vital nonprofits and the people they serve.
Over the last year while we responded to the pandemic, we spent time listening and learning about the most pressing issues and how the community views our role in solving those issues. Through surveys, town halls and focus groups we received input from over 1,000 people. That valuable community feedback is what lead us to create new, bold goals. The Mighty Change 2026 (MC2026) plan will guide us over the next five years will give more hope, and prioritize increased access to needed services in Maricopa County. Woven into each of the plan’s strategies is a focus on diversity, equity, access and inclusion.
We can’t beat today’s issues with yesterday’s thinking. Change demands bold new solutions. So, we’re redeploying our energies and realigning our resources and partners to drive Mighty Change in our community.
Remove barriers to ensure everyone in our community is healthy, with a focus on access to food and healthcare.
- Partner with health providers and community-based organizations that help increase access and availability of health services and insurance
- Immediately partner with nonprofits and community-based organizations to increase access to vulnerable populations so they increase health outcomes, beginning with COVID-19 vaccine efforts
- Support expansion of enrollment efforts for health programs including AHCCCS and SNAP through program support and public awareness
Ensure all can have a safe home to call their own.
- Serve as a grant-maker to nonprofits that place specific focus on critical wraparound services that keep families and individuals housed
- Collaborate with Continuum of Care, government partners, and community based organizations to develop new regional plans to end homelessness
- Educate community on the connection between housing security and improved health outcomes
Close opportunity gaps to ensure children read at grade level by 3rd grade and youth are prepared for educational success and employment.
- Grant-making with nonprofit, school organizations and community providers that specialize in specific supportive services that keep vulnerable students from drifting too far away from achievement
- Convening and serving as a backbone organization around strategic reading initiatives
- Partner with corporate partners and donors to leverage funds to bridge Digital Divides
Open pathways to better paying jobs.
- Convene education, government, and CBO sectors to co-create new strategies and opportunities for highly-desired jobs
- Serve as a grant-maker to nonprofits and community-based organizations that support unemployed and/or underemployed individuals to get a paying job that can support themselves and their families
- Co-create new strategies that can lead to supporting programs that help individuals have opportunities to participate in hands-on work-based learning, apprenticeship, and mentoring experiences
Together, we tackle the systemic, interrelated issues that are holding us back to create more opportunity and access throughout the Valley. Progress will be tracked and reported annually, and we will change courses as needed to stay focused on the right programs and solutions to reach our goals.
Even small actions add up to make a big difference. Here are a few ways to get involved now.
- “Hunger into Health” by Erik Talkin
- “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond
- “The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein
- “Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America” by Linda Tirado
There’s never been a moment like now. Now is our opportunity to band together and fight for a more equitable future. To kick down old barriers and champion new ways of thinking. Our mission isn’t small or easy. It’s a giant leap. A Mighty Change. But this community was made to be mighty. And this is our time to prove it.