United Way Launches Guaranteed Income for Former Foster Youth at Sacramento State

Two former foster youth wearing evening gowns are surprised to learn they will receive $500 a month for a year

Ten students from the greater Sacramento region who are participating in Sacramento State’s Guardian Scholars Program for former foster youth will receive $500 a month of guaranteed income for 12 months beginning in May through United Way California Capital Region’s new Collegiate Guaranteed Income Program. The new program was announced at United Way’s United in Purpose Gala fundraiser on Saturday night to the surprise of the 10 students who were all in attendance. 

“I was once a foster youth myself, so I understand firsthand the immense challenges this population faces in pursuing higher education,” said Sacramento State President Luke Wood. “Too often, students who were in the foster care system lack the financial and emotional support structures that many of their peers take for granted. This groundbreaking partnership with United Way reflects our community’s deep commitment to empowering these resilient scholars and ensuring they have the resources to not just survive but thrive on their academic journeys. This program will alleviate some of the financial burden, allowing our students to focus wholeheartedly on their studies and personal growth.”

According to a CalYOUTH study from 2020, one quarter of former California foster youth surveyed experienced being unhoused between the ages of 21 and 23, with an additional 28% saying they couch surfed. That same study also found that 28.2% of former foster youth attending college would be qualified as being food insecure according to the USDA measures.

“Selecting Sacramento State as the pilot for this program was a natural choice, given the inspiring journey of Dr. Luke Wood, from dealing with extreme life pressures as a foster youth to his recent appointment as the university’s ninth president. His story resonates deeply with the work United Way has been doing for decades,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Earlier this year, Dr. Wood said his goal is for Sacramento State to have the largest enrollment of former foster youth in the country and be known for serving them. That commitment aligns with our longtime pledge to support foster youth in and out of the classroom. Together with Dr. Wood, United Way’s aim is to create an environment where these students can focus more on their studies and less on basic needs like housing, food and transportation.”

Funding for the Collegiate Guaranteed Income Program will come from United Way’s action group, Women United. This philanthropic network of women has been leveraging their passions, ideas, expertise and resources for more than 20 years to focus on their signature issue – ensuring foster youth are prepared for a successful transition to independence and adulthood. Since its founding more than two decades ago, Women United has raised more than $2 million for foster youth programming.

“As a member of Women United and a former foster youth myself, I know this new Collegiate Guaranteed Income Program will be a huge benefit to these students who have faced adversity throughout their lives,” said September Hargrove, United Way California Capital Region board liason for Women United, and JPMorgan Chase executive director of community banking for Northern California. “Obtaining your degree isn’t easy, however doing so while under extreme life pressures, whether it be food, housing, transportation or family issues, makes that such a challenge. For every former foster youth like Dr. Wood and myself who obtained their degrees, there are many more who drop out due to those life pressures causing economic insecurities. The hope is that this program will give these students a helping hand in dealing with those pressures.”  

The Collegiate Guaranteed Income Program brings together United Way’s experience working with foster youth with its expertise in guaranteed income. United Way launched the first Guaranteed Income Program of its kind in the California Capital Region in July 2021, following that up with a second round of funding for additional recipients in March 2023 with the City of Sacramento, and again in November 2023 with County of Sacramento Supervisors Phil Serna (District 1) and Patrick Kennedy (District 2) and Sierra Health Foundation. 

“I feel blessed, thankful and cherished, and a lot of foster youth don’t get to feel that way from many people, so to feel that from strangers is an amazing and surreal feeling,” said Jaliyah, one of the former foster youth who will benefit from United Way’s Collegiate Guaranteed Income Program. “I’m going to use these funds to pay for groceries because they’re expensive, and to fix my car because I need it to get to school. It will also help me pay for classes for next semester, so I’m ecstatic.”

California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State), is a four-year, regional comprehensive university located in the capital of the state with the fifth-largest economy in the world. As part of the California State University system, which is the largest public university in the world, Sacramento State is the sixth-largest campus with over 31,000 students, 91% of whom are undergraduates. Sacramento State’s mission is to “transform lives by preparing students for leadership, service, and success.” Sacramento State is a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI).

