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Media Advisory: Thousands of Triangle Volunteers to Mobilize on MLK Day of Service

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CONTACT:
Irene Godínez
igodinez@unitedwaytriangle.org
Office: (919) 463-5013 | Cell: (919) 627-7511

MEDIA ADVISORY

United Way of the Greater Triangle’s 11th Annual MLK Day of Service

*EXCELLENT VISUALS*

Who:   United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) is mobilizing 3000 volunteers across four counties.

What:  11th Anniversary Triangle-wide Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  Over 30 volunteer community service projects will take place in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties with United Way Signature Projects in each county. This will be the largest mobilization of volunteers in the Triangle on MLK Day, 2016.

When:  Monday, January 18, 2016 | 9:00 am – noon

Where: 

Durham County-Rotary Signature Project
Location:         Durham Technical Community College
1637 Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703
Time:             9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Volunteers:      470
Description:

  • Creating soup mixes
  • Making rice bags
  • Making bean bags

Durham County Signature Project
Location:       North Carolina Central University
The LeRoy T. Walker Physical Education and Recreation Complex
Time:           9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Volunteers:     1200
Description:

  • Creating soup mixes
  • Making baby blankets
  • Making rice bags
  • Making bean bags
  • Creating alphabet, emotion, and classroom words flashcards
  • Making encouragement card

Wake County Signature Project
Location:      Saint Mary’s School
900 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Time:          9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Volunteers:    350
Description:

  • Creating soup mixes
  • Making baby blankets
  • Making rice bags
  • Making bean bags
  • Creating alphabet, emotion, and classroom words flashcards
  • Making encouragement card
  • Working in the school’s community garden

Social Media
United Way staff and volunteers will be using the social media hashtags #Uniting4Good #MLKDayTriangle to post updates to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram from events all across the area including the Signature Projects. The official UWGT social media handle is @UWTriangle.

https://www.facebook.com/UWTriangle/
https://twitter.com/UWTriangle
https://www.instagram.com/uwtriangle/

 

 


Uniting4Good 2015: A Year in Review

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Soon we’ll say farewell to 2015, but not before reflecting on this incredible, whirlwind year that will surely drive us closer to our objectives of transforming lives and improving our communities. We are grateful to each of you, our supporters and partners, for your many contributions throughout the year–financial and intellectual capital, attendance at events or hands-on service. All of the ways in which you give, moves us closer to solutions on some of our area’s most pressing challenges. Check out some of our highlights and favorite moments of 2015 and be sure to stay tuned to what we’re up to in 2016.

This year, we unveiled our  Strategic Plan, which outlined our 2020 goals:

  • 5,000 more students from low income households are proficient 3rd grade readers
  • 13,000 more low income families become financially stable
  • 50,000 more households with plenty to eat

We will accomplish these aspirations by uniting our community through increased engagement opportunities, mobilizing greater community will and resources by demonstrating that once our community is presented with a challenge, we rise together to meet that challenge; and by increasing our community investment funds.

The facts about our community are sobering and serve as a call to action. Not sure what the Triangle Paradox is about? Check out our video series:

TriangleParadoxvideo Video2.ChangingGenerations

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The reality is that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that all families and children in our community thrive. We are addressing short-term needs and building long-term solutions through intentional community investments in collaborative partnershipsThe new direction at United Way reflects a national growing movement in recognition that the issues we face are not singular in nature and need to be addressed through collaborative and integrated approaches. This year we invested 88% of our funding in: 

  • Meeting immediate basic needs  for our most vulnerable populations in accessing their basic needs of healthcare, housing, and safety.
  • 24 collaborative partnerships with a two-generational approach—working with children and their families together—to significantly improve current circumstances and future opportunities for low-income households and;
  • Partnerships working across the region on reducing childhood hunger and increasing access to health care.

We recognize that making a step towards collaborative work can be complex. But we’re optimistic about the possibilities, especially considering the progress made by our very first collaborative partnership, Fostering Youth Opportunities. Click here to view the story of how working collaboratively across sectors works and how it impacts people in our community.

Below are highlights of how you, our supporters, joined us in #Uniting4Good in 2015.

2015 MLK Day of Service focused on literacy and basic needs. We sparked new partnerships with Triangle MLK Committee, Saint Augustine’s University, and the Rotary Club.

