Category: Press Release

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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United Way for Greater Austin Hosts Film Screening of No Small Matter Documentary

AUSTIN, Texas – In a 2017 poll by the First Five Years Fund, more than 90 percent of Americans agree that our elected leaders should work together to make quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable to low- and middle-income families. But the simple truth is that making high quality early learning available to every American family actually has the power to solve so many of the challenges facing our country today, from poverty to mass incarceration to health disparities.   Tuesday, January 22, 2019, United Way for Greater Austin will facilitate a conversation around early childhood care and education by hosting a film screening on No Small Matter, the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for good in America today: early childhood education. The screening will be held at Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar at 6:30 p.m. followed by an Early Learning Panel Discussion with key community leaders including Austin City Council Member Delia Garza.   United Way leads the Austin/Travis County’s collective impact efforts to improve access to high-quality early childhood education. As the leader and backbone organization of the Success By 6 initiative, United Way brings together a coalition of school, city and county officials, nonprofits and parents to improve the network of support systems for children. Together they’re ensuring our youngest community members start our life on an even playing field.   Through poignant stories and surprising humor, the film lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of […]

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Baker Botts’ Austin Office To Support United Way for Greater Austin’s Family Connects Initiative

AUSTIN, September 6, 2018 – Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce its Austin office is supporting United Way for Greater Austin’s Success By 6 program and its newest initiative, Family Connects. The three-week campaign, which includes a supply drive, e-pledges, and a Build-a-Bike activity, along with participating in UWATX’s Fall Day of Caring, begins on September 7th. Baker Botts is pairing up with United Way for Greater Austin to support the launch of Family Connects, an early childhood development program which provides support to new mothers in Austin and Travis County. Family Connects is a partnership between United Way for Greater Austin and the Austin Public Health Department to offer every family with a newborn at least one home visit from a registered nurse. “We are proud to join with the United Way for Greater Austin to help launch this exciting new initiative that will help new and expanding families flourish in Austin and Travis County,” said Mollie Duckworth, Partner-in-Charge of Baker Botts’ Austin office. “As a mother of two, I know how challenging the first few weeks at home with a new baby can be. Our support of UWATX and Family Connects will ensure that new parents throughout our community are matched with the resources they need to help navigate their children’s first year of life,” said Ms. Duckworth. About Baker Botts L.L.P. Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 725 lawyers practicing throughout a network of 14 offices around the globe. Based on our […]

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United Way for Greater Austin Announces Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

AUSTIN, Texas – It’s the season of New Year’s resolutions and at United Way for Greater Austin we are always looking for ways to give back to our community. In partnership with Keep Austin Beautiful, United Way invites the community to join us in cleaning up MLK Jr. Blvd. from I-35 to 183. The day will begin with a visit from Daniel Segura-Kelly, on behalf of newly elected City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison and State Representative Sheryl Cole, whose districts (1 and 46 respectively) include the entire stretch of road that we will be cleaning. Both elected officials’ platforms closely align with United Way’s own mission and values of ending poverty by providing families and individuals in need with the tools and resources to thrive.   WHO: United Way for Greater Austin, Keep Austin Beautiful, Daniel Segura-Kelly, State Representative Sheryl Cole   WHAT: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service   WHEN: Saturday, January 19 from 9-11 a.m.   WHERE: 2000 East MLK Jr. Blvd. Austin, TX, 78702   For more information visit: https://volunteer.uwatx.org/special-event/a0M1H00000VHhJAUA1 Have questions? Email Madyson Russell at madyson.russell@uwatx.org

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United Way Launches the Family Opportunity Roadmap: 
The 2-Generation Strategic Plan for Austin/Travis County

AUSTIN, Texas –  All families deserve access to opportunity. However, systems that perpetuate intergenerational poverty threaten the wellbeing of Austin’s residents and its economy, leaving far too many families behind. In Travis County, more than one-third of households with children younger than 18 years old are low income. Meanwhile, employers in our community struggle to find trained candidates to fill well-paying middle-skill jobs. Austin’s current workforce gap is projected to continue to grow and reach more than 60,000 openings for middle-skill jobs by 2021.  For many parents who are eager to fill these positions, access to affordable, high-quality child care stands in the way. Although there are many promising anti-poverty programs in Austin, most focus solely on adults or their children, missing the opportunity to foster economic mobility for whole families. The 2-Gen approach to family economic opportunity brings services and resources for parents and children together, ultimately leading to better outcomes for both generations.   Over the past several years, leaders across sectors in Austin/Travis County have worked together to better understand and promote a dual-generational (2-Gen) approach aimed at disrupting the cycle of intergenerational poverty. With the release of the Austin/Travis County 2-Gen Strategic Plan, Austin’s nonprofit and municipal leaders are laying the groundwork to intentionally coordinate services for parents and children over the next five years. Austin Mayor Steve Adler and United Way CEO David Smith will formally celebrate the launch of the plan on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at the Headliners Club. City and County officials, […]

