Blog

Rebekah Ashley is the Senior HR Advisor and Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Michigan Office of Research. She holds degrees from both Eastern Michigan University and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Her life story could be very different without the help of United Way’s 211.  Her life changed when she became a single mother after a relationship ended. Her son was 6 months old and at that time, she was attending school part time and working part time. She moved in with her Grandmother, began going to school full time and working full time, all the while raising her son...
  “United Way saw the value immediately,” acknowledges Jeff Sorenson, co-founder of optiMize, “when we combine the energy of hundreds of students each year with the guidance of an organization like United Way, we can generate really innovative projects that create a sustainable positive impact on some of our county's most pressing challenges.”   As a social innovation group that provides mentorship and funding to student-created and directed projects, optiMize was recognized as an opportunity to further the UWWC mission. "When I first met Jeff I knew our values aligned and we were both on a...
United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) sponsored a workshop series created by NEW | Solutions for Nonprofits, to train nonprofit leaders to recognize and address various levels of bias – personal, organizational, county, and sector. Twenty local nonprofit organizations sent staff and board members to learn about bias, racial equity, and identify solutions to advance their commitment to racial equity within their own organizations. This series is a part of UWWC’s commitment to justice by ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion find full expression within our organization.     Jim Egerdal...
United Way’s Volunteer Center connects individuals and groups with impactful service opportunities at hundreds of local agencies that rely on volunteers to carry out their missions. Our Impact: By the Numbers Connecting People with Community Needs 226: Local agencies utilize the site by posting agency profiles and volunteer opportunities.   605: Unique volunteer opportunities shared on the site.   6,780: Referrals to volunteer opportunities   4060: Volunteers connected to opportunities   16,863: Volunteer hours   $403,000: Value of time and talent donated to local agencies through our...
Many of us can relate to the difficulties in filing taxes. This yearly demand requires a considerable amount of dedicated time and skill and many of us turn to hired professionals for assistance. However, many others are unable to obtain that assistance and are left behind, creating barriers to employment and long-term financial stability.   Though he was offered a full-time position at the Environmental Protection Agency, Willie Williams, a client of the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC), was unable to secure the position due to unfiled taxes. The governmental agency insisted on an up-...

 

Our new Financial Stability Manager has a wealth of information for tax season. Andrew Johnson works hard to help taxpayers in our community find free and easy ways to get taxes filed before the deadline. Johnson manages the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program for those who qualify for free tax preparation. He also leads the training for the VITA volunteers....

 

The USDA reported 41 million Americans to be food insecure in 2016. Lack of access to enough food exists in every county in America, but Washtenaw County’s residents struggle with hunger at a rate higher than the national average. Currently, a staggering one in seven people struggle with food insecurity or hunger (source: Map The Food Gap).  

 

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Almost two years ago, Shonda Hamilton experienced what she calls a paradigm shift in her life and credits a program at United Way of Washtenaw County for helping her to reclaim her sense of power, personally and financially. 

Hamilton found the United Way of Washtenaw County’s Financial Stability Program through a counseling referral.  She was motivated to make some big life improvements for herself and her daughter.  Her focus was on balancing single parenting with nursing school and realized that expenses like rent, a used car, and other necessities were causing her to...

“The youth is the hope of the future.” --Jose Rizal.

If the youth are our future, we can take heart in knowing our future is in good hands with people like Zakiyyah and Sakinah Rahman.  Zakiyyah and Sakinah Rahman are twin sisters who graduated from Ypsilanti High School in 2017 and were recognized as the Young Citizens of the Year by Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.  They are just two of the many young people who benefit from your...

Laura, a graduate of Ann Arbor’s Huron High School, says volunteering isn’t always glamorous, but that she values the connections she makes with people both locally and globally.  She has volunteered giving tours to new students at her high school, as a group leader at her church, and has done mission work from Detroit to Costa Rica.  She explains that growing up with privilege has left her in debt to the world, and that in volunteering she feels like she is doing her part.   Laura is the 2017 recipient of the United Way Varsity Letter and Scholarship.  The varsity letter is available to all...

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