Impact: 35 Projects, 4 Counties, 2800+ volunteers

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BANNER_SEASON

National Volunteer Week focused on housing and rehousing in the Triangle. 

Impact: 15 projects, 4 Counties, 115+ volunteers

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Day of Action was held in Durham and volunteers from across our region created weekend meal and literacy kits.

Impact: 250 students received weekend meals for 4 consecutive weekends during the summer, along with 4 new books and literacy kits to help prevent summer learning loss.

collab2 collaboration

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Collect.Create.Feed. a community wide food drive and can building project was held at Triangle Town Center.

Impact: Collected 14,771 pounds of food (12,439 meals) for residents in our region

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Other 2015 highlights:

PremiumHelp

Launched the pilot program that helps low-income families and individuals pay for health insurance premiums, Premium Help on Dec. 15, 2014 in Durham County and approved more than 180 individual applications, assisting about 300 people with obtaining and maintaining coverage for 2015. Half of these individuals had been uninsured the previous year and more than 70 percent were first time enrollees on HealthCare.gov. This program expanded in 2015 and is currently underway in Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

 

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Helped address food insecurity in our community. Child Nutrition Services of Durham Public Schools won the 2014 Social Innovation Challenge—100,000 Kids Hungry No More. Their innovative approach to delivering breakfast to all students increased access to breakfast in five schools. All students receive the free breakfast meal in the classroom while socializing or working on homework. The impact of this investment equates to an additional 957 breakfast meals per day for a total of 172, 260 additional breakfast meals served since the implementation of the award.highfive

Heard directly from community members at our Collaboration Labs. Their voices helped shape our 2020 Strategic Plan.

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Engaged area companies and individuals volunteering around our four county region.

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Local area executives who participated in the 4th annual CEO Sleep Out events worked to build awareness of “invisible” issues such as hunger, homelessness and poverty in our community among their networks.

Watch the video of their experience here and learn about the impact of this program: https://youtu.be/88SYcwYuxvg

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Worked with our collaborative partners on telling their stories to increase community engagement and support.

collabs

Hosted poverty & housing simulations at area companies to connect challenging issues to employees, potential volunteers.

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Invited women leaders from our community to mentor young girls participating in a leadership camp.

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Invited Leaders United members to learn more about our collaborative partners and their work.

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Many thanks to our staff, board members, volunteers, corporate and community partners and our donors for your generosity in sharing your time, feedback, support, financial gifts and for helping us make our community better. 

JOIN US IN 2016:

  • January 18, 2016 MLK Day of Service, This four-county community service day helps empower and strengthen local communities with service projects to pack soup mixes, make blankets, create literacy kits, read to kids, and more to honor of Dr. King’s legacy of service. Make plans now to recruit your friends and family to work together to make MLK Day 2016 a “day on not a day off.”
  • February 2016 – Launch of the Social Innovation Challenge—100,000 Kids Hungry No More. Details to come.

 

 

 


Wake County Added to United Way’s PremiumHelp.org

 

PremiumHelp

CONTACT:

Irene Godínez

VP of Marketing & Communications

igodinez@unitedwaytriangle.org

Office: (919) 463-5013

Cell: (919) 627-7511

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wake County Added to United Way’s PremiumHelp.org

Assistance with health insurance premiums for low-income residents now available in Durham, Orange and Wake Counties

MORRISVILLE, NC (December 14, 2015) – United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced today the expansion of its program to help low-income families and individuals pay for health insurance premiums, called PremiumHelp.org. The program will now be available in Wake County as well as Durham and Orange. Target populations will be based on economic status, not health conditions.

For the 2016 benefit year, $1.51 million has been committed to the program.

PremiumHelp.org will cover the balance of the health insurance premium, the amount due after the federal subsidy, for residents in three counties whose annual income is between 100 and 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or between $24,250 and $42,437 for a family of four. Currently, five Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Silver-Level plans offered through the North Carolina Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov are part of the program.

“We are committed to improving the health and well-being of our citizens in Wake County. The availability of this program is an important step in continuing to make Wake the healthiest capital county in the nation,” said Regina Petteway, Director, Wake County Human Services. “We all know access to health care is vital to family and community well-being. This new initiative will make a significant difference in the lives of uninsured and underinsured people in our community.”

