Blog

Electronic Arts Gives Back Big

If you walked past our office on East MLK on May 23rd and heard “EA!” cheers, no need to be alarmed. That was just 300 amazing Electronic Arts (EA) employees working hard to make our campus and neighborhood beautiful. On May 23, more than 300 volunteers from Electronic Arts spread out across the Austin community at five volunteer spots completing more than 10 projects that had a BIG impact. As a part of their 2019 #EAGivesBack Day, EA employees partnered with United Way ATX to fight poverty through meaningful volunteer action. From building early childhood classroom kits to beautifying our Eastside neighborhood, EA employees brought energy and enthusiasm to every part of the volunteer day. “At EA, we give back because we have the wonderful opportunity to operate in 47 offices are 25 countries in the world. We can all get caught up in our day-to-day jobs of making games, but there is an entire population of people who surround us in these vibrant communities in which we operate for us to give back to,” Mala Singh, Chief People Officer at Electronic Arts, said. “Our gamers and their families give so much to us and it is important to give back to them in the ways that we can.” Mic drop. As an organization, EA is committed to giving back to their local communities all over the world and helping them thrive. And it’s mega inspiring. “We are so grateful for what [they have done]. Thank you so much,” David […]

Read More

Expanded High-Quality Pre-K Options for Families

United Way and Austin ISD Partner to Expand High-Quality Pre-K Options for Families United Way for Greater Austin and the Austin Independent School District are expanding an established collaboration to increase access to high-quality Pre-Kindergarten. Austin ISD trustees approved an innovative solution that will serve as a model in the state for how communities can make high-quality early education accessible to all families. Through Pre-K Partnerships (PKP) United Way will create a hub to manage partnerships between Austin ISD and high-quality child development centers (CDCs) to offer both three-hour Austin ISD Pre-K3 classes (program that serves children who turn 3) and full-day childcare in community settings. For working families – particularly those with low income – this will be a game changer that provides access to high-quality care and education in a location and on a schedule that is convenient for them. “Access to high quality pre-kindergarten programs is critical for all children to ensure students are on a trajectory for success in kindergarten and beyond,” said Austin ISD Director of Early Childhood Ami Cortes-Castillo. “We are happy to provide yet another option for our Austin ISD families.” The first five years are a critical period in a child’s life when more than 90 percent of brain development occurs. Children who enter Kindergarten school-ready are set on a path to success that predicts third-grade reading levels, high school graduation rates, and other critical life outcomes. Less than half the children in Austin and Travis County enter Kindergarten ready for school. […]

Read More

Get access to FREE food for kids this summer

“When school lets out for summer, millions of children lose access to school breakfast and lunch and are at risk of going hungry. Our summer meal programs work to make sure that doesn’t happen.” -USDA Food & Nutrition Service Did you know that 1 in 4 Austin, TX households are food insecure? Access to basic needs is a fundamental right, and United Way for Greater Austin is proud of the work our 2-1-1 Navigation team plays in ensuring that families have access to resources like nutritious, affordable food all year round. During the school year many families rely on the free breakfast and lunch program that is offered for qualifying families through the public school system. That benefit is not available when the school year ends, so funders and providers are coming together to ensure there is access to food available during these summer months. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is offered throughout the state of Texas. In the Greater Austin area our 2-1-1 Navigation team works hard to make sure families have accurate, up-to-date information on which locations in their area are offering food, and when. The SFSP program partners offer FREE food throughout the state to: · All children, 18 and under, no questions asked. · To individuals 19 years and older who have a mental or physical disability, and participate during the school year in a public or private non-profit school program. There are no other qualifications to receive the free meals. The program runs from […]

