Category: Grants

Anyone can help save lives in Central Texas

Successful and equitable deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine is the most hopeful path to economic recovery, educational re-engagement, and re-emergence of cultural life in Central Texas. From vaccine clinics in church parking lots to high school cafeterias, we are proud to be a part of the coordinated effort to save lives in Central Texas. In collaboration with Austin Community Foundation and St. David’s Foundation, we awarded $415,000 in funding to 19 community-based organizations. These grants will support COVID-19 vaccine confidence and equitable access among Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other groups that have suffered disproportionately the adverse health and economic impacts from the pandemic.  “Vaccines save lives,” said Stephanie Cerda, Vaccine Equity Program Manager at United Way for Greater Austin. “People of color and people with low income have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and these same communities now face challenges in accessing the vaccine due to barriers like language, technology, transportation, and more. We’re honored to partner with 19 community-based organizations to improve vaccine access, provide culturally relevant outreach to address hesitancy, and get our community closer to herd immunity.” Organizations receiving grants have deep connections in the community and a plan for increasing vaccination rates for underserved, unserved, disconnected, and rural populations in Central Texas counties (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson).  Congratulations to the grantees! Learn more about the grantees here. “This work is very reliant on trust and building relationships,” said Cerda. “I know from my background as an educator, the first […]

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Community Partner Spotlight: Austin Asian Community Health Initiative

The Austin Asian Community Health Initiative (AACHI) partners with the local Asian community to enhance public health and well-being through advocacy, language-specific education, and healthcare navigation services. Successful and equitable deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine is the most hopeful path to getting our community closer to herd immunity. However, we know that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) communities, those with low-income, or people who live in rural areas face systemic barriers to vaccine access and have higher rates of vaccine hesitancy.   That’s why United Way for Greater Austin, in partnership with St. David’s Foundation and Austin Community Foundation, recently awarded $415,000 in grants to 19 local organizations to address these inequities and increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in our community. The Austin Asian Community Health Initiative (AACHI) is one of those organizations doing incredible work in our community. Learn from AACHI Program Manager Lucy Nguyen about the specific barriers to vaccine access facing the local Asian and Asian American community, and how AACHI is helping mitigate those barriers and decreasing vaccine hesitancy.  What are some of the systemic barriers to COVID-19 vaccine access that the Austin Asian and Asian American community is facing?  Language access is the biggest barrier in Asian communities with high limited English proficiency in accessing vaccine locations, scheduling vaccination appointments, and understanding the risks of the vaccine. A majority of local vaccination locations only accommodate English speakers. What are some of the leading factors that promote vaccine hesitancy among some in this community?  Earlier this year, […]

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We did this, All Together ATX

Back in March of 2020 we had no idea the amount of good we would do when we worked together to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many in our community facing economic, social, and health hardships, the pandemic disrupted life as we knew it,  we just knew we had to do something. That’s why, in an effort to support the community, United Way for Greater Austin partnered with Austin Community Foundation to create All Together ATX. Now here we are, nearly a year later, celebrating more than $7.7 million in funding raised by 3,149 donors that helped 210 local nonprofits provide support to our community members most in need. Check out the full report to learn more! For nearly 100 years, United Way for Greater Austin has been dedicated to those in our community who are suffering and creating opportunity for all people, children, and families. The work we’ve been doing all along prepared us for this moment of unprecedented need. Needs will continue to evolve, and we will be here.  Together, we can provide stability today and create long-term solutions for the future, for all.     

