Since 1936, your local United Way has been known in the CSRA for identifying and resolving pressing community issues. This has been done through annual campaigns to support partner agencies that deliver services to help youths succeed; provide basic needs; strengthen families and individuals; and promote health and wellness.
In 75 years, more than $113 million has been raised in the community to support the community. As proud as we are of those achievements, your United Way does much more than raise funds for partner agencies.
Your United Way’s vision is “to be the leader in identifying health and human service needs and securing resources to meet these needs” transcends our annual campaign.
DURING THE PAST year, your United Way campaign raised $4.1 million and provided funding for 43 programs in 23 partner agencies in the CSRA. In addition to the campaign, United Way entered into partnerships to provide other capacity-building services to include the following:
• saved $362,409 in prescription drug costs through the FamilyWize program, whose free-of-charge prescription discount cards have been used 31,487 times throughout nine counties;
• coordinated 40 partners in the Christmas Clearinghouse to provide assistance to more than 16,000 people in need during the holiday season;
• administered $524,742 in grant support in the AmeriCorps VISTA program, which provides 22 professionals and 14 summer interns to enhance nonprofit agency infrastructure;
• partnered with the Richmond County Board of Education to distribute Born Learning educational materials to more than 600 parents of pre-K children in Title I schools;
• facilitated an Early Learning Substitute Teacher Certification Program for 24 participants through partnership with United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Beulah Grove Baptist Church and Goodwill Industries;
• provided referrals to vital community resources for 24,741 callers in need of assistance;
• provided free tax preparation for 794 eligible applicants, through a $15,000 grant and partnership with three local agencies, which resulted in $912,693 in tax refunds and $373,843 in Earned Income Tax Credits;
• helped 90 homeless individuals to secure full-time employment and housing with the assistance of the 2-1-1 On the Go! pilot program – one of only two in the country, and funded through a grant from Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs;
• provided emergency hygiene kits to 1,721 people through United Way’s AmeriCorps VISTA Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service project.
• administered the Community Voice Mail program, which offers voice messaging for homeless and unemployed recipients. Activity for 2011 included 5,405 outgoing calls and 3,047 incoming messages. The Augusta CVM program is one of two in Georgia.
United Way’s stewardship and accountability can be seen by the success of the programs we fund and the lives that change. The dollars raised through the campaign are not abstract; they make a tangible difference in someone’s life every day.
OUR SIGNIFICANCE is measured by the countless number of lives that are touched by a community who “Lives United” by giving, advocating and volunteering.
(The writer is chairman of the board of directors for the United Way of the CSRA.)