Read More

You Make Austin Ruthlessly Good

On Saturday, hundreds of Austinites took to the streets of Austin in the name of fun and fighting poverty. Our third annual Ruthless Good scavenger hunt was the best one yet. Altogether, the event raised nearly $15k! United Way for Greater Austin believes that everyone deserves to enjoy the promise of Austin, which is why we rally our community to help all our citizens reach their full potential. We want to say a HUGE thank you to our top fundraisers: Kenneth Warner, Kendra Scott Kristin Guy, Liberty Hillbillies Brent Gillentine, The Mongolian Dandelions And to our top fundraising teams: Velocity Credit Union Kendra Scott Outside the Law We also want to thank our amazing sponsors: Our Presenting Sponsor: Texas Mutual Our Uniting Sponsor: JPMorgan Chase Our Convening Sponsor: Long Motors Our Partner Sponsors: 3M, Humana, and UPS And our In-Kind Sponsors: Taco Ranch, InLieu, Yoga Pod, Austin Detours, Amy’s Ice Cream, and Big Swig A giant and heartfelt thank you to our rockstar Ruthless Good Ambassadors: Jeremiah Bentley, Co-Chair, Texas Mutual Yvette Ruiz, Co-chair, JPMorgan Chase Alex Amaya, Deloitte Jalan Andrews, Oracle Raul Barreto, Facebook Britney Box, Austin Chamber of Commerce Kathy Chou, Samsung Kate Davy, Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody Chris Eddy, Blipic Brandi Flores, Humana Holley Ford, Humana Darryl Giden, Enterprise Chad Hardy, Wells Fargo Mark Huff, H-E-B Christina Hughes, Diligent Robotics Hamzah Khataw, Encotech Daniele Kimes, Blipic Andres Lemos, NXP Patrick Mercer, Frost Bank Gloria Perez, HomeAway Nico Ramsey, Velocity Credit Union Lacy Roesler, Austin Chamber of […]

Read More

Impossible to Unstoppable

Imagine you’re a young single mother struggling to find affordable child care for your new baby. You need child care because you are striving to get your GED. With a GED, you hope you will be able to get a better job, and in turn, build a better life for you and your daughter. Only… you need child care to be able to get your GED, and you need your GED to get a job that will allow you to make enough money to afford child care. See the problem here? This is the exact no-win situation Alyzeah Martinez found herself in. As Alyzeah began to adjust to life as a new mother, she was having to rely on family and friends to take care of her daughter Luna so she could make it to class – child care was just too expensive. Alyzeah was struggling to piece together a child care plan. With everyone’s availability changing day-to-day, she began to miss class. “I was asking family members to watch Luna during the day while I went to school and paying them [more than] $100 a week to do so,” Alyzeah said. “It was nearly impossible to find someone every day and I can’t afford to pay for child care myself.” Alyzeah decided to enroll in a GED and job training program at American YouthWorks. The Youthbuild program at American YouthWorks begins when a young parent needing child care applies. Then, case managers work with the applicant to enroll their […]

Read More

Mothers Day gifts that make a difference

Austin-area nonprofit unveils Mother’s Day gift that makes a difference People can honor the moms in their lives with a gift that supports early childhood initiatives in the community   Austin, Texas – This Mother’s Day, skip the flowers and chocolates. Donors can honor the moms in their lives with a gift that makes a difference. When people donate to United Way for Greater Austin, they will receive a beautiful Mother’s Day card to share with their honoree. Donors can pick from three card designs, each featuring artwork by children enrolled in early childhood programs supported by United Way in Austin. And, when donors give $100 or more, they will be entered to win a special giveaway – a $100 gift card to the new, hip restaurant, High Note. Donors can get involved by donating: $30: More Cherished than Chocolates $100: More Magical than Mimosas $250: More Fabulous than Flowers The best part? This is a Mother’s Day gift that gives twice. Donations will support United Way for Greater Austin’s work, including early childhood initiatives like Family Connects Texas. What is Family Connects Texas? United Way for Greater Austin provides families with the skills and resources they need to take an active role in their own success. As part of that mission, United Way for Greater Austin – in collaboration with Austin Public Health and St. David’s Foundation – has started offering free Registered Nurse home visits to families in Austin/Travis County with a newborn. The Family Connects model brings […]

Read More

Success By 6 Coalition Launches 2019-2023 “Success By 6” Strategic Plan

Every day, an average of 38 babies are born in the Austin area. The Success By 6 (SX6) Coalition is working to ensure that each of these 38 brand-new Texans has an equal opportunity to thrive. SX6 is a coalition of child and family advocates – providers, parents, policymakers, civic leaders, philanthropists, business leaders, and early childhood experts – working together on a community plan that reflects our collective wisdom and amplifies our collective voice.   “Success By 6 has child development at the heart of its mission,” Dr. Jennifer Duc, Assistant Clinical Professor, UT-Austin Pediatric Residency Program and Outpatient Pediatrician, CommUnityCare said. “Success By 6 knows that nurtured children and supported families create the foundation for strong, healthy, and successful communities.”     On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, the SX6 Coalition launched the next iteration of our community’s strategic plan and lay out their strategies and goals for the next 2,000 days. From 7:15 – 9 a.m. civic leaders, including Mayor Steve Adler, Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Council Member Alison Alter, early childhood education experts, policymakers and more gathered to celebrate the hard work and collaboration that went into creating the plan. Attendees heard a keynote from The University of Texas System Chancellor James B. Milliken over breakfast at the University of Texas Club.   Why a 2,000-day journey? Because research has proven that the first five years of a child’s life strongly influence the rest. Ninety percent of brain development happens within the 2,000 days from birth to Kindergarten, […]

Read More

United Way ATX helps launch the Success By 6 Coalition Strategic Plan

United Way for Greater Austin Launches 2019-2023 “Success By 6” Strategic Plan Every day, an average of 38 babies are born in the Austin area. The Success By 6 (SX6) Coalition is working to ensure that each of these 38 brand-new Texans have an equal opportunity to thrive. SX6 is a coalition of child and family advocates – providers, parents, policymakers, civic leaders, philanthropists, business leaders and early childhood experts – working together on a community plan that reflects our collective wisdom and amplifies our collective voice. On Wednesday, April 24, 2019 the SX6 Coalition will launch the next iteration of our community’s strategic plan and lay out their strategies and goals for the next 2,000 days. From 7:15 – 9 a.m. civic leaders, including Mayor Steve Adler, Judge Sarah Eckhardt, Council Member Kathie Tovo, early childhood education experts, policymakers and more will gather to celebrate the hard work and collaboration that went into creating the plan. Attendees will hear a keynote from The University of Texas System Chancellor James B. Milliken over breakfast at the University of Texas Club. Why a 2,000-day journey? Because research has proven that the first five years of a child’s life strongly influence the rest. 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 life. For the past seven years, SX6 has led this strategic plan [formerly […]

Read More

NXP has the heart

Our amazing Corporate Partners play one of the most important roles in making our work possible. From donating their money to volunteering their time, the companies we work with demonstrate our shared belief that giving back is good business.    For nearly 30 years NXP Semiconductors has been the Presenting Sponsor for our annual Spring Day of Caring. United Way Spring Day of Caring is a community-wide service day that addresses critical needs at various partner organizations and nonprofits through meaningful volunteer action. Volunteers from across our city come together to get to know our community while sharing their time and talents and NXP helps make this possible.   Read below to hear straight from NXP’s heart and learn just how much they prioritize giving back to our community.   Q&A with Kristen Day, Community Relations & Inclusion at NXP Semiconductors   Q: Why is volunteering important to NXP? A: Volunteerism is a longstanding tradition with NXP because we understand the importance of giving back to the communities in which we live and work. NXP is committed to being a leader in corporate citizenship by partnering with community organizations that make a positive impact and promote employee volunteerism. NXP is also proud to offer our employees paid time off to volunteer at any company-sponsored event in the community.   Q: What inspires you to volunteer? A: I choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it is the right thing to do.  We should all feel an obligation to […]

Read More

More Than PBS Kids

If you’re anything like us you love our local PBS provider KLRU. Not only do they bring some of the best shows to the airwaves with BBC Masterpiece Theater (do y’all have any more of those Sherlock episodes available for us?!), but they provide us with countless hours of kids programming that focuses on academic and learning, and other learning initiatives to promote cognitive development through TV time. However, that is not all they do! Did you know that KLRU is at the forefront of Early Childhood Education work in our community? They lead programs such as Play to Learn, are strong partners in the Bright by Text initiative and they are a key player in our Success X 6 Coalition (SX6) work focusing on “School Readiness.” United Way for Greater Austin is thrilled to partner closely with them all these efforts, and to directly fund their efforts with their Early Childhood work in Austin/Travis County.   If you were lucky enough to grow up with PBS KIDS you know that their goals are to be non-commercial, educational media that offers safe, fun learning experiences. With new technology on the table, they have moved beyond TV to reach kids and families on other devices – on computers, mobile devices, streaming boxes (Roku & Apple TV), and even game consoles. Building awareness of these multi-media PBS extension platforms is one of KLRUs chief goals, along with sharing info on how to best use these educational assets.   KLRU works on introducing […]

Read More