The pilot program, launched on Dec. 15, 2014 in Durham County only, approved more than 180 individual applications, assisting about 300 people with obtaining and maintaining coverage. Half had been uninsured the previous year and more than 70 percent were first time enrollees on HealthCare.gov.

Quick Facts

  • To qualify for this program, individuals must purchase a qualified plan from the Healthcare.Gov web site and select the advance tax credit before applying for PremiumHelp.org.
  • Availability is limited, based on funding sources, by county.
  • Premium support is provided for the 2016 benefit year. For information about the program, visit org.
  • Premium support is not available for insurance plans purchased through employers.
  • Premium support is only available to those that fall within the qualifying income range.
  • Payments on behalf of enrollees are considered charitable gifts and are not taxable.
  • Only select Silver–Level insurance plans are available for this program.

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About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)
United Way is committed to supporting immediate basic needs and working toward long-term, sustainable solutions to some of the area’s most pressing issues in four North Carolina counties, Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A new focus on low income families and children uses a collaborative approach to dramatically change the course of their futures. Learn more about UWGT’s work at unitedwaytriangle.org. | 2400 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 150 | Morrisville, NC 27560 | 919.460.8687


Bright Spots Series: Close the Gap Distributes Books to Address Summer Learning Loss

BY Craig Pederson, Community Impact Associate

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MLK Day of Service volunteer reading to children

A week before Thanksgiving a cohort of individuals gathered in Durham for a volunteer opportunity that can carry a lot of weight within the community. Seriously…42,000 brand new children’s books weigh a lot!

As each book-laden pallet was forklifted from the semi-truck, it was the community who answered the call for help in moving the library’s worth of books toward its final destination…the hands and homes of 4,000 low-income children who live in our community.

Books are essential to a healthy childhood. However, books are lacking in low-income homes throughout our community. Roughly 61% of low-income children are growing up in homes without books. This book gap puts them at a severe disadvantage for school success, and ultimately long-term prosperity.

Studies show that 3rd grade reading proficiency is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Yet every year, more than 80% of our low-income children will miss this crucial benchmark.

Countering the income-based achievement gap. A unique collaborative partnership of a local non-profit agency (Book Harvest), a state-wide Foundation (North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation), and a national social-enterprise (First Book) has joined together to increase access to summer reading though the distribution of books to children in low-income schools.

Supported by United Way of the Greater Triangle, the Close the Gap Collaboration is launching a full-scale attack on summer learning loss by providing tens of thousands of books to nearly 4,000 low-income children in the Durham and Chapel Hill-Carrboro public school systems. Through their Books on Break model, Book Harvest will distribute books to children who qualify for free or reduced lunch, for these children to start their own in-home library.

…increasing children’s access to print (books and magazines) produce positive effects on children’s reading achievement, effects that are larger than the average effect sizes of all other educational interventions!” (Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Guide)

The common vision of Close the Gap is just that…to ‘close the gap’. Specifically, to close the achievement gap, the book gap must first be closed…and the time to start is the summer.

Closing the book gap in summer has been shown to decrease the extent of summer learning loss. Providing books to kids in need during the summer is the first and most fundamental step to close the income-based achievement gap and to ensure that all our children, regardless of family income, have a real chance at school success.

What do we know about the role of books in school success? According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, books are a critical tool to help all children succeed in school. In fact, books in the home are the single biggest indicator of academic success—surpassing income, parents’ education, and family composition. Simply stated, to do well in school, children need to grow up in homes rich with books!

Summer reading loss accounts for roughly 80% of the reading achievement gap between more and less economically advantaged children. By the time both groups of children are nearing graduation from high school, the rich/poor reading achievement gap is 4 years wide, with children from low-income families performing at the same level as the middle-class children in 8th grade. (Summer Reading: Closing the Rich/Poor Reading Guide)

The genius behind Close the Gap model is that it is simple, scalable, and low-cost―utilizing a low-tech solution…books. The goal is to provide all children with the basic tools needed to hold onto their hard-won academic gains over the summer and to thrive in the classroom throughout the school year.

