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Weekly INBrief: January 27, 2021

Wednesday Jan 27th, 2021

Community School Directors show resourcefulness in 2020Community School Directors’ creativity, resourcefulness and flexibility have been critical to the success of continuing to support students and families with basic needs and supplies, technology, school attendance and behavioral/mental health services during the past 10 months.

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Erie FREE Taxes Filing Season Opens January 25

erie free taxes
free tax prep
community impact

Friday Jan 22nd, 2021

The IRS has announced the opening of the 2021 tax filing season will be February 12, 2021. At that time, prepared tax returns will begin to be accepted and processed by the IRS. Refunds are anticipated to be released during the first week in March. Learn more

Please note that United Way Erie FREE Taxes will still begin its tax filing season on January 25, 2021, as scheduled. Prepared taxes will be held and submitted in accordance with the IRS tax filing calendar.

Weekly INBrief: January 20, 2021

weekly inbrief
jim ohrn
erie free taxes

Wednesday Jan 20th, 2021

Lessons Learned For 2021 Erie Free Tax PreparationWhen the pandemic reached Erie last March, all 16 United Way Erie FREE Taxes VITA sites were closed.  Thousands of people had pending appointments that had to be cancelled.

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Weekly INBrief: January 13, 2021

weekly inbrief
community impact

Wednesday Jan 13th, 2021

Basic Needs & Supplies Pantries Receive Grant From Erie Women’s Fund  
Imagine being a young child in Erie attending school, in-person or virtually, in dirty clothes, without a winter coat or boots, hungry or without having toothpaste and a toothbrush.

EWF Thank You

Monday Jan 11th, 2021

At the end of what seemed like the longest year ever, many United Way Community Schools continued to struggle keeping their Basic Need Pantry stocked for all neighbor families to take advantage of.


Walmart Shoppers Round-Up for United Way


Monday Jan 11th, 2021

Round-up to the nearest $ and donate to United Way of Erie County today!

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February 11th is 211 Day!


Monday Jan 11th, 2021

Won't you join us for special virtual update regarding United Way's 211 Helpline? 

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United Way emphasizes attendance with Be There awareness campaign

Monday Dec 14th, 2020

At United Way, we know the key to breaking the cycle of poverty is education. But, if students aren’t in the classroom, virtually, or otherwise, they cannot succeed.
That’s why United Way will be launching the Be There awareness campaign in the coming days. As part of our work to prepare children to succeed in school and life, our Raising Readers attendance initiative, Be There, mobilizes trusted, caring adults to promote excellent school attendance among local children in Erie's Public Schools. Unlike traditional efforts to reduce truancy and chronic absenteeism, Be There is a positive campaign focused on encouragement and positive reinforcement.
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Thursday Dec 10th, 2020

Updated list of free holiday meals and services provided in Erie County this year.

Mask Erie aids Community Schools Through Mask Donations

Friday Dec 4th, 2020

When the volunteers of Mask Erie heard about students eventually returning to their school buildings, they wanted to do their part to help the community! 

Sara Musone, President of Community School Harding Elementary's PTO and board member of the Foundation for Erie Public Schools, knew this collaboration could make a big difference...

United Way VITA Site Coordinator



Monday Nov 30th, 2020

United Way currently seeks qualified candidates for the position of VITA Site Coordinator. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply by Monday, December 7, 2020 at 4:00PM EST. Learn more.


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Seasonal Overflow Shelter Opens Its Doors


Wednesday Nov 18th, 2020

With all COVID-19 guidelines in place, Erie United Methodist Alliance (EUMA) in collaboration with Our Neighbor's Place will open the seasonal warming shelter beginning Wednesday, November 18.

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MIRROR program powers on at community schools

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international institute
new americans
community impact
community schools

Tuesday Nov 17th, 2020

The International Institute's MIRROR program, funded by United Way, had to adapt quite quickly amidst COVID as normally the program would have been implemented in person for families in need at community schools Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary and McKinley Elementary. 

The MIRROR program was created to address the complex, diverse, and interconnected needs of refugee youth – as they cope with acculturation stress or childhood trauma, as they transition into the US school system, and as they adapt to resettled life in Erie, PA. The MIRROR program was created to support teachers and school staff who “may feel ill-equipped to address the student’s need(s).” The MIRROR program was created to focus on “the challenges associated with trauma that impede English Language Learners’ ability to achieve academic success.” MIRROR programming is meant to include monthly assessments, supportive case management, streamlined referrals, group parenting and youth workshops, and interpretation support.

