COVID-19’s impact on our lives will take years to overcome. But it’s a fact that the most vulnerable – including low-income ethnic and racial minorities, the youngest and oldest in under-resourced communities, and anyone who was barely getting by before- are struggling more than ever
Damage to vulnerable communities won’t be reserved quickly. That’s why United Way is going beyond responding to immediate needs. We’re helping people recover. We’re reimagining more equitable communities, and we’re a vital force in rebuilding resilient communities where everyone can thrive.
It’s especially important in education, one of United Way’s core focus areas. Even before the pandemic, unequal access to high-quality education has created an achievement gap. COVID has only widened the gap, with millions of children losing ground after nearly two years of mostly virtual learning. Learning loss has been most pronounced among students from low-wage homes, who may not have access to computers or the internet. In the U.S., this digital divide disproportionately hurts students of color and those from low-wage families who often attend under-resourced schools.
United Way is fighting to reverse these trends and improve education for everyone-everywhere. Across our global network of 1,200 United Ways, education is the No. 1 focus area. United Ways are working to improve early childhood education, early grade reading, middle school success, high school graduation, and access to and graduation from college-especially for low-income youth of color. During the pandemic, United Way helped get kids connected to laptops and internet access, provided virtual technology training for teachers, and support for parents and students.
With the help of our partners – including 45,000 companies across the globe- we’re offering hope and help where it’s needed the most. In the last year alone, United Way impacted 48 million people including:
- 708,011 children enrolled in high-quality early education programs
- 1.2 million families who were given educational resources and training
- 2.3 million youth who got academic enrichment with after-school programs
As the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit, United Way is at work in 95% of the U.S. and across 40+ countries and territories. We take community-building seriously, but we do it with a global reach and hyper-local focus. We help people invest in local solutions, bringing people together – through charitable giving, volunteerism or public policy advocacy – to make life better for their neighbors.