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All Together ATX Final Round: Announcing $3.5 Million to 111 Local Nonprofits

We are excited to announce grant funding from All Together ATX in the amount of $3.5 million to 111 local nonprofits. This third and final round of grants provide funding for basic needs and support for nonprofits that are meeting other critical needs and/or facing operational impacts due to the pandemic. Since March, we have been honored to partner with Austin Community Foundation on this community-led philanthropic fund that provides flexible resources to nonprofit organizations working with communities that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak.  The nonprofits receiving grants are working to address basic needs and the sustainability of the nonprofit sector. The grants range in size from $125,000 to $1,000, and will be distributed electronically by December 24. Meet the grantees here. We are so grateful that the $3.5 million to be distributed includes a generous matching gift from the Sheth Sangreal Foundation. Every donation made between October 1 and November 16 was matched dollar for dollar by the Sheth Sangreal Foundation. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact communities of color in Central Texas. Black and Latinx families are bearing the brunt of the economic and health consequences of the coronavirus. With this in mind, equity was a guiding principle in the All Together ATX grant-making process. Out of 111 nonprofits receiving grants, 81 organizations are led by Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) and more than 50 percent of staff at these organizations are BIPOC. All Together ATX distributed two […]

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Where Hope Takes Root

More than 70,000 children in Central Texas live in poverty and face challenges that stand in the way of learning, like hunger, trauma, homelessness, poverty and poor health. Without community support, they are more at risk for missing school, dropping out and failing to earn a high school diploma. Community In Schools (CIS) sees potential in every student, and they are committed to helping students believe in their own ability to achieve.   CIS are experts at bringing communities together for students. They collaborate with school districts and schools, deliver resources, work with local businesses, social service agencies, healthcare providers and volunteers to support students and families in overcoming obstacles and roadblocks to success. Thanks to this collaborative network, our community is a better place for students in need. United Way for Greater Austin is proud to fund the ASPIRE program run by CIS, and we are thrilled to see the convening of different entities committed to creating bright futures for all our neighbors.   ASPIRE (Achieving Success through Parental Involvement, Reading and Education) breaks the cycle of illiteracy and poverty within families by providing comprehensive, integrated literacy services for the entire family. This dual-generation (or 2-Gen) program brings parents and children together for educational success. School Readiness is the result of a process that starts at birth and relies on the home environment and parental involvement to help them achieve Success by 6. ASPIRE serves families with children that are living in poverty in Travis County. Parents experiencing poverty face […]

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ABC, 123 & Everything In Between

Literacy is often at the intersection of many issues affecting the well-being of our community, so it’s vital to place a big focus on improving literacy. The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas is building stronger communities by ensuring that individuals and families have the skills they need to thrive. Their clients are often the hardest to reach – adults with below third-grade reading level, parents whose busy schedules render them unable to participate in other programs, recent immigrants with low English proficiency, and survivors of trauma. A,B,C,1,2,3 and everything in between is all in a day’s work for the folks at the Literacy Coalition. Through work with partner agencies, they are lifting up the sector as a whole by training instructors, providing more capacity for their work, and responding to network-identified needs. Through its programs, the LCCT leads and manages multiple levels of skill-building efforts to positively impact underserved individuals who are strengthening their language and workplace skills. Literacy Coalition programs include: AmeriCorps direct service English at Work Integrated Education and Training Literacy Forward PALS (Playing and Learning Strategies) Social Services The Learning Center AmeriCorps VISTA   When people think about literacy, they often think about kids learning to read, but literacy is so much more than that. At the LCCT, there is a strong focus on literacy outside the K-12 arena, working side by side with young children and adults on early childhood literacy, adult education, vocational training, digital literacy, and English language skills. Their programs empower people to […]

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Any Baby Can – And It Takes A Village

Parenting is hard (said every new parent, ever). It can be hard in the absolute best of circumstances.  There are creeping doubts, fears and obstacles that you could never imagine until you are faced with them. All parents harbor concern about their children’s futures. The Any Baby Can staff also know that parenting is even harder without the things that many of us take for granted: resources for our children, access to information and education, heating in cold months, stable housing, and food on the table every night. That is why they are proudly committed to their mission of Strengthening Families so Children Succeed. With a 40–year history in Central Texas, Any Baby Can is a go-to resource for parents and families with unique challenges. From first-time parents, families whose children have developmental or medical needs, Any Baby Can is there to support parents and help them overcome obstacles to set their family up for success. They guide parents in building confidence, nurturing relationships, and planning for the future so their children—and the entire family—can reach their full potential. Throughout Any Baby Can’s 40 years, they have built up their wrap-around support to make success accessible for families. Caring for their client’s immediate needs is of utmost importance as they ensure families have the resources, time and skills they need to succeed. Through caring for the community, Any Baby Can establishes strong relationships with clients, providing a truly stable force in their lives. The wraparound services offered by Any Baby […]

