It was a first for United Way and the LA Area Chamber of Commerce’s Home for Good Initiative – The premier of the acclaimed documentary @home at theArcLight Cinemas Hollywood.Showcasing the hard truths of living on the streets through the personal stories of people experiencing homelessness across the nation, @home delivered the clear message that ending homelessness can and should be a reality.
Not only did @home deliver a voice for the 58,000 homeless individuals in our county, but its emotional impact helped raise almost $10,000, including a generous match from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, that will help support permanent housing solutions for those in need. Over 100 donors and advocates were in attendance and were able to hear from the film’s once homeless subject, Mark Horvath, and other panel members, including, United Way supporter and volunteer Marti McFall, and Home For Good Business Leaders Task Force Co-Chair, Jerry Neuman.
The event was one of many ongoing programs to support United Way’s goal to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2016. Thank you to all of our donors who have contributed to our work. With your continued support, we can get closer to reaching our goal. To donate, please click here.
Advocating for Student Education Needs
As part of our goal to reach a minimum graduation rate of 75% in L.A. County, United Way and seven premiere organizations have founded the Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS). CLASS is a broad-based coalition of over fifty civil rights, parent, teacher, community-based and education organizations dedicated to ensuring that all students receive an equitable education.
CLASS launched its first campaign that advocates that California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will directly benefit LAUSD students who have been at a structural and educational disadvantage for years: low income students, foster youth and English language learners. United Way with CLASS believes that the additional $1.1 billion that is coming to LAUSD because of the large population of high needs students must go directly to the schools with the highest concentrations of need. When the money intended to support these high needs students goes directly to their schools, we can begin to close the staggering achievement gap across the district and ensure that all children receive an equitable, quality education.
United Way and our community partners have organized a grassroots movement around LCFF. Through a series of town hall meetings in all seven board districts of LAUSD, we have led a massive outreach effort to almost 1,000 teachers, parents, students, community members, and faith-based leaders. In addition, we are driving a petition that has gained over 3,500 signatures from supporters.
Please Join the Movement!
A press conference and rally will be held on March 18th outside of the LAUSD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. More than 150 advocates from across the district will demand that the Superintendent and Board prioritize the students that need the most help when making budget decisions!
Reaching the Unbanked and Underserved Across America
In partnership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Los Angeles Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI), United Way hosted a convening of 60 AEI members, including major banks, city, county, state agencies, and United Way partner organizations. As part of a national initiative to establish broad-based coalitions of financial institutions, community-based organizations and other partners in several markets across the country, the convening helped drive the mission to bring all unbanked and underserved populations into the financial mainstream by expanding basic retail financial services, including savings accounts, affordable remittance products, small-dollar loan programs, targeted financial education programs, and other asset-building programs, for underserved populations.
Currently, 15% of L.A. County’s population lives in poverty, meaning individuals and families often have to choose between paying the rent, buying food or seeking medical care. Helping these individuals overcome economic barriers, such as lack of liquidity to carry account balances and lack of basic banking knowledge, can help maintain the financial viability of low-income populations across the county. By accessing the mainstream financial system, these households can build savings and improve their credit-risk profiles in order to lower their cost of payment services, eliminate a common source of personal stress, and gain access to basic financial services that promote asset accumulation.
As part of our overall mission to permanently break the cycle of poverty for our most vulnerable neighbors, United Way is a proud participant in the Alliance for Economic Inclusion. We would also like to recognize our corporate partner, Bank of America, for their support of the initiative, helping us achieve a mutual goal to strengthen the financial stability of low-income families and veterans in Los Angeles County.
It’s no secret that with the right ingredients, campaign kick-off events will be a huge success! We would like to recognize our friends at O’Melveny & Myers for being an outstanding United Way community supporter. All you need is a little food, great people, a heartfelt message, and a fun theme to support the important work United Way does to create pathways out of poverty for our most vulnerable neighbors! Members of the O’Melveny & Myers Los Angeles office brought their campaign to life by empowering the real ‘Super Heroes’ of our community, our donors.
Thank you O’Melveny! With the help of generous corporate leaders, like you, we are building a better Los Angeles!
The issues of poverty in our community are becoming increasingly visible. You have most likely noticed a homeless neighbor sleeping on the sidewalk, driven by a group of children walking on the street after school with nowhere to go, or seen a veteran asking for help on the side of the road.
Every time I think about individuals experiencing poverty in our community, I think about the impact we are currently making through our important programs and how we are doing more and more every day. This past month, we honored 25 exemplary teachers at our First Annual Inspirational Teacher Awards as part of our goal to increase the graduation rate in L.A. County to a minimum of 75%. It was a momentous evening and the launch of an important campaign to publicize the impact teachers have on student achievement. I invite you to view a short clip highlighting the evening’s inspirational moments here: http://bit.ly/1lGZmEW
As we continue our work to increase the graduation rate and prepare individuals for success in the workplace, we know that poverty will decrease over time. However, for over 58,000 individuals who have no place to call home, that burden is a current reality. United Way’s partner, Community Solutions, and their 100,000 Homes Campaign, was recently featured on a thought-provoking episode of 60 minutes with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. It is called “Housing the Homeless Can Save Money,” and I hope you will take a moment to view the piece here: http://bit.ly/1bPGNdQ. United Way knows permanent supportive housing solutions work, lessening the cost on public services by 43% and, in the end, lessening the burden on tax payers like you.
The fight against poverty is a crucial one and I am so thankful for donors like you who support the tremendous value United Way delivers in our community.
Sincerely,Elise C. BuikPresident and CEOUnited Way of Greater Los Angeles
Did You Know You Have Benefits?
Thank you for being a Leadership Donor. Because of your generous gift, you are an integral part of a unique network of individuals and have access to some very special benefits.
