United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.
In 2008, United Way World Wide initiated a 10-year program designed to achieve the following goals by 2018:
- Improve education, and cut the number of high school dropouts — 1.2 million students, every year — in half.
- Help people achieve financial stability, and get 1.9 million working families — half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable — on the road to economic independence.
- Promote healthy lives, and increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors.
These goals are ambitious, but with your help, and by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve them.
United Way Helps Americans Achieve Financial Stability
As many as one-third of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of housing, healthcare, and education and currently, 40 million Americans are working in low-paying jobs without basic health and retirement benefits. For families walking a financial tightrope, unable to save for college, a home, or retirement, United Way is here to help.
In 2008, United Way initiated an ambitious 10-year plan to cut in half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable. With your help, we believe that by 2018 we can help 1.9 million working families get on the road to economic independence.
To address the obstacles that prevent hard working families from getting ahead financially, we launched the Financial Stability Partnership™, an initiative that promotes community-change strategies to help families meet their basic needs, while gaining the financial capability to plan for, and accomplish, their long-term financial goals.
Over 300 United Ways and their local community partners are engaged in activities and initiatives to help build the financial stability of families in their communities.
Our Focus Areas
1. Family-Sustaining Employment
2. Affordable Housing
3. Savings and Assets
4. Manageable Expenses
5. Income Supports
How You Can Help
Volunteers make United Ways’ tax assistance and financial education programs possible. We need your help, even if you don’t have an accounting background.
United Way works for a healthier America
Whether it is a neighbor without health insurance, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling with mental illness or an addiction, United Ways are working to ensure everyone has access to affordable and quality care.
Since 2008, we’ve been working to achieve our bold, 10-year goal: to increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors by 2018.
Achieving our goal requires us all to become more aware of health risks and the potential effects they have on ourselves and others, starting from before birth. Working to change policies and practices, such as extending health care coverage, will enable more people to live healthier lives.
- More than 33% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. That’s 25 million kids and teenagers.
- Children with health coverage are better prepared to learn in school and succeed in life.1
- The number of Americans without health insurance has increased steadily since the beginning of the century, now totaling about 47 million. More than 80% are working families.2
- 8.7 million children live without health insurance – more than the total number enrolled in the first and second grades in U.S. public schools.3
1Institute of Medicine. From Neurons to Neighborhood: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington DC: National Academies Press, 2000.)
2Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates from the March Current Population Survey, 2007 Supplement.
3Compiled by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), University of Minnesota School of Public Health, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey 2007.