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It’s Fun To Stay At The YMCA

Yes, it’s fun to stay at the YMCA, but what else do you know about this nonprofit that has its own signature dance moves? YMCA is a nation-wide nonprofit that works to build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.  Here in our own backyard YMCA of Austin (the Y) identifies and solves Central Texas’ most critical needs across three pillars: -Youth Development -Healthy Living -Social Responsibility   Here at United Way for Greater Austin, that is our favorite kind of fun! We are proud to fund YMCA in support of their Early Learning Readiness program (ELR), which is making a tangible difference in our community every single day.     YMCA of Austin is serving more than 65,000 members (and an additional 60,000 program participants) through their eight branches in Travis, Hays and Bastrop Counties. They also provide Afterschool Child Care at 16 licensed sites in three school districts, and at five YMCA Learning Centers in affordable housing developments.   In Austin, across the nation and around the world, the accomplishments of the Y over the years reveal a mission to constantly search for innovative ways to meet community needs.   We all know the Y is a great place to expend energy and build community, but many people might not know how their programmatic work impacts our at-risk community. The Community Investment Grant YMCA has received from United Way will help them bring their ESL program to 60 additional at-risk children and caregivers in East Austin and Manor, so they can […]

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Community Partner Spotlight: Child Inc.

Forging the way for families in Austin, TX since the 1960’s, Child Inc is making a real impact for families in our community.  Child Inc’s  Project Head Start was one of the first initiatives to be funded through President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. This was an important moment for funding in the nonprofit world and helped spotlight the need to break the cycle of poverty for families across the United States. In 1972 Child IncInc was officially established as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, and has been the Head Start grantee for Travis County since then. They enhanced our strategic community focus on making quality early childhood education accessible for more low-income families. The Child Inc mission is to provide high-quality education and comprehensive support services for children and their families while promoting personal and social responsibility in the communities [they] serve. Actively Involved Living and breathing their mission for decades, Child Inc has proudly prepared approximately 40,000 preschool children and their parents to succeed in school and in life. They are currently employing a diverse workforce of more than 230 staff positioned throughout their offices, in more than 80 classrooms, serving more than 2,000 children and families. Their work follows established evidenced-based approaches to serving families in the most need. According to their website two-thirds of [the families served] in [their] center-based program has single, female head-of-households, and at least 90 percent of them live at or below the federal poverty threshold. To better serve these families, Child Inc […]

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Community Partner Spotlight: Mainspring Schools

Since opening its doors in 1941, Mainspring Schools has been a best-in-class nonprofit preschool that works to eliminate the early childhood school readiness gap. Their mission is “to deliver the highest quality early education and care to Austin’s most economically disadvantaged children – along with services so each child and parent have tools for success in school and life.” With a mission like that and its dedication to providing high-quality, innovative, and researched based services to all children, Mainspring serves as a model for early childhood centers in Austin and beyond. As the backbone organization for early childhood in Austin/Travis County, United Way supports more than 20 childcare centers serving children from low-income families. Mainspring envisions a future in Austin in which all students have an equal opportunity to start school with the skills, support and wellness to compete and succeed in school and life. “We firmly believe that you have to start early to build a strong foundation for at-risk kids. If you get the first years right, the path to success is clearer for our children,” says Jason Gindele, Executive Director for Mainspring. Gindele’s says of his team that they “often say, facetiously, that [their] mission is to get rid of all other charities. That’s obviously not true, but [they] do believe that if you get the first years of a child’s life right, it can prevent so many issues down the road that require the attention of our society.” In Travis County, 42 percent of children under […]

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