United Way of Erie County is a local social impact organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty in our region. We envision a collaborative community where all students succeed and all families thrive. That's LIVING UNITED.
For every dollar raised, 99 cents stays in Erie County.
United Way of Erie County has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a critical community impact organization mobilizing local partners - including businesses, community leaders and community residents. United Way is investing in leveling the playing field for low-income students and their families who face barriers to success. Simply put, breaking the cycle of poverty means breaking down these barriers. We believe all children should have equal opportunity to receive a quality education!
Mission: United Way of Erie County mobilizes resources to break the cycle of poverty and improve our community.
Vision: The Erie region is a collaborative community of opportunity where ALL students succeed and ALL families thrive.
IMAGINATION LIBRARY = providing FREE high-quality, age and developmentally appropriate books monthly to children from birth to their fifth birthday so children enter kindergarten with early literacy skills ready to learn
RAISING READERS = making sure children are reading at grade-level so they don’t fall behind and drop out of school
COMMUNITY SCHOOLS = stripping away non-academic barriers to learning that low-income children face, from basic needs to trauma counseling to dental/vision health supports and much more so they can focus and engage in the classroom
ERIE FREE TAXES = helping hard working low-to moderate income families get free tax preparation and take advantage of the earned income tax credit to get financially stable
211 HELPLINE = connecting individuals and families to the help they need when they need it so that the home environment is stable and supported
OTHER STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS = responding in times of emergencies and to priority community needs
United Way of Erie County was first conceptualized in 1911, when the first recorded discussion concerning the need to unite separate agencies for fundraising and mutual cooperation was held. Then in 1914, it was established under the name of Erie Social Service Federation when 11 of the 22 agencies in Erie County united. This federation of nonprofits would be known by a variety of names throughout the following years, including; Community Chest, United Fund, and United Community Services. In 1974, it was established as United Way of Erie County.
For more than 100 years, United Way of Erie County has witnessed and experienced many changes, but the one thing that remains constant is its mission of improving people’s lives. The words may be different, but the message is still the same:
“United Way of Erie County mobilizes resources to break the cycle of poverty and improve our community.”