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Edison Family Game Night emphasizes attendance

community schools
be there

Tuesday Nov 17th, 2020

In an effort to engage with families virtually, the team at Edison launched their first-ever virtual game night for families made possible with United Way of Erie County funding.

Check out the Edison Elementary Facebook page for all the details from Game Night!

Diehl MU Bags

Mercyhurst aids Diehl with bags

Monday Nov 16th, 2020

Mercyhurst University serves as the lead partner to Diehl Elementary, a United Way community school. Recently, Mercyhurst's campus ministry team joined together to make Halloween take and make kits for kindergarten - second grade students at Diehl.

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Community Schools Volunteer Spotlight: Shia Knight

Monday Nov 16th, 2020

Shia Knight is an 11 year-old Luther Memorial student who was in need of completing community service hours over the summer. That's when Shia's mom Kelina, who is the East Middle School secretary, reached out to Rachel Pierce community school director. Kelina and Shia were looking for opportunities to give back to East and Rachel knew just the way to have Shia help!

Shia participated in East's Random Acts of Kindness campaign from home, writing 150 postcards with positive messaging to be sent to East students who were identified as being in need of encouragement in what we all know are very challenging times - especially for students!

This was the first time Rachel had engaged with a volunteer remotely and it was a huge success! Students will receive these post cards this year to help encourage them to continue to engage in learning as well as remind them that the East family is still there for them while virtual learning and the pandemic continues.

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Fall Fitness with the Y at Harding

community schools
ymca of greater erie

Monday Nov 16th, 2020

The YMCA of Greater Erie serves as the lead partner at Harding Elementary, a United Way community school. As lead partner, the Y recently put one of their greatest resources into action for the teachers and staff at Harding. Fall Fitness was implemented for the first time this year and provided teachers and staff at Harding with the opportunity to unwind and focus on self-care.

Winter Gear for EVES Students

community impact
elk valley

Monday Nov 16th, 2020

Community School Director, Tammy Rader was recently able to organize a Winter Gear Drive for students at Elk Valley Elementary. In addition to students and their families being able to pick up donated winter items, the Giving Pantry was also opened for families who could come in take things as needed. Special thanks to community school corporate partner Bonnell's Auto Group who purchased one of every item on the EVES Winter Gear Amazon Wish list which was a huge help! In total more than 30 families received assistance through this effort!


Free Thanksgiving Meals in Erie County 2020

Thursday Nov 12th, 2020

Updated list of free Thanksgiving meals provided in Erie County this year.

Erie FREE Taxes 4p VT

United Way Seeks Volunteer Tax Preparers for 2021 Erie FREE Taxes Filing Season

erie free taxes
tax preparation

Monday Nov 9th, 2020

United Way of Erie County’s Erie FREE Taxes program is in urgent need of community members interested in becoming IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers for the 2021 tax filing season. 

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Q & A with Julie Chacona, United Way Director of Major Gifts

Monday Oct 19th, 2020

Earlier this month, United Way announced the hiring of Julie Chacona as Director of Major Gifts. Learn more about Julie in this Q&A.

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United Way announces Julie Chacona as Director of Major Gifts

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resource development
major gifts

Monday Oct 5th, 2020


United Way of Erie County is pleased to announce the hiring of Julie Chacona as Director of Major Gifts. Julie is an Erie native and has a rich history of service to the community. She earned Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a double minor in Fine Arts and Economics from Boston College and holds fundraising certificates from Indiana University Lilly School of Fundraising.

5.18.2020 we are here for the snacks



Tuesday Sep 29th, 2020

United Way of Erie County has announced a $2,500 grant to Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Network to support their efforts to address food insecurity for City of Erie residents. The funds will be used to offset costs associated with the organization’s Little Italy Farmer’s Market and the neighborhood soup kitchen held over the summer. 

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Volunteer Tax Preparers Needed

erie free taxes

Monday Sep 14th, 2020

Are you interested in helping tax fliers in our community without it costing a fortune? If you could, would you give them the chance to save for a future emergency fund or their child's education?

When volunteering with Erie FREE Taxes, a program funded through United Way of Erie County, you are giving community members a better chance to succeed and save, rather than spend, when it comes to their taxes!

Through our FREE provided training, you are able to become an official IRS-certified tax filer. No experience is needed. During this time, it's more crucial than ever to help our community where we can. Register to support our community today!

Check out our updated Erie FREE Taxes web page to find out how you can help or follow the volunteer registration form here:

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2019 Erie FREE Taxes Report

erie free taxes

Wednesday Sep 9th, 2020

Since the ending of the 2019 tax season in July, United Way's Erie FREE Taxes program has calculated a total of $99 million in federal tax refunds since its start in 2007. Erie FREE Taxes provides assistance to eligible individuals with filing their taxes. Through this program, tax filers are able to obtain the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). To date, over 21,000 EITC have been claimed, resulting in over $38 million in EITC returns. 

