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United Way announces Julie Chacona as Director of Major Gifts

julie chacona
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

community schools

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.

working remote

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 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.

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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