Newsroom

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 […]

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Expanded funding for 2-Gen based programs

United Way for Greater Austin announces $300,000 in funding to jump start expansion of support services for parents and children in Austin/Travis County AUSTIN, Texas – United Way for Greater Austin (United Way) announced today that it is providing $300,000 in funding designed to accelerate expansion of 2-Generation (2-Gen) family support efforts in Austin/Travis County in line with the Family Opportunity Roadmap: Austin/Travis County 2-Generation Strategic Plan 2019-2023. 2-Gen efforts include the development and promotion of services and programming that support both parents and their children together. United Way is also working to eliminate barriers families with low income often face in accessing those services. To create a community of change, United Way will award funding to six nonprofit organizations launching “turnkey” 2-Gen programs or services at a total of $300,000 over two years. In partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, United Way led a year-long strategic planning process that resulted in a comprehensive, community-supported roadmap for providing comprehensive, intergenerational support to entire families so they can break the cycle of poverty. Implementation of the Family Opportunity Roadmap began in January 2019, and these investments support immediate increases in the number of organizations serving families through a 2-Gen approach and the number of families receiving services in this manner. These new Community Investment Grant partners are: Austin Area Urban League. In partnership with Child Inc., the Austin Area Urban League will provide onsite childcare for parents participating in workforce training and job readiness programs. AVANCE. In partnership with […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Incoming, United Way for Greater Austin Welcomes A New Class of Board Members

AUSTIN, Texas – 2019 is off to a great start for United Way for Greater Austin. United Way is excited to announce the addition of six new Board Members; Kristie Gonzales, Kristin Marcum, Scott Rust, Amy Simmons, Charles Thornburgh and Jeffrey Vernor. These six key community leaders will provide invaluable leadership with their wide variety of professional skills and set policies for United Way. “I am excited about the direction and future of United Way for Greater Austin and am honored to Chair the Board and welcome this incoming class of influential, local business leaders who have joined in United Way’s fight to end poverty. We are excited to continue to grow an engaged and active Board with a deep desire to provide families and individuals in need with the tools and resources needed to thrive.”  -Mason Ayer, CEO of Kerbey Lane Cafe & United Way for Greater Austin Board Chair Kristie Gonzales joined KVUE as President and General Manager, leading one of the top television stations in Central Texas. She manages a staff of more than 125 employees who produce 33 hours of award-winning live news and programming each week. Under her leadership, KVUE became the most-watched news station, winning five out of seven weekday news time periods among the coveted demographic of adults aged 25 to 54. Gonzales is also incredibly committed to her professional and personal communities, she is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and serves on the board of directors for the Greater Austin Chamber […]

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