Your Impact in Action: Kaytie’s Story

Watch this video to see how your investment in United Way changed Kaytie’s life.

When you give to United Way, know you’re making a difference. Last year alone, you and 30,000 other Dane County residents and businesses gave more than $18 million dollars to support local families. When you add up every penny raised with workplace pledges, corporate donations, penny drives, chili cook-offs and bake sales, it makes a real, tangible impact on our community.

Kaytie and her family are just one example. Kaytie received assistance from START, a United Way partner agency in Stoughton that provides education and income supports, as well as United Way’s 2-1-1 information and referral service. Hear directly from Kaytie by watching the video above.

“At one point in time, I had two small children and was living out of my vehicle. I was going back and forth to places as far as friends, family, job, school. And at nighttime, we had to sleep in our car,” Kaytie recalls.

Kaytie sought out START to get back on her feet and received housing assistance as well as financial support to obtain her GED. She also sought out assistance from United Way directly.

“I’ve actually called United Way [2-1-1] a couple times in my lifetime, and they’ve given me different [help] … as far as energy services, CAC, housing, utilities, phone, cable.

2-1-1 really helped me with food pantries…Food pantries [are] another thing that I think a lot of people don’t know about. There’s also a clothing closet that is offered by the CAC [Community Action Coalition, another United Way Partner Agency], where people can get clothing for free.”

Thanks to your help, Kaytie and her family overcame obstacles on a path toward prosperity.

“I think basically…from where I was 10 years ago where I was sleeping on a blow-up mattress, to having no furniture at all. Where, now, I have a couch in my living room. Each of my kids have a bed to sleep in. It’s just, I’ve come a long way from sleeping in a car eight years ago, to having a house full of everything I need.”

Kaytie’s story is just one example of how together, we are changing our community one family at a time.

Help more families like Kaytie’s

Join our #Champions4Change and make an even bigger impact at our upcoming Seasons of Caring: Community Kickoff on Tuesday, August 20. It will be an afternoon full of volunteering (just 350 slots remain!), fun, food and community. Sign up for a project here with your colleagues, friends or family, and we’ll see you there!

Other ways to be #Champions4Change

Purchase tickets to United Way Spotlight Night at the Forward Madison Game September 7
Access our #Champions4Change digital toolkit

Community Change Sponsors

Thank you to our generous corporate partners who have committed to support United Way’s four largest events throughout the year! Click here for more information.


Impact Lives Forever

Consider endowing your annual gift (multiply by 25). Remember United Way in your estate plans.

United Way of Dane County Foundation, Inc.

For 97 years, United Way of Dane County has fulfilled a mission of changing lives and strengthening our community. Gifts to the United Way of Dane County Foundation, Inc. sustain this mission and extend your legacy of effective, local philanthropy.

For more information, please contact Kristi Shepard at (608) 246-4399 or

Call 2-1-1, text 898-211 or access our online 2-1-1 database here.

Get Connected. Get Help. 

United Way 2-1-1 is a 24/7 information and referral service that connects people to a variety of resources such as food pantries, utility and rent assistance, job training, transportation resources, support groups, home chores for older adults, tutoring and youth recreation, and community clinics. Call us if you have any questions or are having difficulty finding the resources you need. There are not currently enough services to meet demand, but we will do our best to connect and support you. Calls to 2-1-1 also help the community understand what resources are needed, and provide insight so United Way can continue to tackle the root causes of these issues.