Category: Press Release

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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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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