Back to the truck load of books! So on that day the books arrived, each volunteer undertook the tedious yet arduous task of unloading over 40,000 books, knowing that lives would be forever changed. With each back ache, a child’s future was no longer defined by his or her family’s financial status; a community was being transformed by the potential influx of future high-school and college graduates. The fabric of families, and the children of future generations, benefited by the vision of Close the Gap and by the decision of the community to act through their volunteerism.

 

Thanks to our Close the Gap partners!
{} unfunded:

  • Book Harvest
  • First Book
  • NC Early Childhood Foundation
  • {Durham Public Schools}
  • {Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools}

 


United Way of the Greater Triangle Adds Three to Their Board of Directors

Area Executives Lead Transformative Work in Their Respective Fields

Contact: Irene Godínez, igodinez@unitedwaytriangle.org

Morrisville, NC – United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced Jim Gibson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at RTI International; Susan Greene, President at SPG Associates, Inc.; and Del Misenheimer, Senior Vice President and General Manager leading the Power Quality Division - Electrical Sector for Eaton have been elected to serve on its Board of Directors.

 
 
Jim Gibson
Susan Greene
Del Misenheimer
 
 

Pictured left to right: Jim Gibson, Susan Greene, Del Misenheimer

Not only do Gibson, Greene and Misenheimer have impressive business acumen, they also understand the issues in the Triangle well. They understand the impact of poverty on the community, for people living in low-income families as well as its long-term implications for the families and for the progress of the region as a whole. They share United Way's commitment to a two-generational approach, focusing on children and their families together to create pathways to progress that will improve lives and transform communities.These three area executives bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board and are leading transformative work in their respective fields. Gibson is responsible for helping to guide the strategy for RTI's discovery, science, and technology-based businesses and for developing long-range plans supporting investments for RTI. Greene has worked with many corporate, non-profit and start-up organizations, guiding and facilitating their strategic planning and innovation efforts. She has extensive experience in the United Way system, both locally and nationally. Misenheimer was most recently, the Senior Vice President for the Power Delivery Division, Eaton’s Cooper Power Systems business. He joined Eaton as president of the LIPE (Line Installation and Protective Equipment) Global Business Unit with Cooper Power Systems.

“We are quite pleased to bring not just one, but three dynamic leaders from our community who are ready to get to work and help us transform our region so that all families may have a chance to thrive,” expressed Kevin Trapani, President and CEO of The Redwoods Group and Chair of UWGT’s Board of Directors. "We are grateful for their willingness to serve at this important time in United Way's history."

Gibson is a licensed attorney with an undergraduate BS degree from State College of New Jersey-Ramapo, an MBA from The University of Southern California, and JD degree from Duquesne University. In addition to his active participation in many professional associations, he is an advisory board member of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and chairman of RTI's annual United Way campaign.

Greene received her M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School. She is also very involved in supporting local non-profit organizations, currently serving on the Board of the YMCA of the Triangle, and formerly serving as the Vice Chair of the Board and Strategic Planning Committee Chair, for the Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA.

Misenheimer was a participant in the accelerated leadership development program through the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is a certified six sigma black belt. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a Business minor from East Carolina University.

# # #

About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) United Way is committed to supporting immediate basic needs and working toward long-term, sustainable solutions to some of the area’s most pressing issues in four North Carolina counties, Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake. A new focus on low income families and children uses a collaborative approach to dramatically change the course of their futures. UWGT actively mobilizes the caring power of communities to build resources, focus investments, and foster partnerships to improve lives and inspire generations of achievement.

2400 Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 150 | Morrisville, North Carolina 27560 | 919.460.8687

 


United Way of the Greater Triangle Expands PremiumHelp.org

Assistance with health insurance premiums for low-income residents in Durham and Orange Counties

Contact: Melanie Davis-Jones, 919-463-5030, mdavisjones@unitedwaytriangle.org

MORRISVILLE, NC (November 9, 2015) – United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced the extension of the program to help low income families and individuals pay for health insurance premiums, called PremiumHelp.org, piloted in Durham County in 2014.  The program will now be available in Orange County as well as Durham. Target populations will be based on economic status, not health conditions.