As a leadership donor, you are distinguished amongst thousands of donors as a key community figure in creating pathways out of poverty. Additionally, you have the exclusive opportunity to experience a variety of events and programs connecting you directly to the impactful work your gift supports.
On behalf of the individuals who now have a home because of you, the children who now have the promise of a future, and the families and veterans who can build a life, thank you for being a leadership donor.
If you have any questions about becoming a Leadership Donor, please contact Leadership Giving Officer, Nichole Curtis at email@example.com or by calling 213-808-6255.
Interested in joining the Emerging Leaders? Come volunteer with them and lend a hand to several beautification projects at El Sereno Middle School on Saturday, March 8th, from 9AM to 2PM. El Sereno MS is a LAUSD school participating in United Way’s Leadership Matters program!
Here is a short video of the mural painting we did in 2012. This year we are embarking on some slightly more creative projects with the help of our partner, L.A. Works.
Today, we’re launching a NEW website and video for our 100 Days of Homelessness Campaign. It features real stories of real people that you’re helping. But there’s always more work to do. Give today and your donation will be matched! #100Days
United Way of Greater Los Angeles Honors LA’s Inspirational Teachers
We were proud to host the 1st Annual Inspirational Teacher Awards on January 23rd at REDCAT downtown, where we honored LAUSD’s exemplary educators. United Way’s Education Team and a panel of educators selected 25 teachers from hundreds of nominees. The winners were chosen for their exceptional leadership in ensuring that students are given every opportunity to achieve academic and extracurricular excellence.
Community and civic leaders including Mayor Garcetti, Superintendent Deasy and United Way CEO and President Elise Buik participated in the evening’s program. Each conveyed the impact a great teacher can have on a student’s life.
“As we are working to ensure that every child has a high-quality public education, we really know that teachers are the magic ingredient in making that happen,” said Elise.
United Way is pleased to honor these inspirational teachers as a kick off to a new initiative, as part of our goal of increasing the graduation rate in L.A. County to a minimum of 75%. Emphasizing excellence in teaching, United Way has launched a Teachers To Watch campaign that will recognize 50-100 teachers across L.A. County, broadly publicizing their success in the classroom and their impact on student achievement.
United Way will continue to celebrate teachers and school site staff in Los Angeles, as they are a cornerstone to enhancing the lives of the next generation of leaders. #EducateOurFuture
Bank of America Supports Annual EITC Campaign for Free Tax Help
In partnership with Bank of America, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way was pleased to kick off the 2014 EITC campaign to offer working families access to free income tax assistance. Last year, volunteers provided free tax preparation services to over 42,000 families in Los Angeles County, helping them claim over $45 million in total tax returns.
Bank of America is a long-time sponsor of the EITC program in Greater Los Angeles and was recognized at this month’s kick-off press conference with Mayor Eric Garcetti. Raul Anaya, Bank of America’s Market President, spoke at the conference reiterating the bank’s commitment to increasing the financial stability of working families in our community.
We salute Bank of America for its continuing support of asset building and financial literacy programs that promote economic empowerment and growth for low-income families. For more information about free tax preparation services in Los Angeles County, please visit www.freetaxhelpla.org. #BuildYourNest
Thank you Transamerica!
Teams from Transamerica Retirement Solutions, United Way, and Veterans Village of San Diego worked together to create “Basic Needs Packets” for our veterans on January 16.
Our friends at Transamerica Retirement Solutions recently hosted a national employee conference in San Diego, California and invited United Way of Greater Los Angeles to help coordinate their project to assemble over 250 ‘Basic Needs Kits’ for our veteran neighbors.
Support from our corporate partners, like TransAmerica, is crucial to United Way’s success to reduce veteran unemployment and homelessness and demonstrates a true commitment to creating pathways out of poverty for our most vulnerable neighbors.
Thank you Transamerica for supporting our work to help veterans!
United Way of Greater Los Angeles Brings Real-World Learning to the Classroom
United Way of Greater Los Angeles (UWGLA) was recently awarded a grant from the James Irvine Foundation to become the “backbone organization” for LAUSD’s Linked Learning business and community engagement. UWGLA is the leading partner of the district in implementing the Linked Learning approach in local schools, giving students the opportunity to integrate rigorous academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Linked Learning ignites high school students’ passions by creating meaningful learning experiences through career-oriented pathways in fields such as engineering, health care, performing arts, law, and more. When students love what they’re studying, they learn more, work harder, and dream bigger.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is seeking corporate partners from a variety of industries and sectors to participate in the program and invest in their future workforce by providing students in Linked Learning pathways with high-quality work-based learning opportunities. Specifically, employers can offer students internships, mentorships, job shadowing, and field trips in addition to working closely with teachers and administrators to provide externships and insight into how the classroom experience can be better aligned to workforce expectations as they develop curricula.
For inquiries and to participate, please contact Amy Silverman, Education Program Officer, at 213-808-6286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trained, certified volunteers prepare taxes at no charge to families throughout Los Angeles County. Last year, volunteers provided free tax preparation service to 39,573 people, helping them claim over $43.8 million in total tax refunds.
Target Hosts Best. Snowday. Ever.
United Way Corporate Leader, Target, celebrated this past holiday season by hosting the Best. Snowday. Ever. Over three days, Target transformed downtown’s LA Live into a winter wonderland featuring snow, music, sledding, and holiday tree lightings, for all Los Angeles residents to experience and enjoy. A long time United Way partner, Target enhanced the spirit of giving by hosting a public fundraiser featuring four local non-profits, including United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Residents donated to the charity of their choice and left their gift in large stockings placed at the event site. We salute Target for being an outstanding community hero during the holidays and throughout the year!