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United Way for Greater Austin Announces 2018-2021 Community Investment Grant Funded Partners

AUSTIN, Texas – United Way for Greater Austin announced their 2018-2021 Community Investment Grant funded partners. United Way will collectively award twenty-eight agencies a total of $1.4 million under two distinct funding opportunities.   The path to poverty starts at an early age when low-income children do not have access to the same opportunities as their more advantaged peers. In Travis County, 42 percent of all children under six years of age are living in low-income families. That is almost 40,000 children who wake up each morning in homes where economic insecurity forces families to choose between paying their ever-rising rent or purchasing groceries.   United Way’s Community Investment Grants (CIGs) support their partner organizations to tackle the community’s greatest challenges. Through high-quality, data-driven programs, United Way seeks to ensure that Austin’s youngest, most vulnerable children and their families have the support and resources they need to break the cycle of poverty.   United Way focuses funding in two priority areas: Success By 6 (SB6) – Early Childhood Development: Through the Success By 6 initiatives, CIGs support programs to ensure that children are happy, health and set up for success in school and life. 2-Gen – Wrap-Around Family Support: 2-Gen CIGs address two generations in each family by supporting programs that provide families with equitable access to economic and social opportunities and ensure families in Central Texas are physically and mentally healthy.   With these two areas, United Way lifts up the resources to address holistic family needs to fight […]

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Texas Family Connects Has First Home Visit In Austin, Travis County

AUSTIN, Texas – Every family needs support following the birth of a child. The United Way forGreater Austin is pleased to announce the launch of the Texas Family Connects Nurse Home Visiting Program. Texas Family Connects will benefit all families, including those that are frequently overlooked or underserved through current outreach methods – families who may not have been connected to services otherwise.   WHO: United Way for Greater Austin and Texas Family Connects – Travis County   WHAT: Announcement of first home visit with the Texas Family Connects nurse home visiting program in Austin/Travis County. Texas Family Connects is a voluntary, evidence-based Travis County community-wide nurse home visiting and referral program is for every family with a newborn. It is specifically designed to decrease instances of maltreatment by screening for risk and providing access to intervention early in a child’s life. The initiative has launched with all families giving birth at the St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with plans to expand to serve every family with a new baby in Travis County.   WHEN: September 4, 2018   WHERE: St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, 901 W Ben White Blvd, Austin, TX 78704   WHY: Texas Family Connects – Travis County is officially up in running, with a plan to give babies the best possible start in life.   This program is a partnership between United Way for Greater Austin and Austin Public Health. The City of Austin’s Public Health Department to offer every family with a newborn in […]

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United Way for Greater Austin Launches Partnership with United Way Worldwide and Lyft to Provide Free Rides to Eligible Citizens

AUSTIN, Texas – United Way for Greater Austin is pleased to launch a new partnership with Lyft and United Way Worldwide to provide free rides to those with unmet transportation needs.   In 2017, United Way for Greater Austin took more than 5,000 transportation-related calls, 423 were from veterans and 1,629 were requesting help with medical transportation. As the suburbanization of poverty increases, with low-income families moving further away from the city, the amount of people with unmet transportation needs increases. Transportation calls come into 2-1-1 for many reasons including a cancer patient needing transportation to a chemo appointment, a mother needing assistance getting her young son to the doctor, an individual trying to access a food pantry we referred them to. Transportation needs in Austin prevent many of our citizens from gaining access to the resources or immediate help they need, and the Lyft-United Way partnership seeks to address that.   On June 4, 2018, the six-month pilot program began in twelve markets around the nation. The goal of the partnership is to eliminate barriers around transportation by scheduling free rides to clients in the Austin Metro Area. United Way for Greater Austin defines the Metro Area as Austin, Round Rock, Del Valle, Cedar Park, Pflugerville and Buda.   Lyft and United Way are joining forces to provide free rides to those in need through the 2-1-1 system. Lyft has committed $1.5 million to the Lyft Relief Rides program in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, […]

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