The United Way was founded almost a century ago to advance the common good through collective fundraising efforts that benefit the entire community. Today, the United Way continues to operate as a fundraising body as well as providing and facilitating programming. With the mission of ensuring that all working families in Fresno and Madera Counties are thriving, United Way is focused on driving impact in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.
The goal of United Way is to promote lasting outcomes for working families in Fresno and Madera Counties.
The Concept of the Working Poor
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.
· 2-1-1 Call Center
o The heart of the work of United Way Fresno and Madera Counties is the 2-1-1 Call Center. This non-emergency hotline serves to connect the community with all the health and human services programs in the Valley to address immediate needs. We receive over 40,000 calls for help each year.
· Free Tax Preparation Services
o Each year, United Way Fresno and Madera Counties offers free tax preparation services, which brings millions of dollars, back into the hands of the Valley’s neediest families. In 2018, the widespread expansion of these services was made possible due to a generous donation from Citibank.
· The Yield
o United Way Fresno and Madera Counties launched this initiative in September 2017. The Yield serves to increase additional services for both 2-1-1 and free tax preparation service clients. Families are offered a more comprehensive system of support, which can greatly improve the present trajectory of families living on the edge of crisis. Part caseworker, part financial advisor, part life coach, The Yield presents pathways for working families to increase stability within their homes.
· Women United
o This United Way affinity group fights for equity, inclusion of women and offers real life solutions for women facing adversity related to health, education, and financial literacy. The Women’s Advisory Council provides direction for the work of Women United, which focuses on policy advocacy, leadership development / mentorship, and the promotion of resources, which increase upward mobility.
Our Focus Areas
United Way seeks to promote lasting outcomes for working families in Fresno and Madera Counties by addressing issues surrounding:
3. Financial Stability
How You Can Help
Give – Your investment makes a difference locally because when you give locally, your money stays locally. You are helping people pull themselves up so they may have more prosperous and healthy lives. Long-term and lasting change is expensive; it takes significant resources to cultivate community change.
Advocate – Make your voice heard on policy issues, which affect our Valley’s working families.
Connect – Show your support of the work of United Way Fresno and Madera Counties by connecting with us on social media. Please share our posts, tweets, and content with other friends and businesses who can help us make real impact on the community.
Volunteer – Volunteer your expertise with us and make a difference. We have many volunteer projects throughout the year. Join us!