Founded in 1923, United Way California Capital Region has been a transformative force in the Sacramento community for more than a century, serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way’s Square One approach to ending poverty is grounded in a public health model and uses a threefold strategy to address community needs from birth and beyond: helping kids excel in school, investing in families and strengthening schools. At United Way’s core is the philosophy that families possess the blueprint for their success. United Way supplies books to young children, provides literacy tutoring, addresses housing and food security, leads the region’s largest tax preparation initiative and launched Sacramento’s first guaranteed income program. United Way works across diverse school districts, providing case management for foster youth and leading the Community Schools initiative in West Sacramento. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org

Tickets on Sale for United Way Gala in April

Dawnte Early of United Way wears a sparkly dress and pulls a confetti burster with a child in front of balloons

 Community members are invited to come together on April 20 for an evening of impact at United Way California Capital Region’s United in Purpose Gala, presented by U.S. Bank. The event, which will take place at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, will raise funds toward United Way’s Anniversary Goal to raise $3 million to help 10,000 local children excel in school by 2025. The evening will include dinner, an inspirational program, fund a need, silent and live auctions, Golden Ticket Raffle, VIP reception with a chance to win a trip to New Orleans, and more. For tickets and sponsorship opportunities: http://www.uwccr.org/gala.

“The United in Purpose Gala is more than just a celebration; it’s an opportunity for us to come together as a community and make a tangible impact on the lives of local children,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “With your support, we know our ambitious goal of raising $3 million to help 10,000 children excel in school by 2025 is entirely achievable. Together, we can create a brighter future for our children and build a stronger, healthier, more compassionate community.”

More than 450 community members came together last spring for United Way’s inaugural gala to celebrate the organization’s 100th anniversary and to raise $640,000 to help local children succeed in school.

Founded in 1923, United Way California Capital Region has been a transformative force in the Sacramento community for more than a century, serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way’s Square One approach to ending poverty is grounded in a public health model and uses a threefold strategy to address community needs from birth and beyond: helping kids excel in school, investing in families and strengthening schools. At United Way’s core is the philosophy that families possess the blueprint for their success. United Way supplies books to young children, provides literacy tutoring, addresses housing and food security, leads the region’s largest tax preparation initiative and launched Sacramento’s first guaranteed income program. United Way works across diverse school districts, providing case management for foster youth and leading the Community Schools initiative in West Sacramento. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Local Residents Can File Taxes for Free Through United Way

A woman who is a Free Tax Prep volunteer looks at forms on a table and takes notes

Local residents throughout the Sacramento region are eligible to file their taxes online or in person for free through United Way California Capital Region’s Free Tax Preparation program, which runs through April 15. Households that earned less than $66,000 in 2023 can file for free, and trained tax volunteers will help maximize cash back from state and federal credits, including the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC and CalEITC). United Way’s Free Tax Preparation program saves participants an average of $200 in preparer fees. The program provides free tax help virtually and in person in multiple languages and locations. For more information or to begin filing, visit www.YourFreeTaxPrep.org or call 2-1-1 in Sacramento.

“Our Free Tax Preparation program is more than just a service, it’s a crucial lifeline for families, providing significant financial relief that can be used for immediate needs such as housing, food security, healthcare or even invested toward building long-term financial stability,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “This program assists thousands of families in identifying and claiming tax credits they often don’t realize they’re entitled to, while also saving them more than $1 million in tax preparation fees, allowing them to put the money to use for their family’s needs.”

United Way recommends filing as early as possible to receive tax credits sooner. In 2023, more than 6,000 households filed their taxes through United Way’s Free Tax Preparation program and collectively received $8.8 million in tax credits. More than 200 program volunteers donated nearly 11,000 hours of their time helping people file taxes online or at more than 20 in-person sites across Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. More volunteers are needed this year. For more information about becoming a United Way Free Tax Preparation volunteer, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

Founded in 1923, United Way California Capital Region has been a transformative force in the Sacramento community for more than a century, serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way’s Square One approach to ending poverty is grounded in a public health model and uses a threefold strategy to address community needs from birth and beyond: helping kids excel in school, investing in families and strengthening schools. At United Way’s core is the philosophy that families possess the blueprint for their success. United Way supplies books to young children, provides literacy tutoring, addresses housing and food security, leads the region’s largest tax preparation initiative and launched Sacramento’s first guaranteed income program. United Way works across diverse school districts, providing case management for foster youth and leading the Community Schools initiative in West Sacramento. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Takes on Sacramento Housing Crisis

United Way California Capital Region is now directly addressing Sacramento’s housing crisis with the formation of its new Community Support Services department that will include housing navigation services through the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal program (CalAIM) for people on Medi-Cal who are unhoused or at risk of losing housing.

