Since March, students in the United Way Student Leadership Program have led a movement, in response to four open LAUSD board seats up for re-election, among their peers, parents, fellow students and community groups to publicize the significance of a strong voter turnout for both the general election in February and run-off election this month. Through a series of LAUSD board candidate forums, local school voter registration drives and rallies, the determination to increase voter turnout was primarily targeted at encouraging local communities to vote for the LAUSD Board Candidates they believe will raise the graduation rate and promote college readiness for all students in Los Angeles.
“There is no one solution to fixing the inequalities in the educational system, but with building a stronger community of and uniting parents, teachers, and students, we can all fight a fight that is worth seeing. “
-Gabriella, Student, Board District 5
The Student Leaders have registered over 3,000 of their peers across LAUSD for the May 19th general election to have a voice in who they believe would be best for a job that influences and manages a $7 billion budget affecting 650,000 kids and 45,000 educators. After participating in the primary elections in March, the United Way Student Leaders felt empowered to increase voter turnout in local school board elections through on campus voter registration drives.
Over the course of two weeks, the #LAYouthVote campaign reached thousands of students at over 30 schools. This effort has been supported by Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, LAUSD, the League of Women Voters, iAmerica, Arts for LA, the County Registrar’s Office and the Office of the City Clerk.
On June 2nd, we hosted our 2015 Annual Philanthropy Awards. This event pays tribute to our top corporate, civic and community partners as well as our leading affinity group members for their efforts to create pathways out of poverty through fundraising, advocacy and volunteerism. Without them, our work would not be possible.
For nearly 100 years, Boeing has been deeply committed to supporting our nation’s military personnel, veterans and their families. The company recognizes that service in defense of our nation is an enduring mission, and something that for many continues well beyond their service in the military.
The unique value that these individuals bring to their jobs and communities is nearly unmatched. So when our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are finished serving, Boeing, through its Global Corporate Citizenship organization, invests in strong programs that help these individuals and their families transition into civilian life and achieve success.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles President and CEO Elise Buik accepts a grant from Boeing in support of veteran employment initiatives from board member Troy Dawson, president, Spectrolab, a wholly-owned Boeing subsidiary within Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
As part of this commitment, with a strong focus on supporting current and veteran military personnel, Boeing invested in United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ mission to reduce veteran unemployment in Los Angeles County by half by 2017. With a shared vision to recognize the value of our service members, Boeing and United Way are working hard to provide pathways for building better lives.
In the past year alone, because of Boeing’s support, United Way and its partner agencies helped almost 1,200 veterans secure permanent employment through services that provide job readiness training and placement by leveraging the unique abilities they bring to civilian careers.
Single mother of two, Lucille McElroy served in the United States Navy for nine years rising to the rank of Petty Officer, Second Class. Upon her return from service, Lucille had difficulty finding a permanent job. Even with an M.B.A., she managed to hold only temporary or commission-based jobs. Through United Way, she accessed programs where she added IT and other valuable skills to an already impressive resume and secured a permanent job that now offers her family benefits and financial security. Lucille tells us, “I now have a bright future for my family.”
This year, with Boeing’s support, another 1,650 veterans, like Lucille, will secure permanent employment in Los Angeles County. Together, we will ensure that all veterans are achieving success, so that not one military service member ends up on the streets.
Last night, a special group of our Top #HomeWalk 2014 Fundraisers enjoyed a private Meet & Greet with Kobe Bryant! Kobe signed swag and took photos with fans before they enjoyed the LA Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers game. Special shout-out to the Lakers Community for making this magical moment happen!
Vigil for the man known as “Africa” on the streets of Skid Row.
We at United Way of Greater Los Angeles express our deepest sorrow for everyone who has been affected by the recent tragedy on the streets of Skid Row. What happened to the man known as “Africa” is heartbreaking and a stark reminder that it is more important than ever to show compassion for everyone in our communities. Every day, nearly 40,000 people are homeless on our streets. Each one of them is part of our community. Our mission is to serve our most vulnerable neighbors — those who may sometimes feel invisible or forgotten. But we see them. We are more determined than ever in our resolve to end veteran and chronic homelessness and do our part to make sure everyone on our streets feels the support and love of the community that surrounds them.
With the help of our generous corporate leaders, we are building a better Los Angeles. We regularly highlight our top corporate leaders and salute them for helping us create pathways out of poverty. United Way of Greater Los Angeles extends a huge thanks to these leaders and corporations working with us to permanently break the cycle of poverty for our most vulnerable neighbors: families, children, veterans and the homeless.
Thank You to Our Friends at Goudy Honda and the Los Angeles County Charitable Giving Campaign!
