- A Legacy of Impact That Endures A Legacy of Impact That Endures
by Ken Toll
I’ve been wearing United Way on my sleeve with an extra dose of pride lately.
To be clear, I’m never less than proud of the local impact we make, the partners we collaborate with, and the staff I’m privileged to work alongside every day. But United Way has been getting extra props lately, and that’s worth feeling good about.
For starters, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has named United Way Worldwide to the top spot of America’s Favorite Charities. These are 100 cause-driven nonprofit organizations that Americans are most willing to support financially because of trust ... Read more
- Creating Stability and Self-Sufficiency in Jackson County UNITED WE WIN by empowering low and moderate income households to develop their pathway to self-sufficiency. United Way of Jackson County fights for the financial stability for every person in our community by bringing together every dollar, every partner, and every resource we can to improve lives in our community. Our partnership with the Community Action Agency is one example of our collaborative efforts that is impacting our community in a real and positive way. United Way of Jackson County is proud to support CAA’s Financial Empowerment Program which helps participants develop a better understanding of their financial situation. They ... Read more
- JobSTAR: Shining a Light on a Brighter Future for Workers, Businesses
Guest blog by Scott Walker
Success Coach, JobSTAR
Missing work isn’t always about a touch of the flu. In fact, family obligations—caring for a child or sick relative, for example—are among the barriers that can keep people from working. So is lack of reliable transportation, or an unexpected medical crisis. No wonder 48 percent of employees surveyed in the Bright Horizons Modern Family Index said they fear their family obligations could get them fired.
At a time when many social safety nets come with a work requirement, people who work yet struggle financially—a population we call ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed)—are under ... Read more
- Creating Pathways Toward Stability Through Mentoring UNITED WE WIN by helping at-risk students improve their reading skills and prepare for their future. Students who come from households that are at or near poverty, more often than not are also struggling in school. Through your support, United Way has partnered with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Jackson County to help students and their parents develop a pathway toward success. Site-Based Mentors are encouraged to work with their littles on literacy, financial stability, and creating future-focused goals. BBBS also uses United Way’s Self-Sufficiency tool with the little’s parents and are revisiting these documents on an annual basis. This ... Read more
- When Poverty is Real by Ken Toll
When is poverty real?
Maybe when you see that man on the street corner with a sign. Or maybe when you read a blog on our website. Or maybe when a financial crisis happens to someone you care about.
Maybe, just maybe, it becomes real when it shows up in a national newspaper.
A few weeks ago, USA Today ran an article on the 50 U.S. communities most affected by extreme poverty. These are cities where poverty is so concentrated that it impacts the community as a whole—fewer job opportunities, struggling schools, higher incidence of crime, challenges with infrastructure and health access.
The most ... Read more
- Creating A Better Future For At-Risk Teens WE LIVE UNITED by helping troubled teens realize their full potential. When we are able to identify and support at-risk youth early, we can prevent further delinquent behavior. We want to increase their chances of graduating so they can be prepared for life after high school. If not for your support, many of these kids will continue to make poor choices and would be lost in a life of crime and poverty. We are grateful for our partnership with the Just Understand My Potential (JUMP) Program through Family Service & Children’s Aid. JUMP supports financial independence by providing at-risk juveniles ... Read more
- Improving The Quality Of Life For Struggling Families WE LIVE UNITED by improving the quality of life for families and individuals of our community who are living at or near poverty. Your UWJC support helps to feed thousands of people across Jackson County through the Fresh Food Initiative operated by the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. Throughout the summer months, this program provides quality, fresh produce to those in need. The following is a testimonial of a single mother who received food assistance through this United Way supported program.
I am a Navy veteran. I was honorably discharged after serving my country for four years on several detachments ... Read more
- Preserving Our Commitment To Young Students of Jackson County I want to let you know about some changes to Energizing Education (EE) — changes that will preserve EE’s commitment to helping young students read proficiently while we adapt EE activities to reflect financial challenges.
The simple fact is, for all its success, EE has struggled to acquire the necessary funding to run the program. Resources expected from the State never materialized. While local businesses and foundations have stepped up — along with many volunteer mentors — it’s not enough to fill the gap. Fortunately, Grass Lake, Jackson Public Schools, Michigan Center, and Northwest school districts see the value in EE ... Read more
- Preventing Homelessness, Empowering Stability UNITED WE FIGHT for the financial stability of every person in our community. Families and individuals who are living in or near poverty are constantly dealing with obstacles that threaten their sustainability. For this reason, United Way of Jackson County values our relationship with Jackson Housing Commission Support Services. This program evaluates the needs of struggling households, then provides guidance and assistance including life skills support, basic needs, outreach, conflict resolution, job development, and many other resources. Your UWJC support empowers these households to work through their struggles so they can regain or maintain their stability. Tonya was recently reunited ... Read more
- We Want Parents and Students To Find Success and Stability WE LIVE UNITED by helping young students achieve in school while helping their parents maintain stability. Quality after-school care is difficult to afford for families living at or near poverty. For their children, the hours after school are often filled with unstructured and inconsistent care. Parents regularly have to leave work early to care for their children, lessening their paycheck and threatening their employment. Elementary students without proper after-school care are at risk of falling behind academically. Our support of the Lily Mission Center’s After School Program provides a quality learning experience, physical fitness and good nutrition to every child ... Read more