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United Way Newsletter - January

Posted on Monday, 22 January 2024

Reflections of a “Big Deal”

A little over six years ago, I faced a personal crossroads: to join United Way, an organization I long admired, or stay leading a local direct service organization where I felt my work was not done. Knowing the significance of the decision, we held a family meeting to discuss it over burgers and fries at a local restaurant. My very matter of fact 11-year-old son Ben said: “United Way? That’s a big deal. Why wouldn’t you?”  

Six years later I am overcome by the “big deal” that our team of supporters have made possible. What I have always loved about United Way is the action taken by many to create something bigger and better than before. What draws me to United Way is the core belief that it is often not just one thing that is a barrier to progress, but many factors that compound all at once.   

A family does not wake up without food on a given day without something else going wrong beforehand. A child unable to read in 3rd grade faced many obstacles before walking into the classroom. A family fleeing violence in their home needs a range of support to begin anew. A person is unable to keep a job without access to safe housing, reliable childcare, transportation, and healthcare.  

Our challenges as a community are complex and require that our solutions be multiple, holistic, and consistent over the long term. There are no quick fixes. Yet, it is the power of collective and collaborative action that unlocks our greatest possibilities. That is the United Way. 

Read more about Jaime’s 6-year highlights and opportunities for the future 

Jaime Saunders  
President and CEO


Things to Know

2024 Campaign Kickoff 

2024 is here, and we are ready to close gaps and open opportunities through our annual campaign with your help. Join us at our Campaign Kickoff this January 24 from 7:30-9AM at Paychex Junior Achievement Discovery Center or at any of our watch parties in Genesee and Ontario counties.  

Learn about our 2023 impact, hear from our 2024 campaign chair, and celebrate with fellow donors, partners, and volunteers this January 24. Register today!  

January is Poverty Awareness Month 

This January is Poverty Awareness Month. Did you know that around 110,000 households in our region are in poverty? Be sure to follow United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes (@unitedwayrocflx) and Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) (@rmapi) on social for data, inspiring stories, and community event announcements.  

Your Impact in Action

a young boy playing outside

Multi-Year Impact Grants  

Our Community Impact Multi-Year Program Grant application is now open! Our Multi-Year Program Grant supports impact-driven multi-year community programs that engage one or several impact areas: youth opportunity, healthy community, community resiliency, and financial security. Learn more about our multi-year grant opportunities.  

Get Involved

Home Leasing Employees creating warm weather kits
L3Harris presents their workplace campaign check at United Way’s 75 College Ave location 

Connect with our corporate partnership team 

78% of people are more likely to work for an organization that leads with purpose. We have helped hundreds of organizations achieve their community impact and engagement goals. Our team is available to connect your organization’s generosity, talent, and energy with our resources. From kit-building and group volunteer opportunities to workplace campaigns and cause marketing, there are a number of ways to engage with United Way in 2024. Learn more about all the ways we can partner.  

And Let’s Not Forget…