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United Way Blog

The Success of one Mother is a Triumph for all of Rhode Island

We know that education, income and health are all connected. All three building blocks are essential, and a community is only as strong as their weakest link. What’s true for the community as a whole is equally true for each of us as individuals. Take the case of Melody, a hardworking mother who is now on the road to financial stability, but whose health problems were actually what first sent her life into a tailspin. Because of her poor health, Melody was looking to make a shift from her career as a certified nursing assistant, but a big life change like that can be hard when you’re also burdened by financial and credit issues. What follows is the story of how Melody turned her life around, but her positive experience is really just one chapter in a larger story of how United Way of Rhode Island is bringing people and organizations together to turn around an entire community…


With support from United Way of Rhode Island and its partners, Melody received basic needs assistance to help keep her and her family afloat in the short-term, and financial coaching to help her manage her debts and other expenses in the long-term. On top of that, she seized the opportunity to pursue culinary arts training, enabling her to search for a new career that will offer a livable wage for her and her children. Melody’s story is the story of people throughout the larger community. In 2012 alone, United Way of Rhode Island invested in basic needs programs for more than 15,000 people. More than 3,000 adults and youth took advantage of financial stability services such as budget and personal credit counseling, and more than $16 million in tax returns went back into the hands of hardworking Rhode Islanders through United Way-supported tax preparation assistance. Finally, 149 people were able to find new jobs that pay an average of $13 per hour. Every time one of these people finds a job – when Melody finds a job – that personal success boosts the local economy for everyone, fueling the collective success of the whole community.


We encourage you to LIVE UNITED in 2014. Become a part of lasting solutions in your own community, and join many other people who are passionate about the same issues. You can reach out to your local United Way and learn about opportunities to give, to advocate, and to volunteer. You can also make a difference in a child’s life by taking the pledge to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor