January 6, 2016
2015: The Year in Impact
You helped make 2015 a year of tremendous impact!
As volunteers, advocates and donors, you’re helping to drive change that lasts. Together we worked to ensure families have greater financial opportunity and children and youth succeed in school. Here are some highlights from 2015:
- $8.8 million refunded to low-income families through volunteer tax preparation and coaching, ultimately putting more money back into the local community.
- Our Financial Stability Center network (with sites in Roxbury, Downtown Boston, Lawrence, Lynn, Chelsea and Quincy) provided financial coaching and services to help low-income individuals. In 2015, these centers helped 202 people find jobs. In addition, clients of the services saw a median increase of $469 in their monthly net income, a median increase of $3,588 in their net worth, and a median increase of 31 points in credit scores.
- 6,500 Thanksgiving meals were distributed to families in 12 local communities at the annual, volunteer-staffed United Way Thanksgiving Project.
- 600 volunteers from the Seacoast region deployed to 43 local non-profits for the annual Day of Caring to work on 58 projects. Even in the rain, the impact was felt as the volunteers mulched, weeded, painted, cleaned and did many more jobs to help the agencies and save significant costs.
- 2,200 children received screening services for development delays through DRIVE, a pioneering, data-driven initiative championed by United Way’s Private Equity/Venture Capital Leadership Council. Through a partnership with Horizons for Homeless Children, an additional 300 children in homeless shelters were screened.
- 35 teams of youth from Boston to Lynn launched their own social entrepreneurship projects through Youth Venture. Read about one buzz-worthy project–and how Youth Venture is primed to explode next year with a 150% increase in youth participation thanks to a Citi Foundation grant.
- $100,000 given to the Lowell community for Summer Experiences in Greater Lowell (SEGL) to provide summer jobs and programming for youth like Juan Castro, whose road to an engineering degree passed through some challenging times.
- 15 students received the Marian L. Heard Scholarship, which awards four-year scholarships and connects them to volunteer e-coaches to help guide them through college. Most of the students are the first in their families to go to college. Look no further than the bond Jeff Coaxum and Jason Martinez have formed to see the power of this initiative.
- 1,100 pre-K children in the Seacoast and Greater Rochester regions received free backpacks, books, parent resources and literacy supplies through the volunteer-powered K-Ready Kids initiative, which prepared them to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
- 50 second and third-graders from low-income families in the North Shore attended a six-week summer literacy program at the Cape Ann YMCA, which allowed them to close the achievement gap and have a great summer camp experience at the same time.
What will 2016 bring? Even bigger things. BoSTEM, a collaboration of United Way, Boston Public Schools and Vertex, aims to ensure 100% of Boston’s middle school students have the opportunity to participate in expanded STEM learning experiences by 2020; and the trailblazing Pay for Success model represents an intersection of the public and private sectors to combat chronic homelessness.
Thank you for all that you do to make change that lasts in our community!