At Heart of Florida United Way, we believe that circumstances should not determine potential. Every day, we work to shrink the gap so Central Floridians have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. We are moving the needle for more than 650,000 local residents by investing in support programs, delivering services directly to those in need and convening passionate people around issues that will impact our community.


bl_circleicon_education_rgbUnited Way served 13,602 children, youth and parents/guardians through program services designed to boost every child’s chance for success in school, work and life. Total leveraged dollars and investments under Education equal more than $4.2 million this year.


In addition to investing in existing community programs, Heart of Florida United Way delivers the following impact:

  • Destination Graduation: A pilot project to support low-income, first generation and veteran students at Seminole State College from dropping out due to non-academic issues. Learn More.
    • 269 at-risk students received the resources they need to stay in school
    • 100% of students who received persistence funds remained enrolled in the current term
    • 90% of Fall 2015 and 80% of Spring 2016 students who received persistence funds were able to re-enroll in the following term
  • Together for Tomorrow: A special initiative supported by AmeriCorps VISTAs that seeks to support Title I public schools through volunteerism to improve student attendance, behavior and course performance. Learn More.
    • Improved grades and Lexile reading scores
    • 2,619 students served by 536 volunteers, mentors and tutors
  • Pathways to Success: Offers academic support and college/career mentoring to 10th through 12th grade students at Evans and Oak Ridge High Schools. Learn More.
    • 90% improved readiness for college/career
    • 606 students received academic support and college/career counseling through the AmeriCorps and Volunteer Florida sponsored program
  • Going2College Texting Project: An initiative designed to reduce barriers to information about higher education, recruited 22 institutions to offer customized deadline and application information to local students via texts. Learn More.
    • 744 clients subscribed to receive messages
    • 81% of students subscribed enrolled in post-secondary program within 12 months
  • ReadingPals – A volunteer-based reading program designed to get 4-year-old VPK students ready for kindergarten by improving literacy and reading skills. Learn More.
    • 79 students paired with ReadingPal volunteers
    • 70% of students improved to become kindergarten ready

Financial Stability

bl_circleicon_income_rgbMore than $23 million has been invested and leveraged under financial stability this year. 157,757 individuals and their families benefitted from services and initiatives for low-income working families focusing on the five building blocks of financial stability: sustaining employment, income supports, affordable housing, manageable budgets and increased savings and assets.


In addition to investing in existing community programs, Heart of Florida United Way delivers the following impact:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): A federal tax credit promoted by United Way to help working Central Floridians keep as many of their hard-earned dollars as possible. Learn More.
    • 3,802 tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit
    • $1,030,575 saved in filing fees
    • $5,352,800 in refunds through completed tax returns
    • 11,406 families and children served
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): Free tax preparation coordinated by United Way assisted with 10,304 returns at 30 sites and through Learn More.


bl_circleicon_health_rgb31,712 Central Floridians participated in programs and services to improve their health. By investing and leveraging nearly $6.4 million, individuals avoided risky health behaviors and increased their well-being.


In addition to investing in existing community programs, Heart of Florida United Way delivers the following impact:

  • Help Me Grow: A program initiated through 2-1-1 to help concerned parents assess developmental delays in their children and connect them to community resources. Learn More.
    • 138 children and families participated
  • Familywize: A discount prescription program that saved 37,854 consumers in Central Florida more than $2.3 million last year. Learn More.
  • Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B: United Way serves as the lead agency for this program funded by the Florida Dept. of Health. $2.1 million in funds were managed and distributed providing care and support to HIV/AIDS consumers in Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Brevard counties. Learn More.

Basic Needs

bl_circleicon_basic_needs_cmykUnited Way met the immediate, emergency needs and reduced crisis for 63,642 community members by leveraging and investing $8.6 million in programs and services.

