For far too long, the barriers to learning for Erie County children living in poverty have been ignored or addressed through a “band-aid” approach. This is unacceptable. We, as a community, cannot be simply reactive anymore.
If our community is serious about stopping the cycle of poverty, we need to make hard decisions and change what we know has not been working. That is why three years ago, United Way of Erie County made the decision to be BOLD with its 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.
To more effectively impact systemic, social change, United Way’s Board of Directors unanimously agreed to move away from funding individual agencies and programs to funding intentional partnerships working together under the collective impact model to achieve goals of student success from birth and family stability.
United Way’s purpose is to improve our community; not to support individual agencies working in isolation from one another. While we applaud the work of all local nonprofits, the challenges we face require a level of cooperation and collaboration beyond what any single organization can accomplish.
In December 2017, United Way announced this transformational shift in its impact strategy. As a follow up to that announcement, we want to share with the Erie community answers to questions relevant to this new strategy.
We invite you to join us in being part of the solution-focused on giving the children and families dealing with low-income barriers every day a hand up instead of a handout. The result will be a better quality of life for ALL of us.