A letter from United Way’s 2019 Board Chair, Fritz Grutzner:

Did you know that children make up a quarter of all homeless people in Dane County? Imagine the Kohl Center’s first two levels filled with kids. That’s how many are growing up hungry and living in poverty in our community.

While we don’t all start from the same place,  United Way of Dane County believes every child is born with unbounded potential. And when we work together as a community, we can unleash that potential.

United Way of Dane County invests in what works. It channels the generosity of the community to bring about real change in the areas of education, income and health. It partners with the most effective local agencies to move families onto paths toward stability. Research shows that when families are self-sufficient, our neighborhoods, economy and entire community are healthier, safer and more vibrant. That’s the ultimate goal.

The world is changing — and United Way of Dane County is changing, too. Donors want more choice. And the evidence shows that families in crisis benefit from a holistic two-generation approach that addresses the needs of both kids and caregivers. The United Way of Dane County is meeting donors where they are and focusing dollars for the community’s greatest needs on fewer, coordinated programs to increase the results we all want to see.

One example is a collaboration that brings together four nonprofit organizations to support families facing housing instability and provide high-quality early-education services to children from a wide range of backgrounds. While adult family members are being offered stable housing, reliable child care and job training, their young children will be provided with early-education services. We’ll measure success by understanding kindergarten-readiness, household income changes and families moving away from support into self-sufficiency within 12 to 18 months. This is the sort of two-generational work that is laying the foundation for better results in Dane County.

So many of us want to help. What I love about United Way of Dane County is the ability to not only help, but to actually address root causes and solve problems. United Way of Dane County works hard to understand the big picture and what does and doesn’t work.
When every family is self-sufficient, our community is safer, healthier and more vibrant. We all win. We need your support. With your help, a better community for all of us is possible. Become a “Champion for Change” by giving to the United Way of Dane County this year at your workplace or at www.unitedwaydanecounty.org.
Fritz Grutzner

While we don’t all start from the same place, United Way of Dane County believes every child is born with unbounded potential. And when we work together as a community, we can unleash that potential.

Get Help. Get Connected. 

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

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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 foundation@uwdc.org