The latest on what we're up to, most proud of, and inspired by.

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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

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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.


nno neighborhood organization national night out funding 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

efsp 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

literacy 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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Community School Volunteer Spotlight: Tackett Family

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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.


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New Tax Advantages for Donors

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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

COVID-19 community impact 211 ServErie Volunteer

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

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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