At Heart of Florida United Way, we fight to get families off the street… to support children who are falling behind in school … to make sure seniors have a healthy meal… to stop abuse happening behind closed doors. Every day, United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida.

We Fight for Education

More than $4.9 million was invested this year into education programs to boost every student’s chance of success. 6,606 students – from pre-K to pre-law – were given the opportunity to build a stable future through education.


  • 106 four-year-olds are more prepared for kindergarten because of their ReadingPals, volunteers who read with them for 30 minutes twice a week. On average, students doubled their reading assessment scores. Learn more about ReadingPals.
  • 502 K-12 students improved their attendance, behavior and course performance thanks to tutors and mentors recruited by the Schools and Communities: Together for Tomorrow Learn more about Together for Tomorrow.
  • 626 10th-12th grade students at Evans and Oak Ridge High Schools in Orange County who were at risk of not graduating received one-on-one support to get back on track. At the end of the school year, 96% of students served had improved their test scores and 3 out of 4 are now on track to graduate.
  • 281 low-income, first-generation college students who were at-risk of dropping out for non-academic reasons were able to stay in school. With emergency one-time financial assistance averaging $700, these students who had worked so hard to get into school were able to stay enrolled and break the cycle of poverty for their families.
  • 3,460 students. ranging from early childhood education to supportive services for adult learners, were able to get the support they needed through a United Way-funded program or service.


We Fight for Financial Stability

More than $17.2 million was invested this year into financial stability programs to support hard-working, low-income families who, despite their efforts, can’t make ends meet. 79,758 people benefited from programs targeting sustainable employment, affordable housing, managing budgets and increased assets.


  • 12,978 tax returns in Central Florida were submitted free of charge, keeping hard-earned dollars in the pockets of families who need them.
  • 1,089 low-to-moderate income households claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit with United Way’s help, returning an average of nearly $2,000 per family.
  • 520 school-age children and their families were provided case management to reduce mobility and stabilize finances, so that the kids can focus on school.
  • Each dollar given to the School Readiness Program is matched with $15.67 from the Florida Office of Early Learning to serve additional children. By providing a grant to our partner agency, United Way was able to bring an additional $5.5 million to the community to help provide affordable healthcare to families in need.
  • 32,048 people were able to improve their financial stability, ranging from case management for homeless families to training to improve employability, through a United Way-funded program or service.


We Fight for Health

Nearly $7.9 million was invested to improve the health of Central Floridians. From mental health to learning better eating habits, 19,814 people are healthier today because of United Way’s work.


  • 321 people directly impacted by the Pulse Nightclub tragedy received support and care from the Orlando United Assistance Center (OUAC), a collaboration between United Way, City of Orlando and Orange County Government. Learn more about OUAC.
  • 1,635 people reached out to the 2-1-1 Information and Assistance Crisis Line for hope in their darkest hour. Through de-escalation techniques and crisis intervention, the 2-1-1 call specialists saved lives and developed safety plans with these individuals for a hope-filled future.
  • 4,715 HIV/AIDS patients received supportive services to improve quality of life through the Ryan White Part A & Part B program administered by Heart of Florida United Way. Learn more about Ryan White program.
  • 153 families were given answers and support regarding their child’s potential developmental and behavioral concerns through the Help me Grow program.
  • 14,559 people, from infants to seniors, addressed a health concern through a United Way-funded program or service by increasing health literacy, increasing physical activity or improving access to healthcare services.


We Fight for Survival

In their most desperate hour, United Way was able to reduce crisis for 358,541 individuals in our community. From escaping domestic abuse to eviction to childhood hunger, more than $11 million in programs or services were invested last year to alleviate these social concerns.


  • 309,439 individuals were assisted by United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Assistance Crisis Line last year. Every month, more than half of the callers requested assistance with shelter and utilities.
  • 1,135 families went from homeless to housed with the help of case management services.
  • $465,918 in one-time emergency assistance was provided to families to prevent homelessness and other crises.
  • 46,689 people were served by a United Way-funded program that provides emergency food and shelter services.
  • More than 1 million meals were served.
  • 96% of seniors served by United Way-funded programs maintained or improved their ability to survive independently.


We Fight for Veterans

Making it home is only half the battle. Mission United and other community programs offered support to 290 veterans and military families this year.


  • 9,536 veteran callers into 2-1-1 this year.
  • 558 veterans avoided or recovered from homelessness.
  • 3 out of 4 veterans that completed United Way’s case management program were able to secure permanent housing.


 United We Win by Volunteering

2016-day-of-action-bgccf-bvl-disney-101Volunteer 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 4,483 volunteers contributed 50,878 hours of service, saving local nonprofit agencies $1.2 million. Learn More.

  • Day of Action: The one-day volunteer event in June focuses on reducing the summer slide and increasing low-income students’ access to books over. Over 10,000 books were collected and distributed to 1,265 local students. Nearly 350 volunteers participated in literacy-related projects throughout the community. See Photos.
  • Day of Caring: This community-wide volunteer day spanned 35 projects this year. From creating a butterfly garden and washing emergency vehicles to feeding lunch to seniors and hosting interview workshops for teens, 1,570 volunteers and 31 companies participated. See Photos.
  • 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 nearly 200 casseroles which fed over 1,500 people at local homeless and domestic abuse shelters across Central Florida. See Photos.

United We Win by Partnering

Together, United Way and our partner agencies make strides in creating immediate change while investing in results for the long term. The following are grant recipients for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.


Adult Literacy League

After School Programs, Inc.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Devereux Florida

Elevate Orlando

Foundation for Orange County Public Schools

Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools

Hope CommUnity Center

Orlando Community & Youth Trust

Orlando Day Nursery

Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc.

Urban Think Foundation

Winter Park Day Nursery

YMCA of Central Florida

Financial Stability

Community Coordinated Care for Children (4C)

Early Learning Coalition of Seminole


Lighthouse Central Florida

Orlando Community and Youth Trust, Inc.

Osceola Council on Aging


Aspire Health Partners

Children’s Home Society of Florida – Central Florida Division

Community Based Care of Central Florida, Inc.

Community Health Centers

Florida Hospital Foundation

Grace Medical Home

Health Care Center for the Homeless, Inc.

Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County, Inc.

Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families

UCP of Central Florida

Basic Needs

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.