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Invest more in schools


Permanent child tax credits

Write to your Representitive

More Children on Health Insurance

Write to your Representitive

Policy change can be big or small. It could be petitioning your school board to require healthier cafeteria meals. It could be urging your government to invest more in schools, or make child tax credits permanent, or make more children eligible for health insurance. Or it could be mobilizing your contacts to speak out on a critical cause, in person or online. As we're creating solutions in communities across the world, United Way is also galvanizing people to speak out for change.  And we're amplifying individuals’ voices on important community issues, giving voice to good ideas and good people.

Real change requires tackling the source, not just the symptoms, of community challenges.  We envision safe, healthy communities with skilled workforces that build both the local economy and a younger generation that’s educated and equipped for the opportunities of tomorrow.  And we're willing to fight for that.

A lot of people feel passionately about things like education, financial stability, and health, but may not be sure how to influence those issues.  That’s why United Way works with people and organizations from all sectors and with many points of view – at national, state or provincial, and local levels.  We provide a platform for people to take meaningful action that makes a difference.

Success Stories

  • Rhode Island

    It's pretty exciting to see what we can all do when we come together.  Rhode Island is a great example.  In 2014, United Way of Rhode Island stepped up its work to support better and more affordable housing. United Way worked with community organizations that had a broad reach through both grass roots and government-level activism to successfully pass a bond that provides $25 million in affordable housing improvements for the people of Rhode Island.

  • Kansas

    Even small donors can have a huge impact. Check out what happened in Kansas. HB 2096 would have had the unintended consequence of precluding public employees from investing in their communities by way of paycheck deduction. United Way of McPherson County asked their supporter to contact their state representatives to educate them about the negative consequences that could befall their community if the bill were pass. But due to the action of regular folks like you, the bill has stalled, and more resources will get to the people that need them.

  • Colombia

    And it’s not just in the US. In Colombia, United Way member Dividendo por Colombia Foundation, in partnership with local secretaries of education in 23 municipalities, local organizations and education experts in reading and writing skills, developed a reading and writing program, first implemented in 2004. Today, the program is offered in over 192 educational institutions benefiting 96,100 students and 2,404 teachers.

  • Canada

    Canadians are in on the action, too. Almost 120,000 Calgarians live in poverty in Calgary, struggling to meet their basic needs let alone save for the future. The City of Calgary has played a major leadership role in co-sponsoring with United Way the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative (CPRI). Following significant community consultation, a strategy was developed and adopted by both organizations on May 27, 2013.

Whether it’s in our home communities or around the globe, our futures are intertwined. That’s why it’s important for everyone – every person in every community worldwide – to speak out.  As the great leader Nelson Mandela once said, "We can change the world and make it a better place.  It is in your hands to make a difference."

Join us to speak out for meaningful change.  Become part of the solution.  Your community needs your voice.

United Way's Policy Work

US Public Policy Agenda for the 114th Congress

Public investment in health and human services is foundational to our work. But no one sector can improve community conditions on its own. United Way is uniquely positioned with all sectors of society – business, government, labor, faith, donor, and community partners – to bring all types of people together to create opportunity for everyone. These Public Policies support the causes that matter to you…


ESEA Reauthorization Principles

Congress is updating the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (most recently reauthorized as No Child Left Behind). An update of this important law is long overdue. This letter, addressed to the leaders of the Senate Education Committee, describes the priorities United Way would like to see included in the new bill.


Tax Reform that Advances the Common Good

As Congress contemplates an overhaul of the tax code, United Way is weighing in to share what works for creating opportunity for children, families and communities.  Tax policies that advance the common good include: charitable giving incentives, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.  Check out United Way’s submission to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee outlining our priorities in reform.


Investing in the Vital Power of VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

VITA leverages volunteer power so that millions of Americans can access free quality tax preparation, asset-building resources and financial education services. We’re asking Congress to shore up support for this vital public-private partnership to build financial stability in communities around the country.  Check out the sign-on letter we led with CFED and a recent Huffington Post piece by our U.S. President, Stacey D. Stewart.


United Way’s Letter to Congress about CHIP

The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides health and financial security to 8 million children and pregnant women. It serves families who work and earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health insurance. With you help, Congress extended CHIP for another two years. United Way will remain engaged on this issue until every child has the health care he or she needs to be reading to succeed.


Calling on Congress to Pass Human Trafficking Legislation

As Congress considers a path forward for anti-trafficking legislation, United Way calls on U.S. Senators to reach a bipartisan compromise on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, legislation that would crack down on human traffickers in communities across the country while bringing about greater restitution and justice for victims. Read United Way CEO Brian Gallagher’s letter to the U.S. Senate.