We just invested in seven additional organizations in Oldham County and our RFP for Bullitt County opens Monday, August 21!
On Thursday, August 3, we hosted a breakfast for 50+ Southern Indiana business leaders. This event provided an excellent opportunity to network, allow us to express our gratitude, and share a bit about the innovative and bold work we are doing around our three priorities: THRIVING KIDS, STRONG HOUSEHOLDS, and an EQUITABLE COMMUNITY. Take a look at some pics from the event!
We’re really proud that there is continued positive bi-partisan engagement and support for Metro United Way’s policy agenda at the local, state, and federal levels and that we are strengthening our relationships across Indiana with existing coalitions aligned with our policy agenda. Check out both our Kentucky and Indiana policy agendas.
- Our Director of Early Care & Education, Ashley Brandt, was on WAVE News recently to talk about our Ages and Stages Developmental Screening Hub and what a great tool it is for parents and caregivers in our community.
- We continue to work with state partners and stakeholders to advocate for and elevate the need for investment in child care in Kentucky.
- We’re really proud to be launching year four of Louisville Growing Readers focused on providing 100 books to families in our community. This is important because kids that grow up with 100 books in their home will have significantly greater levels of literacy, numeracy, and technology skills in adulthood and can add an extra 1.5 years to a child’s grade-level reading performance.
- Our team is continuing our participation with Mayor’s Greenberg’s Early Learning Action Group focused on developing an implementation plan for all three- and four-year-olds to have access to high quality early learning environments.
- All four early childhood projects from the recent American Rescue Plan (ARP) investments have are in the initial stages of work. This will include expanding access to developmental screening, building 12 natural playscapes, and preparing child care educators and families for kindergarten, including expending our Ages & Stages (ASQ) developmental tool to Spanish speaking families.
- Our Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) developmental team continues to support families in finding resources throughout the community to support their child’s early education needs. This team is also expanding relationships with pediatricians in our community to share this free and online developmental screening tool for parents and caregivers.
- Our team is partnering with UofL’s Novak center to provide resources for families enrolling their children in child care. A parent advocate has been established and the first resources for families have been drafted.
- 273 children eligible for kindergarten received a personalized email wishing both parents and child a great first day of kindergarten. Those who completed an ASQ questionnaire within the last year also received a kindergarten book the week before school started along with the kindergarten transition tips.
- And here’s a quote from a parent that was part of our ASQ developmental screening hub:
- “I just wanted to thank you for all the communication that you have provided over the years. We have loved doing the questionnaires with our kids at each age level and have recommended them to others for their children. The questions and activities give such an awareness to parents about what their children are successful at and what they need some support with at different ages. Thank you for helping so many families! Thank you for all the books sent!”
- We shared our new early child care learning data platform to Healthy Babies Louisville, a collective impact coalition focused on supporting parents and babies from birth to two years old.
- We now have 138 youth-serving organizations in our network! We have our event to kickoff the new program year scheduled for Thursday, August 31 where our United Community team will share about the work that they do. So far, we have 105 RSVPs and really proud we have our professional development calendar planned for the full year!
- Here’s how we’re engaging our youth success network:
- The SummerWorks program that MUW supports offers Southern Indiana youth career training. Check out the story:
- We are finalizing a strategy and will be launching Young Men United which will create barrier-free pathways for young Black men to reach their academic and career goals by bringing wrap-around supports to youth in our community to and through college graduation.
- Several of our team members joined with our union friends to build beds for kids that need them. Check out some of the media coverage:
- We are planning for phase two of our housing pilot in Southern Indiana. This will include homeownership barrier removal, homeownership, and housing safety. Full recommendations will be shared in September.
- For our new Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition initiative, we will be leading the coordination of financial coaching support for individuals participating in workforce training, connecting fundraising support to entrepreneurs from marginalized communities, and coordinating consultation for employers to promote inviting workplaces for diverse populations. Read more about this $40 million investment in our community HERE.
- Throughout the month of August, our first FundBLACKFounders cohort is launching their fundraising campaigns, in support of Black Business Month.
- Data through the first half of the year is very strong for our work around preventing homelessness and school instability with the Siemer Institute. Through June 30, we have served 316 families with 655 total children and 518 school-aged children. Of these families, 85% have reached a level of income stability, 89% have achieved a level of housing stability, and less than 1% of families have had to make an unplanned or unsupported move during the school year.
- In partnership with Kentuckiana Works and other collaborative partners, we are actively engaged in a “Generation Work” effort to create more inclusive and inviting workplaces for young adults of color. Three employers we’ve brought to the table are Norton Healthcare, Republic Bank, and UPS.
- This month we have led volunteer projects with: Humana for Inclusion and Diversity Day and created 400 Healthy Snack Kits. Also, Aetna packed 1,000 Backpacks with supplies.
- Our United Community team is working with JCPS counselors to train them to use this cross-sector coordinated care platform.
- One of our Black L.O.V.E. partners was featured on WAVE TV during Minority Mental Health Month.
- Our California Neighborhood Back to School Giveaway with Heaven Hill and Mary’s Bright Idea was well attended and a huge success. We gave out gift cards to Kroger, Walmart, and Burlington, 300 pairs of socks, and 300 backpacks filled with school supplies.
- We are finalizing our strategies around United Neighborhoods that is a place-based approach focused on specific neighborhoods within our 7-county region. Our neighborhood model prioritizes resident-driven priorities, strategies and solutions for investment, and understands that sustained neighborhood change requires listening to residents, authentic relationship-building, significant investment, and a long-term commitment.
- Our internal diversity, equity, and inclusions council (DEIC) which is a cross-functional team will soon be beginning a project called Local WorldChanger (LWC) with UofL designed to make a distinct and measurable difference with regards to an issue by a specific deadline. Our project will involve enhancements to our internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic plan and awareness of the Black L.O.V.E. Philanthropic Partnership.
- Our Racial Wealth Gap Simulation continues to be an informative and impactful community engagement tool. The Girls Coalition of Indiana will participate in a simulation this month along with Best Buy, Inc. leadership.
- We were able to create summer jobs for young people in the California Neighborhood with The Descendants of the California Neighborhood and Brown-Forman. They picked up trash in the neighborhood and provided lawn care for seniors.
Our Southern Indiana Advisory Council is looking for a few new volunteers.
If you are a community leader or someone who is passionate about creating impact in our Southern Indiana region, contact Pam Ottersbach, Southern Indiana Director at email@example.com.
Resources & Engagement Opportunities
Metro United Way offers a wide range of resources to our community. On this page, you’ll find resources for families and individuals, nonprofits, and businesses.