“Our local United Way has always focused on our community’s biggest needs, and currently the housing predicament we are in is so great that we know we have to do our part to help those impacted by rising rent costs and increased risks of being unhoused,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “We are investing in our families and utilizing this program as another tool in our box, ensuring those who are unhoused, or at risk of being unhoused, and on Medi-Cal, can get the help and resources they need to find or maintain housing.”

United Way’s housing navigation program works with local individuals and families currently unhoused or at risk of being unhoused to help them find housing, receive deposit assistance and sustain their housing. Through referrals, the program’s housing navigator works with each eligible client to identify barriers and housing needs, find housing options, assist in the application process, and obtain assistance for move-in costs such as security deposits, first and last month’s rent, utility deposits and medically necessary aids. Once suitable housing is determined, United Way works with newly housed clients to identify the root causes of them being unhoused or at risk of being unhoused, and then address their needs and goals to maintain stable housing, including health care, education, substance use treatment, financial literacy or counseling services.

“United Way is proud to enter this important space helping Sacramento residents embark on a path of sustainable housing,” Early said. “We understand that to eliminate poverty, education is key to building a stronger, healthier and more compassionate Capital Region. For kids to excel in school, they cannot be worried about where they are going to sleep at night. That’s why this investment in local families is important both in the fight to end this housing crisis and to build future opportunities for children to break the cycle of poverty.”

Housing navigation program participants must live in Sacramento County, be unhoused or at risk of losing housing, and be a Medi-Cal member with Health Net, Molina Healthcare or Anthem Blue Cross. For more information or to make a referral, visit https://www.yourlocalunitedway.org/our-work/invest-in-families/housing-navigation/.

Founded in 1923, United Way California Capital Region has been a transformative force in the Sacramento community for more than a century, serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way’s Square One approach to ending poverty is grounded in a public health model and uses a threefold strategy to address community needs from birth and beyond: helping kids excel in school, investing in families and strengthening schools. At United Way’s core is the philosophy that families possess the blueprint for their success. United Way supplies books to young children, provides literacy tutoring, addresses housing and food security, leads the region’s largest tax preparation initiative and launched Sacramento’s first guaranteed income program. United Way works across diverse school districts, providing case management for foster youth and leading the Community Schools initiative in West Sacramento. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Teams with PNC to Expand Yolo Childhood Book Program

One thousand more Yolo County children will receive a free book every month from birth through age 5 from United Way California Capital Region, which manages the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Yolo County. The expansion is thanks to United Way’s corporate partner PNC and a $95,000 grant from PNC Foundation that will be matched dollar-for-dollar with funds from the California State Library.  

“PNC has done an incredible job with its PNC Grow Up Great® initiative to ensure preschool children get the skills they need to succeed later in life,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Part of our work at United Way is to create deep partnerships that ensure caring corporations like PNC can extend their mission into the community. Thanks to this partnership, a thousand more kids in Yolo County will start build a passion for reading and learning.”

According to the Yolo County Office of Education, only 5% of elementary and middle school students test at or above reading proficiency level. Nearly 45% of students are economically disadvantaged.

“We understand that achieving or surpassing early childhood literacy benchmarks is closely linked to a successful academic career, paving the way for improved employment prospects and the ability to disrupt the cycle of poverty,” Early said. “Through our partnership with PNC, we are dedicated to instilling a love for reading early in a child’s life. Research shows that children who struggle with reading proficiency by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. We make this investment in our community’s youth to not only foster a love for learning but to break the cycle of poverty in our region.”

Since 2004, PNC Grow Up Great  has helped prepare children from birth through age 5 for success in school and life, supporting programs, resources and experiences that plant the seeds for a lifetime of opportunities.