  • 96% of seniors maintained or improved their ability to live independently
  • Emergency Homelessness Services: A division of United Way’s safety net program provides case management and advocates for the community’s most vulnerable citizens. Learn More.
    • 1,804 tri-county residents facing impending homelessness, hunger and other emergencies received help
    • 3,801 residents in need were able to keep their electricity on thanks to utility assistance programs that United Way administers in partnership with the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), Duke Energy and others.
    • 256 individuals avoided or recovered from homelessness through veteran assistance programs


bl_circleicon_veterans_cmykMission United is a community collaboration that streamlines access to programs and services for veterans and their families in Central Florida. Through partnerships with community, government and corporate partners significant progress has been made in the first year of the program. Learn More.

  • More than 10,625 contacts by veterans through 2-1-1
  • Designated as a MyVA Community by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Increased access to legal services
  • Collaboration between 20 local educational and training institutions
  • Employment connections and trainings for veterans


bl_circleicon_211_cmyk_b-copyUnited Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Assistance Helpline is crucial to our community to ensure those in distress get the help they need when they need it. From suicide intervention to providing essential basic needs to regional and national disaster assistance, call specialists are available 24/7/365. Learn More.

  • As of July 11, Heart of Florida United Way became manager of the Orlando United Assistance Center, the designated place to provide resources, care and support to the victims and survivors of the tragedy at Pulse Night Club. Learn More.
  • 389,373 people were assisted by United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Assistance Helpline via phone, text, email or chat
  • 1,577 individuals received suicide prevention and intervention services


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 7,116 volunteers contributed 63,380 hours of service, saving local nonprofit agencies $1.4 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. Nearly 20,000 books were collected and distributed to 2,300 local students. More than 150 volunteers participated in literacy-related projects throughout the community. See Photos.


  • Day of Caring: This community-wide volunteer day spanned 44 projects this year. From creating a butterfly garden and washing emergency vehicles to feeding lunch to seniors and hosting interview workshops for teens, 1971 volunteers and 30 companies participated. See Photos.


  • Community Volunteer Excellence Awards: Heart of Florida United Way recognizes outstanding volunteers throughout the community at the annual Community Volunteer Excellence Awards. Emceed by STAR 94.5’s Monica May, the event recognized contributions that impact nonprofit, government, faith-based and educational organizations across Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. Learn More.

Partner Agencies

Improving our community is not a one person job which is why United Way utilizes the Investing in Results funding model. The main focus is on prevention, helping people become healthier, safer and financially stable. While we continue to support the immediate needs of individuals, we have our sights set on a community where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Together, United Way and our partner agencies make strides in creating sustainable change and investing in results for the long term.


Adult Literacy League, Inc.
After School Programs, Inc.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Inc.
City Year Orlando
Devereux Florida
Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools
Hope CommUnity Center
Orlando Community & Youth Trust
Orlando Day Nursery Association, Inc.
Winter Park Day
Nursery, Inc.
YMCA of Central Florida

Financial Stability

Christian Help Foundation, Inc.
Community Coordinated Care for Children, Inc. (4C)
Early Learning Coalition of Seminole
Lighthouse Central Florida
Orlando Community & Youth Trust
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Inc.


Aspire Health Partners
Children’s Home Society of Florida – Central Florida Division
Community Health Centers, Inc.
Dental Care Access Foundation, Inc.
Florida Hospital Foundation
Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County, Inc.
The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families
Lighthouse Central Florida
Osceola Council on Aging, Inc.
YMCA of Central Florida

Basic Needs

American Red Cross of Central Florida
Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Inc.
Christian Service Center for Central Florida, Inc.
Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Inc.
Harbor House (Orange County Center Against Domestic Violence)
Help Now of Osceola, Inc.
Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, Inc.
Meals on Wheels Etc., Inc.
Osceola Council on Aging, Inc.
Rescue Outreach Mission of Sanford, Inc.
Safehouse of Seminole (Seminole County Victims’ Rights Coalition)
The Salvation Army of Orange County
The Salvation Army of Seminole County
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Inc.