All too often, circumstances define a person’s potential to achieve success at critical milestones in their lifetime. Heart of Florida United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida by strategically investing in solutions to overcome those barriers and put them on a path to a better life.
We Fight for Education
A good education is the foundation to a better life. With a solid education, doors of opportunity open towards sustainable employment, and thus, financial stability. United Way programs boosted the chance of success for 4,448 students, ranging from pre-K to pre-law. This was due to over $2 million of leveraged investment in programs and services that cater to the needs of students and their families.
United Way Managed Programs
134 pre-school students received individualized attention through the ReadingPals While these students began the academic year under performing in reading comprehension, by the end of the year, 88% tested kindergarten ready.
297 first-generation, low-income and/or veteran students enrolled at Seminole State College received assistance through the Destination Graduation Because of the unique partnership between Heart of Florida United Way, Seminole State College and SunTrust Foundation, 71% of the students were able to stay enrolled in class and re-enroll the next term.
United Way Funded Programs Fast Facts
1,492 students were impacted by services that provided early-childhood education, supported positive academic outcomes, improved school attendance, increased grade promotion, and assisted with developing a graduation and post-secondary plan
97% of children and youth improved their school attendance rates
92% of youth achieved an on-track GPA to move to the next grade
97% of high school seniors graduated on time
Partner Agencies in Education
Heart of Florida United Way has partnered with non-profit agencies across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to ensure students get the assistance they need to succeed. It is only by working united that Central Florida students will be able to live a better life.
After School Programs, Inc.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida
Foundation for Orange County Public Schools
Hope CommUnity Center
Orlando Community & Youth Trust
Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc.
Urban Think Foundation
We Fight for Financial Stability
Financial stability is a key component to living a better life. With over 50% of the Central Florida population falling into the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained Employed) category, financial stability can be next to impossible to achieve when living paycheck-to-paycheck. United Way leveraged $18.7 million to help families and individuals focus on the five building blocks of financial stability: sustainable employment, income supports, affordable housing, manageable budget and increasing assets and savings. Heart of Florida United Way served 82,742 Central Floridians last year through financial stability programs.
United Way Managed Programs
12,963 Central Floridians received free, in-person tax preparation assistance with an IRS-trained volunteer through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, AARP locations or filed online using MyFreeTaxes.com.
1,391 low-to-moderate income households received tax refunds by claiming the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) through United Way’s financial stability coalition.
182 families with 227 school-age children received resources and case management to avoid foreclosure or eviction through the Siemer Institute for Family Stability. By helping families become financially stable, students were able to stay in their school and focus on their education.
United Way Funded Programs Fast Facts
30,847 Central Floridians participated in certified training programs, obtained public/employer benefits, gained knowledge from financial education training, and built savings and other assets
87% improved their employability skills
100% accessed public and/or employer benefits to increase income
95% obtained or maintained affordable housing
90% increased financial literacy
97% acquired assets such as a savings account
Financial Stability Partner Agencies
Heart of Florida United Way has partnered with non-profit agencies across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to ensure families and individuals have the tools they need to be financially stable. It is only by working united that Central Floridians will be able to live a better life.
The Christian Sharing Center
Community Coordinated Care for Children (4C)
Early Learning Coalition of Seminole
Lighthouse Central Florida
Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corp.
Osceola Council on Aging
United Against Poverty
We Fight for Health
Being healthy is central to living a better life. Whether it’s access to regular check-ups, having someone to talk to about your mental well-being or learning healthy behaviors, being healthy can dramatically influence someone’s life. Last year, United Way helped 6,205 Central Floridians increase their health and well-being by leveraging more than $5 million into health-related services and programs.
342 children and their families were able to identify potential developmental or behavioral concerns and were linked to community supports through the Help Me Grow program. Because of Help Me Grow, 94% of parents and caregivers increased their knowledge about child developmental milestones.
