United Way

You may have seen commercials for the United Way and wondered what their organization does and how it helps people.  This organization offers many wonderful programs that support those in need.  One way that it offers assistance is in health capacity.



The United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good”.  They want to strengthen communities by supporting individuals who may not have other resources.  Among other things, the United Way offers Born Learning, a school readiness program; an initiative to teach students character building and relationship skills; free tax filing and financial planning based on income.  They also have a docu-series that highlights heroes within the community.



2-1-1:  “2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need”   If you dial 2-1-1, you have many resources at your fingertips including, but not limited to, information on supplemental food and nutrition programs, health care, vaccination, and health epidemic information; addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs; support groups for individuals with mental illnesses; a safe passageway away from physical and/or emotional domestic abuse.


If you go to the United Way website (www.unitedway.org) and go to FIND YOUR UNITED WAY, you can find resources specific to your area.  Each community offers similar, yet varied programs.  Below are some specific community offerings:

Boston area:  Thanksgiving Project – gives full Thanksgiving meals for families in need.  Emergency assistance with food, heat, housing, and access to benefits.

New York area:  Feed NYC – funded urban gardens, fresh veggies delivered to food pantries, and donations to emergency food programs

Chicago area:  connecting people to affordable health services, promoting a healthy lifestyle to prevent chronic disease

California:  Covered California is where California residents can get brand-name health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Promotes policies that combine enrollment and administration of most public health and human services programs.

Florida:  Devotes time and money to programs that offer adults and children  admittance to health and wellness care, including mental, physical and social; FamilyWize – a prescription discount card usable at local pharmacies

Although these are just a small percentage of the United Way organizations in the United States, it is clear that they all have a similar mission.



A great way to see how the United Way operates is to volunteer with them.  You may not be someone in need, but helping others can be a great way to increase your positive feelings.  Going out and doing something to be of assistance to your community is one of the best ways to pay it forward and make you feel good about yourself.  Those who are in need may want to volunteer to show their appreciation for the support they receive from the organization.