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United Way Announces 2020 Tocqueville Award Recipient

Thursday Sep 3rd, 2020

This years award goes to... Robin Scheppner!

Award presentation and honorary reception to be celebrated in 2021.

Reopening information for Erie County families

Wednesday Sep 2nd, 2020

As summer draws to an end, it's time to get back into the school routine. This year, United Way community schools will "open their doors" in a partial or full virtual setting. We know this transition can be confusing for most and United Way of Erie County is here to help! 



CARES Act Offers Tax Deduction

tax incentives

Tuesday Aug 25th, 2020

Earlier this year, Congress enacted the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security) to help citizens financially recover during the pandemic. This act enables 120 million Americans to deduct up to $300 worth of donations to charities from their taxes they file in 2020!

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Harvest Season at Community Schools

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Monday Aug 24th, 2020

We’re fast approaching harvest season! This means all 14 of our community school gardens are filled with full grown, healthy, and delicious produce for families to pick up and enjoy. Usually this produce would go towards the kid’s school lunches, but since we are virtually learning this fall, this produce needs to find a new home... in your kitchen!

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United Way announces move to former Wayne School Building

Thursday Jul 30th, 2020

WE’RE MOVING! United Way of Erie County is pleased to announce we will be moving our offices to the second floor of the former Wayne School building located at 650 East Avenue.

The move aligns seamlessly with United Way’s collective impact strategy and laser focus on education as the organization will now be co-located with Erie Center for Arts and Technology along with other valued impact partners and neighbors to East Middle School, a United Way community school.

The move is expected to be completed in Spring 2021.
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United Way announces $2M U.S. Department of Education Grant to Boost Community Schools

community impact
community schools

Tuesday Jul 28th, 2020

United Way of Erie County along with representatives from partners Erie’s Public Schools, Gannon University and UPMC Western Behavioral Health at Safe Harbor announced the details of a recent grant award from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant, the largest single award to United Way in the organization’s 105-year history, will further support United Way’s community schools initiative aimed at removing barriers to learning so students and their families can succeed. The federal grant will total $2,031,397 over the course of a five-year grant period. The amount is 27.5% of the total costs of the project. 72.5% of the total costs of the project will be financed by non-governmental sources.

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United Way funds 19 neighborhood organization projects totaling $14,000

community impact
neighborhood organization
national night out
where the money goes

Monday Jul 6th, 2020

United Way is pleased to announce the funding of 19 neighborhood organization projects totaling $14,000 in mini-grants.

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Community Schools In Action

community schools
community impact

Tuesday Jun 30th, 2020

While traditional school doors have closed, the doors to opportunity for students and their families continue to be wide open thanks to United Way's community schools model. Transformational work is happening through United Way's community schools model in our community each and everyday. Check out how United Way's community schools are helping beyond school walls.

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Combatting the COVID Slide - Summer Bucket List and Self-Care Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Tuesday Jun 16th, 2020

United Way's Raising Readers initiative has released a Summer Bucket List and Self-Care Tip Sheet for Parents and Caregivers.

The Raising Readers initiative is looking at three factors to help our students become proficient readers by third grade: School Readiness, School Attendance, and Summer Learning.

The development and distribution of these resources falls under the work of the Summer Learning subcommittee. Summer Learning is supporting families and students over the summer months. The “summer slide” is what often happens to disadvantaged children during the summer months. They tread water at best or even fall behind, while higher-income children build their skills steadily over the summer months. Teachers then spend the first quarter of the school year re-teaching material from the previous school year. With the COVID pandemic hitting our children especially hard, United Way is additionally focused on what we're calling the "COVID slide," learning loss as a result of the COVID pandemic.

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United Way announces grant funding to Erie Family Center's Diaper Depot

Tuesday Jun 9th, 2020

The Erie Family Center’s Diaper Depot has seen a dramatic increase in need starting with the first distribution earlier this year. Families in Erie County are experiencing shortage of diapers due to COVID-19 job loss, changes in public transportation and lack of supply in the retail stores.

That’s why United Way is announcing funding in the amount of $10,000 to support the Erie Family Center’s Diaper Depot. The Diaper Depot, launched in January of this year, is the only one of its kind in Northwestern Pennsylvania. As the name implies, the Diaper Depot provides families in need with diapers. The program has also expanded to be countywide and include distribution of other related items such as formula and baby wipes.