“As a community-focused bank and one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, we’re proud to partner with United Way to support Yolo County’s young readers and their families,” said Megan Schoettmer, PNC regional president for Northern California. “At PNC, we know early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make for our children and our communities.”

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through PNC Grow Up Great®, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, visit www.PNCGrowUpGreat.com.

Founded in 1923, United Way California Capital Region has been a transformative force in the Sacramento community for more than a century, serving Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The local United Way’s Square One approach to ending poverty is grounded in a public health model and uses a threefold strategy to address community needs from birth and beyond: helping kids excel in school, investing in families and strengthening schools. At United Way’s core is the philosophy that families possess the blueprint for their success. United Way supplies books to young children, provides literacy tutoring, addresses housing and food security, leads the region’s largest tax preparation initiative and launched Sacramento’s first guaranteed income program. United Way works across diverse school districts, providing case management for foster youth and leading the Community Schools initiative in West Sacramento. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Opens 3rd Round of Guaranteed Income

Local residents can apply for a third round of funding through United Way California Capital Region’s Guaranteed Income program, which will provide an additional 130 eligible households with $500 of unconditional guaranteed income each month for a year. Eligible applicants must live in Districts 1 or 2 in the County of Sacramento and meet household income requirements. The online application will be open until Oct. 31 at 11:59pm. Qualifying households will be selected randomly and confirmed by the end of November. First payments will begin in January 2024. For more information or to apply: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Guaranteed-Income.

“We know that $300 to $500 can mean the difference between staying in your home and becoming unhoused,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region. “Locally, families are losing their homes, wondering how to feed their families and who is going to watch their children while they work. They cannot afford to wait for assistance – they need it urgently. In collaboration with the County of Sacramento and Sierra Health Foundation, we are delivering this vital income support to county residents, safeguarding them from becoming unhoused, ensuring food security and relieving childcare burdens.”

United Way announced the new round of funding at a press conference with Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy (District 2) and community partner Sierra Health Foundation. County of Sacramento Supervisors Phil Serna (District 1) and Kennedy allocated $1 million in American Rescue Plan dollars, and Sierra Health Foundation made a donation to United Way, to help expand United Way’s Guaranteed Income program to Sacramento County residents for the third round.

“I am thrilled to join Supervisor Serna in supporting 130 Sacramento County families through our partnership with the local United Way’s Guaranteed Income program and Sierra Health Foundation,” Kennedy said. “These recipients are hardworking families often juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet. With this funding, we hope to provide them with more opportunities to lift themselves and their families up.”

United Way’s Guaranteed Income program is the first of its kind in the California Capital Region. United Way launched the program in July 2021 with a portion of the $10 million gift it received from renowned philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in December 2020. In March, United Way announced a second round of funding, thanks to a $750,000 allocation of American Rescue Plan dollars from the City of Sacramento. The 80 households in the second round began receiving $500 a month in July and will continue to receive funding through June 2024.

“Today marks a celebration of community, inclusivity and hope as Sacramento County government, our local United Way and Sierra Health Foundation unite to forge a new path toward well-being for marginalized populations, especially those within BIPOC communities,” said Chet Hewitt, president and CEO, Sierra Health Foundation. “At Sierra Health Foundation, we are committed to reducing health disparities, and understand the toll that managing bills and supporting a family with insufficient resources can take on a family’s mental and physical health. This is why we recognized the importance of new policy frameworks that demonstrate how families that participate in path setting programs like this can create a healthy trajectory for their future.”

United Way is partnering with Sacramento State University to conduct a detailed study of the second and third rounds of households, including a comparative analysis. Data will be used to improve and expand the program.

For 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has been working to end poverty by creating stronger, healthier, more compassionate communities. Since 1923, the local United Way has raised more than $500 million to fight poverty in the region and help families succeed. The group now has a goal to raise $3 million to help 10,000 kids excel in school by 2025 as part of its work to end poverty for local families. The local United Way has found one place in each community to reach the most families in need: School is square one for ending poverty. United Way uses its Square One approach to end poverty for local families by helping children excel in school, investing in families, and strengthening schools with resources to address increased poverty and deep roots of racial inequality. For more information or to make a donation: www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way to Reopen Wait List for Yolo County Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Yolo County, managed by United Way California Capital Region, will be growing this summer thanks to a statewide expansion. The program that provides free books to children from birth to age 5 regardless of income has had a full waitlist in Yolo County, but that list will reopen this summer with opportunities for more Yolo County families to sign up. For more information or to sign up, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/our-work/help-kids-succeed/dolly-parton-imagination-library/.

