Blog

OMG, BOOKS!

Did you know that the first 2,000 days of every person’s life are foundational? Studies show that a child’s experiences during those early years literally build the architecture of their brain. Making the most of every child’s 2,000-day journey from birth to Kindergarten is essential, and we know that all families can use support along the way to do this. Research proves that having at least 20 age-appropriate books in the home can improve a child’s educational success, and the Success By 6 ATX Coalition (SX6) is making bold moves to provide those 20-books to all families in ATX! United Ways of Texas recently helped us make headway on this goal by granting United Way ATX with an OMG Book Award! Together, with SX6 Coalition partner BookSpring we distributed 16,899 books to thousands of families in Austin/Travis County utilizing this grant! “Ninety percent of brain development happens within the 2,000 days from birth to Kindergarten, so an early childhood full of rich experiences is essential for happy, healthy children who are ready to succeed in school and in life.”  – Cathy McHorse, VP of Success By 6.  Today in Austin 34,000 children under six in Travis County live in households with low income, and 61% of those children do not enter Kindergarten ready for school. In 2019 our coalition launched version three of a strategic plan aimed at slashing that statistic. With our coalitions bold goal to ensure that all children in Austin/Travis County enter Kindergarten ready to succeed we […]

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Volunteering: It’s Good for YOU, Too

People volunteer for all kinds of reasons. Many people volunteer because they want to make a difference or help the less fortunate. And it’s easy to see how spending your time lending a helping hand and supporting a good cause positively impacts the community. But it turns out, volunteering may benefit you just as much. Over the past 15 years, research has demonstrated the power of volunteering. Volunteering has positive impacts for your overall health and well-being; people who volunteer regularly have improved cognitive function, better physical health, live longer, and have lower rates of depression. A Harvard Health paper noted that people who volunteer weekly benefit from what they call the “happiness effect” and report happiness levels comparable to a life-changing wage increase. And, the positive benefits don’t end there! There are professional benefits too. Volunteering provides valuable opportunities to build your communication, teamwork, and problem solving skills. According to this Deloitte report, all this experience pays off: People who volunteer are twice as likely to be “very satisfied” with their career progression. In fact, 92% of HR executives agree that contributing to a nonprofit can improve leadership skills. More and more, businesses are also reporting positive impacts of community engagement. Young professionals who volunteer through their company are more likely to be proud, loyal, and content with their place of work. Volunteering is a win-win. Not only is it good for the community, it’s incredibly special to be able to take some time out of your regular schedule […]

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Meet Michele, A Passionate Early Childhood Champion

Women United educates, engages, and empowers women in Greater Austin. Each month we will spotlight and bring you a closer look into the lives of one of your fellow Women United Members. We are proud to celebrate women as philanthropic leaders and are honored to have so many amazing women in our community. Q&A with Michele Scott | Owner, Square Move Realty What do you love about Austin? There are so many wonderful reasons to love Austin! 🙂 I am enamored by the vast Hill Country views, the hiking and biking trails that endlessly wind through the city, as well as the uniquely Austin local flair. From enjoying lazy afternoons on the lake with family and friends, to experiencing the live music and foodie scenes, Austin has something for everyone. With all of the advantages of a big city, but with the vibe of a friendly small town, Austin strikes a uniquely perfect balance between hustle-and-bustle, and “keeping it weird”. Austin boasts a booming economy that offers exciting opportunities for families and people of all ages, as a result of a thriving startup ecosystem, several excellent universities, a growing biomedical industry, and the continued expansion of major companies opening offices here. To sum it all up…Austin is an amazing city to call home! How did you become involved with United Way for Greater Austin/Women United? I had served as a member of organizational leadership for a Texas-based nonprofit and had also volunteered for other charitable entities prior to becoming involved […]

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An Afternoon with Local Philanthropy Legend Earl Maxwell

-Ashley Haustein, Director of Marketing and Communications I recently had a chance to sit down with Earl Maxwell, CEO at St. David’s Foundation here in Austin, TX. We talked about Earl’s views on philanthropy, the partnership between our two organizations, and — as Earl prepares for retirement — his words of wisdom for the next generation of philanthropists. Q: What people and experiences shaped your views on philanthropy? Really it goes back to my grandparents. They were always giving back and helping people. Their philanthropy was confined to their church, family, and neighborhood. I remember they were always putting people up… they had a rollaway bed that people would sleep on as they were looking for a job. My mom was also really generous. She was a Registered Nurse, and she served as our neighborhood nurse. I grew up with this idea of giving back front and center. Right out of college, I went to go work for Deloitte. On the last day of my training, the local Partner Bob Cruikshank came in to talk with us. He talked about the importance of being involved in the community. I remember leaving that training thinking, “That’s the kind of CPA I want to become.” Q: St. David’s Foundation is “building the healthiest community in the world.” That’s awesome. Tell me a little bit about the challenges Austin faces in the arena of health and how St. David’s Foundation is working to address those challenges. Our community’s challenges in health are huge, […]

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Cheers to Family Connects!

Thanks for celebrating Family Connects birthday with us over the last week! We are so excited for what the next year will bring for us. Please revisit every day of our birthday week and celebrate with us! We shared testimonials and more information about the services offered: Day 1 of our Birthday Week Day 2 of our Birthday Week Day 3 of our Birthday Week Day 4 of our Birthday Week Day 5 of our Birthday Week Day 6 of our Birthday Week Day 7 of our Birthday Week The Family Connects Texas program (an arm of Family Connects International in Durham, NC) supports parents by linking nurses, community resources, and families. Our mission is to connect you with resources that nurture your whole family and support your child. It’s about planting seeds for the future. Together, we’re growing healthy babies! Want to know what a home visit looks like? Learn more about our amazing program at our website: https://www.familyconnectstexas.org/

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Happy 1st Birthday Family Connects! (Day 7 of our Birthday Week)

Family Connects is a free, evidence-based nurse home visiting program for all families with newborns. We are thrilled to be celebrating the program’s 1st birthday in Austin/Travis County! The Family Connects Texas program (an arm of Family Connects International in Durham, NC) supports parents by linking nurses, community resources, and families. Our mission is to connect you with resources that nurture your whole family and support your child. It’s about planting seeds for the future. Together, we’re growing healthy babies! Want to know what a home visit looks like? Learn more about our amazing program at our website: https://www.familyconnectstexas.org/

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Happy 1st Birthday Family Connects! (Day 6 of our Birthday Week)

Family Connects is a free, evidence-based nurse home visiting program for all families with newborns. We are thrilled to be celebrating the program’s 1st birthday in Austin/Travis County! The Family Connects Texas program (an arm of Family Connects International in Durham, NC) supports parents by linking nurses, community resources, and families. Our mission is to connect you with resources that nurture your whole family and support your child. It’s about planting seeds for the future. Together, we’re growing healthy babies! Want to know what a home visit looks like? Learn more about our amazing program at our website: https://www.familyconnectstexas.org/

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Happy 1st Birthday Family Connects! (Day 5 of our Birthday Week)

Family Connects is a free, evidence-based nurse home visiting program for all families with newborns. We are thrilled to be celebrating the program’s 1st birthday in Austin/Travis County! The Family Connects Texas program (an arm of Family Connects International in Durham, NC) supports parents by linking nurses, community resources, and families. Our mission is to connect you with resources that nurture your whole family and support your child. It’s about planting seeds for the future. Together, we’re growing healthy babies! Want to know what a home visit looks like? Learn more about our amazing program at our website: https://www.familyconnectstexas.org/

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