On hand for the check presentation (L to R) were Erica Jackson, United Way Community Impact Manager, Grants Administration and Kristen Costa, Erie Family Center Director.

EFSP Announcement

Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funding Announcement

Wednesday Jun 3rd, 2020

The Erie County Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board recently granted a total of $311,294 in funding to local organizations providing services to Erie County residents in the following categories: 

  • Emergency food
  • Temporary housing (hotel/motel vouchers)
  • Rent or mortgage payment assistance
  • Utility bill payment assistance

This year, our community received more than double last year's funding as a result of provisions in the CARES Act. This is vital funding for our community, and it will help address needs that have become elevated due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funding is intended to supplement existing programs and grant recipients follow specific documentation guidelines. This round of Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funding must be spent by December 31, 2020.

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2020 Neighborhood Organization Mini-Grant Application Now Available

Monday Jun 1st, 2020

Funding priorities have been identified and applications are now being accepted for United Way's 2020 Neighborhood Organization Community Impact Mini-Grants. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit our Mini-Grants page to learn more and apply.

EFT 2020 Relaunch

Erie FREE Taxes program to resume free tax prep for qualified tax filers

erie free taxes
tax preparation
tax prep

Thursday May 28th, 2020

IMPORTANT: Services are available by appointment only. Tax filers must call 1-888- 829-5680 for an appointment. Individuals should not call United Way offices.

United Way of Erie County, following guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend its free tax preparation offered services through the Erie FREE Taxes program in March as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the community.

The organization has worked with committed partners and volunteers to resume free tax preparation through Erie FREE Taxes services since that time. Thanks to the diligent work of staff and site coordinators, United Way is pleased to announce that beginning June 1, 2020 and continuing through July 15, 2020, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers will complete 2019 tax returns for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax filers on a limited basis.


neighborhood organization
national night out
community impact

Tuesday May 12th, 2020

National Night Out event funding will shift to supporting organizations interested in responding to needs identified as a result of COVID-19.

While United Way of Erie County has been a proud sponsor of National Night Out since 2004, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are facing as a community, the organization has made the difficult decision to shift its 2020 mini-grant process from supporting National Night Out events to supporting neighborhood organizations interested in responding to the needs that have been identified in their communities as a result of COVID-19.

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Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funding Availability

emergency food and shelter

Monday May 11th, 2020

The Erie County Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board is announcing Phase 37 funding availability, as well as supplemental funding made available through the CARES Act.

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Community School Volunteer Spotlight: Tackett Family

community schools
community impact

Thursday Apr 30th, 2020

April is National Volunteer month. And, they say that nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer. As we all continue to navigate a new normal imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an inspiring, heartfelt response from people throughout our region who want to lend a hand. At United Way we are fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers that give back by choosing to volunteer through United Way's community schools partnership. Two of those volunteers are Deb and Ray Tackett who volunteer at Edison Elementary, a United Way community school whose corporate partner is Wabtec Corporation.


Learning Beyond Books Guide Post

Learning Beyond Books

raising readers
community impact

Thursday Apr 30th, 2020

Literacy isn’t just reading. Literacy also involves communication, writing and much more! That's why United Way has compiled an Early Learning Activities guide to provide Erie County families with related early learning resources for children under age five in these categories.

Check out the guide

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New Tax Advantages for Donors

tax incentives

Wednesday Apr 15th, 2020

There is a new financial incentive for Americans to give generously to qualifying charities, including United Way of Erie County and many of our community partners. The new universal tax break for charitable donations was included in the final $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package signed into law last week and will go into effect starting with the 2020 tax year.

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United Way Coloring Book

Monday Apr 13th, 2020

Join us in coloring fun!

Erie FREE Taxes Guidance on How to Receive the Stimulus Payment

Wednesday Apr 8th, 2020

How to Receive the Stimulus Payment

If you did not file a 2019, or 2018 income tax return and you do not receive Social Security benefits

You will need to file a simple tax return for 2019, even if you are not normally required to file. This will provide the IRS with your current bank account information so that your stimulus payment can be direct deposited.

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United Way names new community school director at Elk Valley Elementary

community schools
elk valley
community impact

Saturday Apr 4th, 2020

United Way is pleased to announce Tammy Rader has been named the Community School Director at Elk Valley Elementary.

A Girard School District graduate herself, Tammy received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling both from Edinboro University. "I am so excited to come back to my roots of being a Yellow Jacket," she said.

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United Way Partners with FamilyWize to Offer Support for Residents to Access Delivery of Prescriptions

Friday Mar 27th, 2020

United Way of Erie County is committed to connecting residents to prescription savings resources during the coronavirus pandemic through its partnership with FamilyWize, an organization focused on improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Community residents can call FamilyWize for free customer support to help them coordinate prescription medication delivery from participating pharmacies. Residents will also continue to receive savings on medications by using the free FamilyWize prescription program card.