The statewide expansion was driven by legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Under the bipartisan bill — by Senator Shannon Grove, a Bakersfield Republican, and Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat — the California State Library coordinates the Imagination Library of California’s statewide program and provides a dollar-for-dollar match to help Imagination Library local partners like United Way sign up children to receive free, high-quality books each month.  

“Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is one of United Way’s most beloved programs here in Yolo County, and a critical tool for helping kids learn to read,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Reading is a key indicator of academic achievement, which we know is a ladder out of poverty. We are thrilled that this statewide expansion means more Yolo County families will have access to outstanding children’s books so kids can develop a lifelong love of reading and succeed in school.”

The Imagination Library is available in 30 counties in California with expansion plans to fully cover the entire state. The Imagination Library of California will focus on reaching more children and families in existing Imagination Library programs, as well as finding community partners to create new Imagination Library programs across California. California is the first state to partner with the Imagination Library to offer a fully bilingual English/Spanish book language option. Books are selected by the Imagination Library’s panel of experts in early childhood and reading. To learn more about the book selection process, visit: www.imaginationlibrary.com/usa/choosing-our-books/.

“Studies show developing reading skills at an early age leads to more long-term success in life,” said California State Librarian Greg Lucas. “Reading these free books with your children improves their language skills, grows their vocabulary and better prepares them for kindergarten.”  

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has gifted more than 200 million free books in the United States and internationally through funding shared by the foundation and local partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 2 million books each month to enrolled children from birth to age 5. Parton envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to dream more, learn more, care more and be more. The program has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, visit www.ImaginationLibrary.com.

For 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has been working to end poverty by creating stronger, healthier, more compassionate communities. Since 1923, the local United Way has raised more than $500 million to fight poverty in the region and help families succeed. The group recently announced a goal to raise $3 million to help 10,000 kids excel in school by 2025 as part of its work to end poverty for local families. The local United Way has found one place in each community to reach the most families in need: School is square one for ending poverty. United Way uses its Square One approach to end poverty for local families by helping children excel in school, investing in families, and strengthening schools with resources to address increased poverty and deep roots of racial inequality. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way 100th Anniversary Gala Raises $640K to Help Kids Excel in School

More than 450 community members came together to raise $640,000 to help local children succeed in school at United Way California Capital Region’s 100th anniversary gala on April 29. The event held on the eve of the organization’s 100th birthday at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium included dinner, keynote presentation by San Francisco 49er Arik Armstead who cofounded the Armstead Academic Project, fund a need, silent and live auctions, raffle for tickets to Game 7 of the Kings vs. Warriors playoff series the next day, and dollar-for-dollar match courtesy of the Capital Region Foundation.

The local United Way has raised more than $671,000 toward its 100th anniversary goal announced in February to raise $3 million to help 10,000 kids excel in school by 2025.

“This night was the culmination of 100 years of work in this community to end poverty for local families,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “We know education is a proven ladder out of poverty, and we know school is square one for reaching families in need. Our 100th anniversary campaign is the launching pad for our next century of work to make sure our community’s children succeed in school and thrive as adults.”

United Way California Capital Region has found one place in each community to reach the most families in need: School is square one for ending poverty. United Way uses its Square One approach to end poverty for local families by helping children excel in school, investing in families, and strengthening schools with resources to address increased poverty and deep roots of racial inequality.

The local United Way offers a wide array of programming and services to ensure children and their families have the resources they need to succeed in school and in adulthood. From a regional reading tutoring program and school-readiness services for incoming kindergarteners to an income program for foster youth, guaranteed income for families, free tax preparation services and more, United Way has created a holistic approach that starts in schools.

