United Way of the National Capital Area’s Biggest Achievements in 2012
For United Way of the National Capital Area 2012 was a whirlwind of change and progress. Six of the biggest achievements from my perspective included:
Completing a Board-led strategic plan which sets the organization’s course over the next three years. In concert with this plan, we now have a new concentration on workforce readiness with a laser focus on veterans and disconnected youth.
Awarding 256 Community Impact grants totaling more than $1.75 million to address this community’s most pressing challenges.
Co-leading the effort on “Give to the Max” Day, the web-based day-of-giving which raised over $2,000,000, with 18,000 donors in 24 hours for our local nonprofits.
Helping some of the region’s neediest residents file nearly 10,000 tax returns generating over $5 million in Earned Income Tax Credits and more than $14,500,000 in federal and state refunds.
Developing Way to P.E.A.C.E., an anti-bullying collaborative effort to reduce youth violence. This innovative program has received tremendous reviews for its effectiveness from educators, government leaders and community stakeholders.
Helping more than 30,000 children get moving toward a healthier future with our Fun, Fly & Fit program which received a major boost from the Department of Education with a significant multi-year grant.
As I reflect on what 2013 will bring, I think of New Year’s resolutions and what mine would be this year. As you know, resolutions seem to be fleeting, with many folks having good intentions on New Year’s Day, but by the end of the month those good intentions have long faded away.
Not for me! Yes, I definitely need to exercise more and watch what I eat. As a former football player who had a long list of injuries these healthy resolutions become more important the older I get. More importantly, this year I’m committing to find a place where I can to read, tutor, or mentor.
Thousands of children, teens, and young adults living throughout the national capital area need mine and your help. Today, two-thirds of America’s fourth-graders can’t read at grade level. And, in DC only 20% of 4th grade students are proficient or above their current reading level. Those statistics have “disaster” written all over it unless we intervene.
This January marks National Mentoring Month, which gives individuals a perfect opportunity to join the efforts across the region by signing up to be a mentor. United Way NCA is uniting with United Way’s across the country to gather readers, tutors, and mentors to help these individuals succeed in school while working towards cutting the dropout rate in half by 2018. Talk about a great goal…it’s one we all can buy into.
I urge you to join me in a 2013 resolution to push back the darkness…light a fire…and sign-up today to be a reader, tutor or mentor.
Now that's a great resolution and a wonderful way to start 2013!