“Access to healthcare is a fundamental basic need and reflects one of the core impact areas of our organization,” said Mack Koonce, President and CEO of UWGT. “For families that live at or just above the poverty level, health insurance can be out of reach even with the federal subsidies that come with the Affordable Care Act. For qualified enrollees, this program will reduce their monthly premium costs to zero, positively impacting both the adults and children.”

PremiumHelp.org will cover the balance of the health insurance premium, the amount due after the federal subsidy, for Durham and Orange County residents whose annual income is between 100 and 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or between $24,250.00 and $42,437.50 for a family of four.  Currently, five Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Silver-Level plans offered through the North Carolina Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov are part of the program.

“This new program will make an important difference in the lives of uninsured people in Orange County, particularly those in the two zones we have identified for targeted outreach through the Family Success Alliance. Access to healthcare is a vital component to a family’s well-being,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, Orange County Health Director.

For the 2016 benefit year, $1.2 million of funding has been committed to the program.

The pilot program, launched on December 15, 2014, approved more than 180 individual applications, assisting approximately 300 people with obtaining and maintaining coverage. Half had been uninsured the previous year and more than 70% were first time enrollees on HealthCare.gov.

United Way of the Greater Triangle is committed to serving the immediate basic needs of the community including access to health care as well as mobilizing the community toward solutions to some of our area’s most pressing issues.  This program address both of these goals while working to make the community healthier today and into the future.

Additional information is available at www.PremiumHelp.org.

Quick Facts

  • To qualify for this program, individuals must purchase a qualified plan from the Healthcare.Gov  website and select the advance tax credit before applying for PremiumHelp.org.
  • Availability is limited, based on funding sources, by county.
  • Premium support is provided for the 2016 benefit year.
  • Individuals that earn between 100 and 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines may be eligible for premium balance, after the federal subsidy, to be paid by the program.
  • PremiumHelp.org is only available to residents of Durham and Orange Counties.
  • PremiumHelp.org support is not available for insurance plans purchased through employers.
  • PremiumHelp.org support is only available to those that fall within qualifying income range.
  • Payments on behalf of enrollees are considered charitable gifts and are not  taxable.
  • Only select Silver–Level insurance plans are available for this program.  A full list is available here.

About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)

By working with nonprofit partners, corporations, community and county leaders, along with thousands of volunteers and donors, United Way of the Greater Triangle is creating significant community change in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties in North Carolina through an emphasis on achieving specific results and developing lasting solutions to some of our area’s most pressing issues.

Learn more about UWGT’s work at www.unitedwaytriangle.org or find out about volunteer opportunities at www.unitedwaytriangle.org/vol.


Bright Spots Series: Collaboration in Action

We are excited to share the progress of our new direction. We will be following and reporting out through this newsletter the work of our Collaborative partners. Each edition, will highlight organizations that are collaborating to meet the needs of children and their families. Though now just at the beginning stages of development, in time, we expect to be able to demonstrate just how our focus of work is creating lasting opportunities and changes to those we serve. So be sure to check back each month.

Fostering Youth Opportunities

“One caring adult can make a difference in the life of these youth. With this collaboration, we’re creating a community of caring adults.” – Nancy Carter, Executive Director, Independent Living Resources

According to national estimates, approximately 20,000 children age out of foster care each year. In our community, Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake Counties, there are roughly 1,600 youth in foster care at any one point, with 70 aging out of the system each year. Typically between the ages of 18-21, youth exit the foster care system and enter a new phase of independence with little to no resources helping them assume adult responsibilities.

Research shows that young people in foster care are far more likely than their peers in the general population to face adversities such as poverty and unemployment. These young people also face challenging odds:

  • More than 1 in 5 will become homeless after age 18
  • Merely 58% will graduate high school by age 19, compared to 87% nationally
  • Fewer than 3% will earn a college degree by age 25, compared to 285 nationally
  • 1 in 4 will be incarcerated within 2 years of leaving the foster care system

We are working to change these outcomes through an integrated service delivery model that engages partners around specific, targeted young people.

Approach: Fostering Youth Opportunities (FYO) in Wake County was UWGT’s first investment toward this new approach. Beginning in March of 2014, we helped bring together four independent agencies to work holistically with youth aging out of foster care.