United Way, ServErie and Erie County launch COVID-19 Volunteer Response Effort

community impact

Thursday Mar 26th, 2020

COVID Volunteer Logo Lock Updated


Those in need of help or wanting to help should visit


Volunteer-dependent organizations in Erie County are running low on volunteers. That’s why United Way has partnered with Erie County Government and ServErie to connect interested individuals with available volunteer opportunities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the PA 211 Helpline website 

Direct link for those interested in volunteering:

Direct link for interested agencies/organizations in need of help:

United Way commits to COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund through Erie Gives Platform

Friday Mar 20th, 2020

United Way of Erie County is pleased to join forces with The Erie Community Foundation and other funders in our community to launch the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund through the Erie Gives platform. We understand many people and businesses are not in a position to give at this time, but for those who are, this is a very strategic way to contribute to the cause and address the most critical needs in the Erie community during this difficult time.

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United Way Celebrates Work of AmeriCorps VISTA Damali Donovan

Monday Mar 9th, 2020

AmeriCorps Week, March 8-14, 2020, is a celebration of all things AmeriCorps – from the programs and organizations that make this national service initiative possible in communities across the country, to the members who have pledged to “Get Things Done” since the program’s inception in 1994.Damali Donovan has been with United Way of Erie County as an AmeriCorps Vista through Lake Effect Leaders since August 2019. Damali is providing capacity building support to United Way’s community schools and  Raising Readers, our local Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.


United Way Awarded $12,687 for new books at community schools

read across america week
community schools

Monday Mar 2nd, 2020

Grant received from nonprofit First Book in partnership with United Way of PA to be celebrated during Read Across America Week, March 2-6

75487 IN Brief Spring 2020 UW Newsletter
Safe Routes to School LAUNCH 1 28 20 2

Safe Routes to School Initiative Launched

Tuesday Jan 28th, 2020

United Way of Erie County, in partnership with The City of Erie and Erie’s Public Schools have announced the launch of the Safe Routes to School initiative.

United Way began facilitation of the implementation of a $250,000 Erie Community Foundation Shaping Tomorrow grant focused on increasing school attendance at Community Schools in the City of Erie in 2018. Strategies include the following: conducting a comprehensive education and awareness campaign; identifying, improving, and promoting the safest walking routes to each school; and piloting “walking school buses” along the safe routes.

The goal of the Safe Routes initiative is to improve the safety of Erie’s Public Schools students, so they can get to school regularly and on-time.

Thanks to the support of Tungsten Creative Group, “Walking Route To” signage was designed and produced. Vivx Display Solutions also worked on the project, providing in-kind support for sign production.

The installation and launch of the Safe Routes initiative follows United Way’s collaborative work with Gannon University to conduct walkability assessments identifying the safest routes for students to use when they walk to school.

As part of the project, Gannon University faculty and student interns observed how Erie’s Public Schools students go to and from school, the physical conditions of those school routes, and any potential safety concerns.

This information was analyzed and mapped to identify the safest routes. Partners then worked to determine any potential physical improvements to those safe routes. The City of Erie also plans to leverage a portion of its Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grant to provide added or improved signage, pavement markings, traffic control devices and sidewalk improvements to enhance the safety of students walking the routes.

Additional Safe Routes to School “Walking Route” signage is expected to be installed this Summer for students and families at four additional United Way community schools including East Middle School, Edison Elementary School, Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School and Strong Vincent Middle School.

TechnipFMC Our Day group email

TechnipFMC joins Community Schools Partnership as Corporate Partner at Iroquois Elementary

community schools
community impact
iroquois elementary

Tuesday Jan 21st, 2020

Officials from United Way of Erie County in partnership with the Iroquois School District announced TechnipFMC as an additional confirmed corporate partner in the community schools initiative.

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City of Erie includes Community Schools

Friday Jan 10th, 2020

City of Erie Vision Plan - Community Schools FocusRead more on page 10 and 11 of the Vision PlanSupport Community Schools

single point in time

2020 Single Point in Time Count

Thursday Jan 9th, 2020

Erie County Single Point in Time Count

January 24, 2020

We need your help to make sure our most vulnerable are not forgotten. Volunteer for the Unsheltered Street Count, January 24th, 9 pm through 3 am.

2 shifts available: 9 pm—12:30 am and 12:30 am to 3 am
Assemble at the VA Medical Center, Building #8 at 9pm for street count overview.