To make a donation to the 100th anniversary campaign or learn more about United Way’s programs and services: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

United Way Opens Second Round of Guaranteed Income

Local residents can apply for a second round of funding through United Way California Capital Region’s Guaranteed Income program, which will provide 80 eligible households with $500 of unconditional guaranteed income each month for one year. Eligible applicants must live in the City of Sacramento and meet household income requirements. The online application will be open until April 14 at 11:59pm. Qualifying households will be selected randomly and confirmed by the end of May. First payments will begin in July. For more information or to apply: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Guaranteed-Income.

“With rising housing, food, gas and electricity costs, too many residents of our state’s capital are struggling to make ends meet,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Through this second round of funding, United Way’s Guaranteed Income Program will continue to address poverty directly by giving even more community members money to meet basic needs, no strings attached.”

United Way announced the new round of funding at a press conference with Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Mayor Pro Tem Mai Vang, Sacramento City Council Member Lisa Kaplan, and former state senator and United Way board member Dr. Richard Pan. The City of Sacramento allocated $750,000 in American Rescue Plan dollars to expand United Way’s Guaranteed Income program.

United Way’s Guaranteed Income program is the first of its kind in the California Capital Region. United Way launched the program in July 2021 with a portion of the $10 million gift it received from renowned philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in December 2020.

“This program helps alleviate the daily financial stress many local families face,” Early said. “We trust that participants best know how to spend their money to meet their family’s needs. Participants in our first cohort reported that guaranteed income each month helped to decrease income volatility, stay housed, pay for childcare, buy food and increase savings.”

United Way will partner with Sacramento State University to conduct a detailed study of the second round of households, including a comparative analysis. Data will be used to improve and expand the program.

For 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has worked to end poverty by creating stronger, healthier, more compassionate communities. Since 1923, the local United Way has raised more than $500 million to fight poverty in the region and help families succeed. The local United Way has found one place in each community to reach the most families in need: School is square one for ending poverty. United Way uses its Square One approach to end poverty for local families by helping children excel in school, investing in families, and strengthening schools with resources to address increased poverty and deep roots of racial inequality. For its 100th anniversary, United Way is working to raise $3 million to help 10,000 kids excel in school by 2025. To make a donation to the 100th anniversary campaign or learn more about United Way: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.  

United Way Announces 100th Anniversary Goal

As United Way California Capital Region celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the local nonprofit working to end poverty through education has announced a new goal to raise $3 million to help 10,000 kids excel in school by 2025.

“This is such an important year as we celebrate 100 years working together with this community to end poverty for local families,” said Dr. Dawnté Early, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “We have learned so much over the past 100 years, and now we are ready to enter our next century with a bold new goal. We know education is a proven ladder out of poverty, and we know school is square one for reaching families in need. With kids coming out of Covid even more behind in school, we have doubled down on our commitment to raise the resources necessary for our region’s children to excel in school and thrive as adults.”

Focusing on schools through its Square One approach, United Way California Capital Region offers a wide array of programming and services to ensure children and their families have the resources they need to succeed in school and in adulthood. From a regional reading tutoring program and school-readiness services for incoming kindergarteners to an income program for foster youth, guaranteed income for families, free tax preparation services and more, United Way has created a holistic approach that starts in schools. United Way’s work centers families in their children’s academic achievement by helping children excel in school, investing in families, and strengthening schools with resources to address increased poverty and deep roots of racial inequality.   

“We know a quality education helps children develop social, emotional and cognitive skills that lay the foundation for a more fulfilling and stable life,” Early said. “Research shows that students who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade falter in later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma.”

To make a donation to the 100th anniversary campaign or to learn more about United Way’s programs and services, visit: YourLocalUnitedWay.org. For 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has been working to end poverty by creating stronger, healthier, more compassionate communities. Since 1923, the local United Way has raised more than $500 million to fight poverty in the region and help families succeed.

United Way’s milestone year will culminate on April 29 with its 100th Anniversary Gala at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The fundraiser will honor the local United Way’s past, recognize present impact, and look forward to building a future where everyone in the region has the opportunities and resources to thrive. The event will include silent and live auctions, dinner and a keynote presentation by San Francisco 49er Arik Armstead who also cofounded the Armstead Academic Project that supports students in Sacramento and the Bay Area. For tickets, visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org.