As our first Collaborative, FYO works intensively with 15 foster care youth to create a comprehensive and easily accessible support system built around improving their housing situation, finding employment by providing job-readiness skills, and giving them the financial management tools necessary to become independent adults.  Youth-centered and driven, all FYO programs are built on the construct that in order for young people to reach the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency, they must be the owners of the plan. Though directed by an assortment of volunteers, guides and advocates, it is ultimately the youth who determine their own life course.

Partners in the Collaborative

FYO is composed of four agencies, each working toward a collective goal:

The Hope Center at Pullen serves as the backbone organization. They provide case management to each youth in the Collaborative. The Center works with the youth to chart out and implement a plan for adult self-sufficiency.

PLM Families Together helps the youth establish housing goals and strategies for achievement. Based on their individual circumstances, youth work with PLM to create a roadmap for sustainable housing.

Wake Technical Community College offers both degree and non-degree courses through The Fostering Bright Futures Program to improve a young person’s opportunity to earn a living wage in the future.

Wake County LINKS serves as the primary referral agency for the FYO Collaborative, helping the agencies identify the youth in foster care who might benefit from the Collaborative’s services.

Outcomes

In its first year FYO showed strong growth and development, which resulted in some really positive changes for the participating youth. Working with 15 foster care youth FYO has reported the following:

  • 15 youth achieved safe housing
  • 10 youth became employed
  • 7 youth increased their income
  • 2 youth increased their savings
  • 3 youth achieved enough income to become financial stable and independent
  • 2 youth enrolled in High School or GED
  • 8 youth enrolled in post-secondary education

(Note: not all youth required each available service)

FYO is increasing the number of youth they serve. By the end of the second year, FYO hopes to have all 35 participants achieve similar successes.

Going Forward: The lessons learned have been instrumental in informing our process across all the Collaboratives we fund and support. In fact, as FYO has been broadly evaluated as a successful model and has been expanded across our three other counties. Durham, Johnston, and Orange are in the process of developing similar FYO models. From what we have learned in developing and supporting FYO in Wake County, we are confident in the potential for these added counties in meeting the needs of these youth who are about to find themselves in sudden adulthood. By putting young people at the center of services, they have a supportive network to gain self-confidence and the skills they need to work toward living the life of their dreams.

 


Teaming for Technology launches La Familia Technology Awareness Program

T4T

United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Teaming for Technology (T4T) program has formed a partnership with Univision, an American Spanish-language broadcasting TV network, to further the T4T mission of bridging the digital divide and the Univision desire to “not only to entertain but also to empower.”  T4T will aid in that empowerment, by providing ultra-low-cost computers directly to families with school-aged children who do not have a home computer and who can benefit from the use of Univision’s Clave al Éxito portal. This portal offers resources to help parents track their children’s academic progress, communicate with their teachers and better prepare for college.

T4T has provided over 25,000 refurbished computers to nonprofits and schools over the years, that in turn, provide these computers to their clients and students.  With the new “La Familia” initiative, T4T will now be able to provide low-cost computers directly to the children and families who do not have a computer in the home.  Aligning with the United Way’s “two-generational approach” toward community impact work, families who apply to the program will not only receive a computer, but also receive bi-lingual training and instruction with the child and the rest of the family unit on this computer.  Families will be trained by volunteers on basic internet skills, word processing, spreadsheets, and the use of the Clave al Éxito portal from Univision.

If you have an interest in volunteering as a trainer or family mentor, please visit our volunteer signup page here.


Collaborating with the tech community

United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) and technology leader Citrix  are collaborating on UWGT’s 2016 Social Innovation Challenge to end childhood hunger, 100K Kids Hungry No More.

The partnership is a natural fit for two worlds that may not often collide–technology and nonprofits. It came together when UWGT’s Allison Warren-Barbour and Citrix’s Bill O’Boyle met through Leadership Raleigh. Through conversation, they discovered a mutual interest in mission-driven opportunities for talent development and recruitment.

O’Boyle was looking for special opportunities for his business development team to sharpen its skills, specifically its capacity “to solve big problems” while Warren-Barbour was seeking to engage the intellectual capital of the Triangle to take on pressing social issues like food insecurity.

The two got their respective teams together and a match was struck.

