His life changed in an instant

United Way for Greater Austin advances our mission bringing our community together to break economic barriers and build opportunity for all using four strategies. One of those is services and support.

United Way envisions a Central Texas where everyone has an opportunity to thrive. And 2024 marks an important milestone for us: 100 years serving the community! As we reflect on a century of change and a legacy of impact, our new strategic plan lays a strong foundation for our next 100 years. 

Our new strategic plan galvanizes our promise to realize a future where every child is set up for success with high-quality early care and education – in a community where everyone is connected to the essential resources they need, when they need them. Our services and support strategy unites us toward our vision of a Central Texas where everyone has an opportunity to thrive.

One example of our work in services and support is our Navigation Center, which paved the way for connecting local families and individuals to resources in our region. For more than 25 years, we have served as a 24/7 helpline that connects people right here in our community to more than 30,000 resources. Last year, we answered more than 200,000 requests for help – that’s one call every two minutes.

United Way programs like Family Connects and the Parenting Students Project also provide health and education services to families in our region. Beyond providing essential support directly to families and individuals, we invest in more than 50 organizations who provide resources.

In every service we provide, our community knows they will receive an answer. Through our 2-1-1 helpline, clients receive access to resources like housing, health care, income support and employment, utilities, food, and more.

Last year, food was a top need in our region.

Charles never imagined he would need help accessing healthy food. With a thriving career in music, he spent most of his time playing guitar or drums in a show. In his free time, he helped other local musicians manage their schedules or listened to his favorite music at Waterloo Records.

 Tragedy struck when Charles had a stroke at the peak of his career. His speech, memory, and mobility were all impacted, leaving him unable to work. Without steady income and transportation, accessing the most basic resources like food became a challenge. Desperate for support, Charles called United Way for Greater Austin’s 2-1-1 helpline. 

What he found was not only help, but hope.

United Way’s Navigation Center helped Charles receive locally sourced, nutritious food – every week, and right to his doorstep!

The weekly delivery served more than his essential need for food: Charles also receives a recipe with his groceries. During the most crucial periods of his recovery, following a new recipe helped improve his executive functioning. Little by little, Charles’ memory is getting better, thanks to the consistency of healthy food and recipe deliveries. At first unable to move his right side, Charles now rides his bike often, can drive short distances, and has even played in three shows.

For 100 years, United Way has championed the collective power of gathering and giving to strengthen our community through programs and services like our Navigation Center. With access to essential resources, Charles now has hope for a stronger, healthier future – one recipe at a time.

United Way envisions our next century as one characterized by innovation, inclusivity, and an even more profound community impact. We stand as a beacon, guiding the way toward a future where everyone in Greater Austin has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Now, in a time where community is more important than ever, we invite you to be a part of ours.


Read another story about our work in programs and services

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