For more information or to volunteer, contact George Fickenworth, Mercyhurst Civic Institute, at, or
Mike Wehrer, VA Medical Center, at

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JOB POSTING: Community Impact Manager and Community Impact Coordinator


Monday Dec 16th, 2019

United Way currently seeks qualified candidates for the positions of Community Impact Manager and Community Impact Coordinator. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply by Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 4:00PM EST. Learn more

Community Schools Partnership logo

United Way Names Two Additional Community School Directors

community schools
community school directors

Friday Dec 6th, 2019

Officials from United Way of Erie County in partnership with Erie’s Public Schools have announced the community school directors at Harding Elementary and Perry Elementary, United Way’s newest community schools. The announcement of these two schools coming on board as community schools was made earlier this year, bringing the total number of schools included in United Way’s community schools partnership to ten countywide.

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United Way Announces Lead Partner at Harding and Perry Elementary Community Schools

community schools
community impact
erie family center

Monday Oct 7th, 2019

Community Schools model advances with hiring of two additional directors

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PA 211 Northwest Annual Report Released

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pa 211 nw
community impact
annual report

Monday Sep 23rd, 2019

United Way of Erie County is excited to share with you PA 2-1-1 Northwest’s 2018-2019 Annual Report. Download the report


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Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits Now Available

raising readers
school readiness
community impact

Friday Sep 6th, 2019

United Way is pleased to announce the availability of Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits for organizations and groups located in Erie County who serve families with children under 5.

The Toolkits include Alphabet Cards, Number Cards, Wooden Blocks, Crayons, Activity Pad, Kindergarten, Here I Come! Book, Building Blocks for Babies and a variety of resources. They are free of charge to those interested and available upon request while supplies last.

A completed form emailed to Stephanie King, Director of Education is required. If you need additional information please contact Stephanie at (814) 456-2937 ext. 231.

Download and complete Toolkit Request Form

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United Way of Erie - Then & Now

Wednesday Sep 4th, 2019


For more than 100 years, United Way of Erie County operated in what is often referred to as a “transaction” based model. That is, we raised monies from the community and allocated it to a relatively small number of programs run by partner organizations.

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Annual Report - Working Differently

Wednesday Sep 4th, 2019

United Way of Erie County has transitioned from the isolated impact approach to the collective impact framework to address the complex challenge of breaking the cycle of poverty in our community.

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Annual Report - Student Success

Wednesday Sep 4th, 2019

United Way of Erie County understands that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. That’s why we focus on student success, from birth, providing the resources and supports so all local children have the opportunity to succeed in school… and in life.

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Annual Report - Family stability

Wednesday Sep 4th, 2019

Family stability is vital to children’s success in school. A child is affected not only by their school environment, but also by what happens out of school, especially at home. Here’s how United Way of Erie County provides resources to help families become and stay stable.

foodandshelter wide web

Erie County’s local Emergency Food and Shelter Board recently met to review applications for Phase 36 Funding.

Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2019

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program began in 1983 with a $50 million federal appropriation. The program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food and shelter.

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Good Attendance - A Habit We Should Build as Soon as Children Start School.

Monday Aug 26th, 2019

Chronic Absenteeism is missing 10% or more of the school year – including both excused and unexcused absences. This equates to 18 days per school year, or just 2 days per month.

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Helping Students Succeed This School Year

Wednesday Aug 7th, 2019

Thanks to the nearly 200 volunteers who helped United Way pack 1,500 backpacks with supplies during the 2019 School Supply Pack-A-Thon! Thanks to the generosity of those who participated in the event, more students in Erie County will have the tools they need to succeed this school year! That's LIVING UNITED!

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Job Posting: Community Impact Coordinator

Wednesday Jul 3rd, 2019

The Community Impact Coordinator is an organized, detail-oriented individual. They work with the Vice President, Community Impact; Manager, Community Impact and Director of Education to coordinate all aspects of United Way’s community impact work.

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United Way Announces 2019 Tocqueville Award Recipient

Wednesday Jun 19th, 2019

United Way of Erie County has announced that Gwendolyn White is the 2019 Tocqueville Award recipient. The award will bepresented during the organization’s Leadership Recognition Reception at the Warner Theatre on Thursday, June 20 made possible by Northwest Bank and through a grant from the William M.

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Little Free Library Opens at United Way Offices

Wednesday May 22nd, 2019

United Way unveiled a pair of recycled newspaper boxes as their Little Free Library during at Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on May 21. United Way is SO happy to bring another location where children and their families can get FREE books to read in our neighborhood.