1,323 Central Floridians participated in health education programs, improved their eating habits, increased physical activity, and accessed health care services
89% of parents and caregivers improved their parenting skills
79% of children demonstrated age-appropriate levels of developmental functioning
89% increased knowledge about healthy food and exercise options
86% enrolled in health insurance programs
65% achieved one or more health care treatment goals
Partner Agencies in Health
Heart of Florida United Way has partnered with non-profit agencies across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to increase access to health care and well-being awareness. It is only by working united that Central Floridians will be able to live a healthier and better life.
Community Based Care of Central Florida, Inc.
Grace Medical Home
Health Care Center for the Homeless, Inc.
Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families
UCP of Central Florida
We Fight for Survival
There are basic necessities that everyone requires to live a better life. Food and housing top the list, but according to the United Way ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained, Employed) Report, nearly half of Central Florida is struggling to consistently provide the basics. United Way worked to reduce the level of crisis for 400,388 of our community members by helping to meet immediate, emergency needs by leveraging an investment more than $10.3 million in programs and services.
United Way Managed Programs
344,373 individuals received assistance through United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral Crisis Line. Ranging from suicide crisis de-escalation to hurricane season information to connecting individuals with resources to meet housing, food, healthcare and utility needs, 2-1-1 was there to answer the call 24/7/365.
52,558 received emergency assistance, food or shelter services
More than 1 million meals were served
91% of eligible households received mainstream resources
97% of seniors reported “maintained or improved” ability to live independently
93% of seniors reported “maintained or improved” physical and mental well-being
Partner Agencies in Basic Needs
Heart of Florida United Way has partnered with non-profit agencies across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to ensure every person in our community has access to the basic necessities needed to live a better life.
American Red Cross of Central Florida
Catholic Charities of Central Florida
Christian Service Center for Central Florida, Inc.
Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida
Harbor House of Central Florida
Help Now of Osceola
Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando
Meals on Wheels Etc., Inc.
Osceola Council on Aging, Inc.
Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida
Safehouse of Seminole
The Salvation Army of Orange County
The Salvation Army of Seminole County
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Seniors First, Inc.
We Fight for Veterans
Making it home is only half the battle. United Way’s Mission United and other community programs offered support to 209 veterans and military families. Mission United is a collective effort that addresses the complicated and fragmented systems of veteran services currently in place. It is a community collaboration that serves as a central contact for veterans to access community support and resources.
209 individuals avoided or recovered from homelessness through veteran assistance programs, helping clients reduce debt, increase income, and build self-sufficiency
61% of veterans qualifying for housing assistance obtained permanent housing after completing a case management program designed to increase financial stability
Volunteers Who Joined the Fight
Volunteer work impacts all facets of United Way’s mission. Heart of Florida United Way’s Volunteer Resource Center harnesses the caring power of our community to create lasting change. Overall, 3,908 volunteers contributed 60,124 hours of service, saving local nonprofit agencies nearly $1.5 million.
Basics for Babies: The Basics for Babies infant supply drive provided new, struggling families with fundamental supplies they need! Ranging from diapers to formula, United Way received over 64,000 items, valued at $15,000.
Day of Action School Supply Drive: This community-wide effort provided students with the supplies needed to succeed in school. With the help of 71 volunteers and items donated from corporations and individuals, 1,581 supply kits were distributed to 12 local schools.
Sip & Stuff: A bi-annual volunteer project unique to Women United, Sip n’ Stuff attendees prepared 220 take-home libraries for underperforming preschoolers enrolled in the ReadingPals program. Each student received 20-24 new books to call their own.
John C. Hitt Internship Program: 64 University of Central Florida students spent months interning and assisting the Heart of Florida United Way team. Many worked in the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Crisisline call center, connecting Central Floridians with vital resources in the community.
Share the Love: Taking place on Valentine’s Day weekend, Share the Love invites families and loved ones to volunteer together to help alleviate hunger and homelessness. A total of 130 volunteers made 165 casseroles which fed nearly 1,000 people at local homeless and domestic abuse shelters across Central Florida. See Photos.