Alexandria, VA (May 13, 2014) – United Way Worldwide today honored the United Ways of Northeast Florida (Jacksonville), Greater Houston (Texas), Broward County (Florida) and Panama with its Common Good Awards. These communities are being recognized for making significant advances in education, income and health—the building blocks of a quality life.
"The recipients of these awards embody the core purpose of United Way," said Brian A. Gallagher, United Way Worldwide President and CEO. "Through hands-on efforts at the community level, these United Ways are bringing together individuals and resources in a common effort to build lasting change in education, income and health outcomes.
The United Way Common Good Award winners demonstrate strong collaboration across a variety of sectors, and are engaging stakeholders to develop outcome-focused strategies that are rooted in the community's agenda. They exhibit effective use of data to inform their strategies, and show successful engagement of volunteers and advocates. This year's awardees are:
Impact: Jacksonville's RealSense campaign brings together a coalition focused on increasing the prosperity of the community and its citizens. The program's tax sites have helped more than 115,000 families file their federal tax returns, resulting in over $44 million returning to the community in the form of Earned Income Tax Credit.
Innovation: Greater Houston is leading United Way THRIVE, a collaborative aimed at helping low-income, working families achieve jobs, housing, financial security and success for their children. Two years after the program was launched, 28,000 families have been helped to gain greater financial stability, nearly 1,900 families have increased their savings and 2,200 have improved their level of financial education.
Mobilizing Resources: Broward County supports US military service members, veterans and their families by helping them re-acclimate to civilian life through the Mission United program. The initiative helps veterans gain access to job opportunities, navigate GI Bill Education Benefits and secure affordable housing.
Community Engagement: Thanks to United Way Panama's Voces Estudiantil (Education from the Voices of Youth), more than 800 young people in urban, rural and indigenous areas of Panama have been able to weigh in on what they seek in an education. As a result of this survey, the program determined that student seek an up-to-date curriculum, high caliber teachers and the opportunity to express themselves.
About United Way
United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality life. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action – to give, advocate and volunteer – to improve conditions in their local community. For more information about United Way, please visit: UnitedWay.org.