Last year’s Challenge offered $50,000 in prize money to the best idea for reducing childhood hunger in the Triangle. Out of 50 applications, Jim Keaten, Childhood Nutrition Director for Durham Public Schools, won with his universal breakfast in the classroom pilot program. As a result of the award, over 280,000 additional breakfast meals during school and summer as well as nearly 150,000 summer lunch meals to feed kids in Durham.

This year, United Way and Citrix will employ a GoToMarket strategy developed by O’Boyle’s team, with goals to double the number of participants, engage more companies from the technology industry, and increase the Challenge prize pool to $100,000.

It’s a win-win.

From O’Boyle’s perspective, this opportunity allows Citrix employees a way to contribute to the Triangle community by creating what Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter calls shared value — generating economic value in a way that also produces value for society by addressing its challenges. He’s found it so meaningful to talent development and recruitment that he’s added the skills-based project to his team’s fourth quarter KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), giving his team an edge with top talent looking for ways to marry professional ambition with community service.

“Connecting social problem-solving with KPI’s allows us to show employees that giving back is a not just a nicety but a priority for Citrix and will act as a way to attract young talent who enjoy the concept of working with the community,” says O’Boyle.

Many of the Citrix team find that having community-oriented KPIs only affirms their choice of Citrix as an employer that allows them to “bring their entire self to the office,” according to team member, Ted Kirk.   The ability to overlay the expertise utilized every day to build new relationships for Citrix upon some of our region’s most complex social issues is a natural extension that will benefit both the community and Citrix’s bottom line.

“Just as United Way’s new collaborative approach in the community is forging new partnerships and creating different ways of working together, the Citrix/UWGT partnership ushers in a new era of solving social issues through purpose-driven employment, directly linking doing good business to doing good” reflected Allison Warren-Barbour.

We can go farther in solving complex challenges in our community by working together, leveraging the diverse experiences that our partners bring to the table. In the end, the community as a whole wins.


A Mutual Mentoring Experience

BY Sarah Williams, Community Engagement Fellow
Cross-posted with Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines

MentorSession4-Sada

Mentor is defined as:

  1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher;
  2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

At this year’s “Discover the Leader in You” camp at Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines, I had the chance to mentor and be mentored and it was a wonderful, powerful experience.

Now in my mid-twenties, post high school, college and grad school where I had countless influential teachers and mentors, I am grateful for the women in my life who have provided me so much guidance and support. As a result, I have been eager to find opportunities to pay it forward and by mentoring to help other young girls grow into their best selves.

I don’t know that I have the necessary wisdom or extensive experience to be the best mentor yet in life, but through my Community Engagement Fellowship at United Way of the Greater Triangle I had the opportunity to volunteer with this camp. As soon as I read about it, I knew I wanted to be a part, to try to pay it forward to these young girls, and support their empowerment to make a difference in their own communities.

At camp, I expected to have the chance to mentor. What I didn’t expect was how much I would be mentored through the process.

First, I had the privilege to meet two young girls with big hearts and dreams to impact their community. One wanted to help save animals from the streets and bring publicity to local animal shelters. Another wanted to help people in poverty find clothes. I learned that she loved fashion and put on fashion shows for her family so we tried to blend her talents and her desire to give back. She created a social action plan to host a clothing drive and organized fashion shows at local shelters, so those who received their new clothes could feel beautiful and special.

While I walked in to the experience hoping to give back, I walked away having received so much. First, I learned so much from the girls. I wish I was that others-focused at their age and that eager to make an impact in my community. I was so impressed with all of the girls at camp, their ideas, and their social action plans. It is clear that these girls are on a great path with Girl Scouts to become leaders in their communities.

Secondly, I had the chance to attend the Town Hall on the final day of camp with a number of women far wiser, more influential and experienced than myself.  These local professionals were there to share some of their advice to the girls at camp. The girls asked these women leaders a number of great questions including their biggest struggles and successes, lessons learned, who their own mentors were, etc. It is a beautiful and powerful thing when women come together to grow and support one another.

It caused us all to reflect and grow and learn through the experiences, ideas and sisterhood of the powerful women – both young and old – that was shared in that room.  I am grateful to have been able to be a part of Girl Scouts Leadership Camp – to grow as a mentor and mentee with all of those wonderful campers and women leaders. I think we all discovered more about leadership and ourselves through this camp.