A Brand You Know. A Brand You Can Trust. A Brand That’s Improving Lives.
Brands are not movements, brands facilitate movement. Brands give us an avenue to accomplish goals through association with them. When most people hear Nike, they think fitness; Whole Foods, better food; Apple, creative thinking, and the list goes on. United Way is a brand associated with improving lives.
United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties has been a trusted organization dedicated to helping individuals and families meet their emergency needs, stabilize their lives and lift them out of vulnerable circumstances. United Way brings people and resources together to help guide priorities, tackle needs and measure success. It is an organization that community members can rely on.
We all play a part in strengthening our community. United Way leads three community-wide initiatives, provides funding support to many local programs and services, and partners with other organizations on specific projects. In 2016, we continue this work and ensure that the money raised in our community makes the largest impact possible.
Attendance Matters is actively working in 15 middle schools in the seven school districts: Columbia, Finley, Kennewick, Kiona-Benton, North Franklin, Pasco and Richland.
The first initiative is Attendance Matters. It is a widely recognized name by all K-12 students, but especially among our middle-school students. Committed support from local businesses and organizations, as well as grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, enables continuous growth and success of this initiative. Attendance Matters is actively working in 15 middle schools in the seven school districts: Columbia, Finley, Kennewick, Kiona-Benton, North Franklin, Pasco and Richland. Data from the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland school districts has already shown an increase in student attendance.
Stories of student success continue to demonstrate positive change. One local principal shared, “Attendance Matters goes far beyond the classroom. Recognition and reward items have allowed us to connect with kids and families on a more personal level and truly make a difference in getting students to show up for school.”
This initiative has inspired other communities to adopt the Attendance Matters model, and has earned United Way Worldwide recognition as a finalist for the 2016 Common Good Award. This award is given to United Way organizations from across the world in recognition of outstanding, innovative community impact work. This year, Attendance Matters was also chosen to be showcased at an international conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The second initiative, Birth 2 Five, is a United Way children’s initiative that supports programs and services that ensure healthy emotional, social and cognitive development of children so that they are prepared for school and life. This initiative is in the final stages of development and will be launched this year.
The third initiative is the HELPer Project (Healthy Eating and Living Partners) and is funded by the ConAgra Foods Foundation. Together, United Way, Second Harvest, 2-1-1 and the Benton-Franklin Health District are focusing on educating community members about childhood nutrition and financial stability. A community-wide assessment was completed, gaps were identified and effective strategies to solve these problems are being implemented.
United Way provides funding to 28 local programs through 17 agencies.
Access to direct services and programs is essential for community members who are in need. In January, United Way began its Community Solutions Investment Funding application process. Qualified nonprofit organizations submitted applications for grant funding support for programs that aligned with one of United Way’s four priorities: education, health, safety and self-sufficiency. Grants are awarded for a two-year period, beginning July 1.
United Way provides funding to 28 local programs through 17 agencies. These funds help provide community members with basic needs such as health screenings, vocational training, home-delivered meals, disaster relief and access to local resources. Reports from service provider partners show that United Way funding has directly helped thousands of community members.
For more than 55 years, United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties has been the driving force behind positive change in our community. It’s a brand you know, a brand you can trust and a brand that will continue to improve lives in our community.