Last fall, the Los Angeles County Employees Charitable Giving Campaign partnered up with its friends at Goudy Honda to create a drawing where one lucky winner would win a brand new car, courtesy of Goudy Honda. A few weeks ago, the winner of the drawing was announced and we are thrilled to announce and congratulate Sergeant Steven A. Landers of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as the winner of a new 2014 Honda Civic!
Along with the generous support of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, we’d like to thank all the participants of the Los Angeles County CGC – the generous Los Angeles County employees, the charitable partners of the CGC (Asian Pacific Community, Brotherhood Crusade, Community Health Charities, EarthShare of California, United Latino Fund, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and Variety the Children’s Charity of Southern California), and last but certainly not least, our generous friends at Goudy Honda for making this drawing possible! Together, with the help of our business, public, and non profit partners, we are fighting to improve the overall quality of life in Los Angeles!
United Way of Greater Los Angeles and The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce launched Home For Good in 2010, an initiative to end veteran homelessness in 2015 and chronic homelessness in 2016. This event brings together national and local government officials, philanthropy, non-profit and the business communities to kick-off the final year of veteran homelessness work. Since launched in 2010, Home For Good partners have found housing for nearly 12,000 homeless veterans, but significantly more work is needed to reach the goal of eradicating veteran homelessness in the next eleven months. The goal of the press conference is to call on each sector to publicly renew their commitment to end veteran homelessness by the end of the year and lay out the action plan to reach this goal.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3, 2014 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is once again inviting customers and employees to contribute to the company’s Gas Assistance Fund, a bill-assistance program that helps income-qualified customers facing financial hardships with a one-time grant of up to $100 per customer. As in years past, SoCalGas partners with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to distribute the funds to customers who face hardships.
“The Gas Assistance Fund gives help to some of our customers who are facing emergency situations,” said Gillian Wright, vice president of customer services for SoCalGas. “We’d like to thank our caring customers and employees whose generous donations for 31 years have helped improve the quality of life of our customers who need extra support. We gratefully welcome their support.”
“This year, we can help thousands have the gift of warmth,” said Christine Marge director of housing stability at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “No one in our communities should have to choose between keeping warm or buying groceries. We are grateful to those who have supported the program for the past 31 years and continue to support those in need through the Gas Assistance Fund.”
Anyone interested in making a contribution is asked to mail their voluntary tax-deductible donations to: United Way, Gas Assistance Fund, File 56826, Los Angeles, CA 90074-6826, or donate online at www.unitedwayla.org.
Since the program’s inception in 1983, SoCalGas customers, employees, and shareholders have contributed more than $21 million, with funds distributed annually. The Gas Assistance Fund is administered by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and has so far helped more than 220,000 SoCalGas customers pay their natural gas utility bills in times of need.
SoCalGas collects donations to the Gas Assistance Fund throughout the year and will distribute the funds between February and the end of May 2015, or until they are depleted. Customers can visit socalgas.com (search “GAF”) to learn if they qualify for a grant. SoCalGas and United Way of Greater Los Angeles work with 80 to 100 volunteer, nonprofit and community-based organizations throughout its service territory to help income-qualified customers obtain a grant to pay their natural gas utility bill.
In addition to the Gas Assistance Fund, SoCalGas offers other customer assistance programs and services that can help customers manage home energy costs during the winter months. More information is available at socalgas.com or toll-free at (800) 427-2200 or (800) 342-4545 in Spanish.
The Energy Assistance Fund (EAF) is a partnership with Southern California Edison (SCE) and United Way of Greater Los Angeles to help income-qualified families pay their electric bill, providing partial financial stability during a time of great need.
The EAF program was started in 1982 as a seasonal winter program lasting only eight to twelve weeks and helping on average 4,000 families. The program has since grown to meet the expanding need of the community, serving approximately 14,000 households over a 12 month period. Since 1982, SCE and its employees have assisted over 200,000 families through investments of approximately $12 million into the program with an additional $4 million contributed from their customers. SCE and United Way of Greater Los Angeles have partnered for over 30 years on the Energy Assistance Fund. “United Way of Greater Los Angeles is pleased to partner with Southern California Edison on their Energy Assistance Fund, also known as EAF.” says UWLA President, Elise Buik. “Here in LA County, one in five children lives in poverty. The United Way is committed to creating pathways out of poverty so that every hard-working family and individual has the tools they need to be financially stable. We know that even the smallest amount of help can make a tremendous difference for someone in need.” “As the fund administrator for the EAF program, we work with over 70 community based organizations to provide payment assistance to customers who are unable to pay their bill.” continued Buik.
How Can You Help?
Today’s tough economic times have hit Californians hard. Many of our neighbors need help paying their energy bills—especially seniors and families with children. The United Way and SCE work together to provide up to $100 per 12-month period to qualified customers struggling to pay their electricity bills.