Click on the video above to hear a mid-year update from Renee Moe, United Way of Dane County’s President and CEO.

2017 is United Way’s Year of Connection. Our focus this year is to better explore how private, public, non-profit and grassroots systems connect to one another in our community, all to improve alignment and results for our most at-risk families. The community has asked United Way to reduce racial disparities and increase economic stability for our local neighbors in poverty. We are doing so through the Agenda for Change. This month we’re sharing some of the exciting connections we’re making with our community and our partners: The Power of Many, Working for All.

In our education area, we recently announced United Way and our community partners have secured a location on Madison’s North Side for our next “Early Childhood Zone.” The goal is to address early barriers to education by offering holistic support to families – that means parent support, child health and development, housing stability, mental health supports, and employment links to move a family from crisis to stability. The zone will soon find its home on Dryden Drive, which is just off Northport Drive. It will serve four elementary schools in the area: Mendota, Gompers, Lindberg and Lake View. With our partners at the Rennebohm Foundation, County, City, MMSD, Northside Planning Council, and many nonprofit partners, we’re planning to hold a public grand opening there in the next few weeks.

One of our signature initiatives within our income focus area is the HIRE initiative, and we’re excited to share that that program is expanding! Your investment in United Way’s campaign has helped to train and secure employment for 1,572 men and women in Dane County, which is a 21% increase from 2015. Thank you to all who are already participating in HIRE – the connections that are being built between non-profits and employers, and the success we are seeing for those looking for work, are helping this program grow. We are looking for more employers to get involved in this great program!

On the engagement side, 120 community volunteers came together on the Task Force for Transformation to evaluate the traditional campaign model of United Way of Dane County. The task force generated dozens of bold and transformative strategies, as well as tactical ideas to respond to changing corporate and individual preferences and needs, seize the opportunity new technology provides, and build stronger connections between community needs, solutions and resources. We hope you’ve already begun to see more about how your dollars are changing lives, and how to learn more about the needs and community-built solutions addressing our most challenging human issues in Dane County through giving, advocating and volunteering.

United Way exists to help our community address our most challenging issues. Understanding issues through data and stories, convening diverse stakeholders to create community-built plans, engaging the community to understand and resource those plans through giving and volunteerism, and managing accountability and results – changed lives – is how we do our work, together. This is the Power of Many, Working for All and we are grateful for your support!

Please save the date to join us on Tuesday, August 22nd for our Seasons of Caring: Community Kickoff (formerly known as Days of Caring) event at Mallards stadium featuring a new time, 4-6 p.m., and multiple volunteer projects! Learn more here.