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United Way Community Schools Grow to Ten Countywide

Wednesday May 8th, 2019

United Way and Erie’s Public Schools announce Harding and Perry Elementary as newest community schools; name corporate partner

Officials from United Way of Erie County in partnership with Erie’s Public Schools have announced Harding Elementary and Perry Elementary will be transformed into community schools, bringing the total number of schools included in the partnership to ten countywide....


10 Lucky Donors Awarded United Way workplace giving incentive prizes

Tuesday May 7th, 2019

United Way of Erie County announced the winners of the 2018 Campaign Incentive Prizes.

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2019 Book Drive Public Drop Off Locations

Tuesday Mar 26th, 2019


Achievement Center
4950 W 23rd St. Erie, PA 16506
M-F 8 am-5 pm
Allstate Insurance - Matt Barczyk Agency
3309 Liberty St. Erie, PA 16508
M-F 9 am-5 pm
Ambridge Rose Spa and Salon
3344 W 26th St.

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Erie FREE Taxes can still help you file your 2018 tax returns.

Monday Mar 25th, 2019

Do you still need to file your 2018 tax returns? Erie FREE Taxes has a limited number of free tax prep sites available that can help you meet the April 15, 2019 tax filing deadline. Locations:

Horan Garden Apartments, 730 Tacoma Rd. , Erie

GECAC, 18 W. 9 St.

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Join United Way's Team as an Americorps VISTA

Tuesday Mar 19th, 2019

Do you want to help crush poverty in Erie County? Do you want to play an integral role in United Way of Erie County’s Community Schools and Raising Readers initiatives?

 If so, apply for our Lake Effect Leaders AmeriCorps VISTA project! Program benefits include: Relocation Allowance, Education award upon successful completion of service, Training, Childcare assistance if...

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United Way names Mercyhurst University as Lead Partner at Diehl Elementary

Friday Mar 15th, 2019

WITH PLANS TO HIRE SCHOOL DIRECTOROfficials from United Way of Erie County in partnership with Erie’s Public Schools are moving ahead with the transformational student success initiative known as community schools at Diehl Elementary, the organization’s eighth school countywide....

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United Way Safe Routes to School Walkability Studies Being Conducted with Gannon University, Erie's Public Schools

Friday Mar 1st, 2019

United Way of Erie County continues to facilitate the implementation of a $250,000 Erie Community Foundation Shaping Tomorrow grant focused on increasing school attendance at Community Schools in the City of Erie.

2-1-1 Day on February 11 celebrates United Way's human service helpline

Friday Feb 8th, 2019

Monday, February 11 is PA 2-1-1 Day. This is a day to celebrate all of the life-changing ways United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline services the residents of Northwest Pennsylvania, and to encourage more to utilize the service available to them.

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Erie Imagination Library Research published in Reading Psychology

Tuesday Jan 15th, 2019

A recently published research study titled “'Dream More, Care More, Learn More, and Be More’: The Imagination Library Influencing Storybook Reading and Early Literacy,” in Reading Psychology confirms the positive impact the Imagination Library program has on kindergarten literacy.


Friday Jan 11th, 2019

United Way's 2-1-1 is committed to helping those in the Northwest PA region impacted by the federal government shutdown. Furloughed federal employees and government contractors in need of social services and individuals with questions about availability of public benefits can call 2-1-1 or visit PA211NW. org to get help.

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Erie FREE Taxes 2019 Filing Season Kicks Off January 19

Thursday Jan 10th, 2019

Once again, United Way Erie FREE Taxes will kick-off the tax filing season with free tax preparations at three different locations in the City of Erie.

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United Way announces Diehl elementary as eighth community school

Friday Nov 9th, 2018

United Way of Erie County and Erie’s Public Schools officials announced the corporate partners for Diehl Elementary School at a press conference on Friday, November 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM.


Hagen honored with 2018 United Way of PA Keystone Spirit of United Way Award

Wednesday Sep 12th, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – United Way of Pennsylvania presented its highest annual award, the Keystone Spirit of United Way award, to Erie County resident Thomas B. Hagen at a celebration hosted by Erie Insurance on September 12, 2018.

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Volunteer Tax Preparers Needed

Thursday Aug 30th, 2018

Would you like to help fellow tax filers keep more of their hard-earned money at tax time? Would you like to give them a chance to save money for an emergency fund or their children’s education, or to buy a home? Become an IRS-certified VITA volunteer tax preparer.

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Erie FREE Taxes Site Coordinator Needed

Thursday Aug 30th, 2018

Temporary, part time, VITA site supervisor positions available in Erie and Union City, PA. Two days per week, up to five hours per day, January, 2019 through mid-April, 2019. $13 per hour.

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United Way Releases First PA 2-1-1 Northwest Annual Report

Tuesday Aug 7th, 2018


We are excited to share with you PA 2-1-1 Northwest’s first Annual Report. Before 2-1-1 was available, many people in our local communities struggled to find the resources they needed. Many folks just didn’t know where to even start.

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United Way of Erie County Announces $3.2 Million Total Investment to Crush Poverty

Tuesday Jul 31st, 2018

RELEASE July 31, 2018 — For far too long, the barriers to learning for children living in poverty have been ignored or addressed with a “Band-Aid” or isolated impact approach. This is unacceptable. We as a community cannot be reactive anymore.

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2018 National Night Out

Wednesday Jul 25th, 2018


Nearly 6,500 neighbors throughout Erie County will spend a little quality time with each other on Tuesday, August 7 thanks to United Way of Erie County.

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United Way's Community Schools Initiative Gains Countywide Momentum

Monday Jul 2nd, 2018

Officials from United Way in partnership with Girard and Iroquois School Districts are moving ahead with the transformational student success initiative known as community schools at two additional elementary schools in Erie County. Community schools are places where resources from the community are used to improve student success.

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Women Driving Philanthropy to Announce 2018 Supporting Cause

Wednesday Jun 13th, 2018

On Wednesday, June 20th, Women Driving Philanthropy will announce the 2018 benefiting cause. A press conference will be held at Erie Arts & Culture, 23 West 10th Street, at 10 a. m.

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United Way funded Middle School Ice House Showcase to be held May 31

Wednesday May 30th, 2018

On Thursday, May 31 at 10 a. m. , Erie's Public Schools seventh grade students from Woodrow Wilson, Strong Vincent and East Middle Schools will participate in the Ice House Showcase Event at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst University.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Emergency Food & Shelter Program

Thursday May 17th, 2018

As a lead convener, United Way of Erie County is announcing the following funding opportunity for eligible Erie County agencies on behalf of the Erie County Emergency Food & Shelter Board. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) is soliciting proposals for Phase 35 Funding.

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9 Lucky Donors Awarded United Way workplace giving incentive prizes

Thursday May 10th, 2018

United Way of Erie County announced the winners of the 2017 Campaign Incentive Prizes.  
The winners were notified in May when United Way officials and the prize sponsors surprised individuals at work.

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Girard Community School Lead Partner Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Tuesday May 8th, 2018

On behalf of the Girard Community School Partnership, United Way of Erie County invites interested community-based organizations to respond to a Community School Lead Partner Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Responses to this RFQ should be emailed to Emily Francis (emily@unitedwayerie.

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2018 Tocqueville Award Recipient Announced

Friday May 4th, 2018

United Way of Erie County has announced that James E. Martin is the 2018 Tocqueville Award recipient. The award will be presented to him during a reception ceremony at the Warner Theatre on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

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Behrend's Trash to Treasure Sale Set for May 12

Wednesday Apr 25th, 2018

GIVE IT UP FOR GOOD! Share your treasures and find some of your own at Penn State Behrend’s 7th Annual Trash to Treasure Sale! This rummage sale allows students, faculty and community members to purchase a variety of affordable priced, gently used items.

Summer Slide Childrens Book Drive

2018 Summer Slide Book Drive

Monday Mar 19th, 2018

Got children's books? Help kids beat the summer slide. Studies show that access to books during the summer prevents a drastic loss in reading skills - especially for kids in need. All books will be dispersed to United Way’s partner elementary and middle schools throughout Erie County.

Little Engine That Could Play

The Little Engine That Could – a musical adaptation of the popular Imagination Library book at the Erie Playhouse

Thursday Mar 8th, 2018


The Erie Playhouse Youtheatre PLAYtime project, in partnership with United Way of Erie County’s Imagination Library is happy to present FREE family-friendly performances of The Little Engine that Could.

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2017 Impact Report Published

Wednesday Feb 7th, 2018

United Way of Erie County's 2017 Impact Report is now available.  Download a copy


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A message to the Erie Community

Saturday Jan 20th, 2018

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.

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United Way announces 2018-2021 funding cycle

Tuesday Jan 9th, 2018

In December 2017, United Way's Board of Directors approved a restructured impact strategy as part of United Way’s 2015-2018 strategic plan. This plan is focused on reducing poverty by changing community conditions so many more people become and remain self-sufficient.

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United Way's Erie FREE Taxes Super Saturday Kick Off

Friday Jan 5th, 2018

  Three locations providing free tax preparationIRS-certified volunteer tax preparers will complete tax returns for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax filers at United Way’s Super Saturday EITC Awareness Kick-Off event on January 20, 2018.