Living United Advancing the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.
United Way is working to advance the common good by educating children to be ready for school, promoting economic stability so people can provide for themselves and their families, and by caring for the most vulnerable in our community. By creating lasting changes in social conditions and preventing problems from happening, we create a stronger and healthier community for everyone.
We invite you to be part of the change. Working together, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better life for all. That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED.
United Way is making sustained positive changes in peoples' lives. These success stories are just a few of the results from such changes, made possible by services provided through United Way-funded programs at partnering agencies.
How Mary Carpenter Lives United Mary Carpenter lives united by helping with storm recovery in Catoosa, Dade and Walker Counties. She's also the 2011 United Way Campaign Chairperson for these same communities. She knows how United Way creates impact in area neighborhoods every day, and she also knows how United Way is involved in long term storm recovery in North Georgia. That's why Mary doesn't just wear the shirt, she lives it!
How Becky Page Lives United. Becky Page Lives United by helping children learn to read and receive free books at home through United Way's Project Ready for School. She knows that free books in North Georgia are vitally important because research shows the more words children know, the better their success in school. When United Way approached Dade, Walker and Catoosa Counties about offering the book program, Becky became an on-board advocate at that moment. She knows the importance of having good quality literature in the hands of children, and she believes the program has been a huge success. Enrollment in Dade County alone is at almost 75 percent of all eligible children in the county, thanks to her hard work. Becky also believes that investing in children’s early years and building their skills produces economic development down the road. Investing in children and youth develops citizens who graduate, who are competent, and who can do what employers want. They go into the world of work, then they become taxpayers, and the cycle goes on and on. So she knows donations that are given to Dade, Walker and Catoosa counties are an important piece of this puzzle – they not only affect academic results, but also economic development. But for her the real payoff is the joy children get out of receiving their books – they run to the mailbox everyday and say “Momma did I get a book?” That’s why Becky doesn’t just wear the shirt, she Lives It!
How Tammie Lives United When Tammie was expecting her daughter, she was served by a United Way program that focuses on the development of children from birth to age five. A parent educator visited her home and taught her activities to help her child develop mentally, emotionally, socially and physically. She not only learned how to be proactive in her child’s education, but she got the confidence she needed to parent and discipline successfully. After seeing the difference this program made in her child’s life, she knew she had to be involved in making a difference in the lives of other children.
“I’ve learned that too many children, here and nationwide, enter school unprepared,” said Tammie. “These same children will fall even further behind. Most parents don’t know about the importance of early childhood development or the availability of early childhood education programs through United Way.” That’s why Tammie decided to become a parent educator. Each week she visits families – just like hers – to help them successfully prepare their children for school, thanks to United Way. Because Tammie doesn’t just wear the shirt, she lives it!
How Olga Lives United It’s hard to be a teenager living in a crowded house and dealing with language barriers, but Olga is also completely deaf. Neither of her parents speak English, and her father recently lost his job. Her brothers and sisters got jobs to help out, so Olga wanted to pitch in too. One of her teachers put her in touch with Services for the Deaf in North Georgia. This United Way funded program helps hearing and vision impaired clients find employment. The program connected Olga with a weekend job at the Olive Garden, where her manager says she is a great employee. She’s even teaching her coworkers how to sign. It took a lot of courage for Olga to enter the workforce, but thanks to this and similar programs, Olga and others like her can become self-sufficient and be better prepared for financial independence. Olga doesn’t just wear the shirt, she lives it!
How Scott and Matt LIVE UNITED Matt, a graduating senior from a United Way high school program for teens with developmental disabilities, was interested in working after graduation. Scott, his dad, wanted to see if Matt could get a job instead of going to adult day care. During Matt's final months in school, a United Way employment program got to know Matt's strengths and needs. After graduation, the program’s staff tested Matt and gave him various job trials. In August 2007, Matt started work at TVA, collecting recyclable products throughout the six-building complex. He has been successfully employed for almost two years, continually supported by the program’s training staff. His increasing confidence and self-esteem is a notable achievement. Matt talks more, he’s built meaningful friendships, he never misses work, and he’s proud of his accomplishments. When you reach out a hand to one, you influence the condition of all. That’s how you LIVE UNITED.
How Allison Lives United Allison is a bright teenager who has been participating in a United Way-funded youth mentoring program that’s located in North Georgia for several years. To demonstrate growth and leadership, she entered the program’s Silver Award Project. After researching and planning her project, Allison decided to help senior citizens at a local retirement center have a better quality of life by becoming more active. She developed a fundraising plan that involved bake sales and cold calling on individual donors. After successfully achieving her goal and purchasing a Wii for the nursing home, she held a series of classes at the home to teach the staff and residents how to get the most fun out of their Wii. Thanks to Allison, the nursing home residents are more active and having a great time, lifting their spirits as well as improving their physiques. Allison doesn't just wear the shirt, she lives it!
How Will LIVES UNITED Three year old Will had a speech problem. A Parent Educator in a North Georgia program supported by United Way discovered this problem during an early ASQ Developmental Screening. Will could only say the end sounds of a word. After this discovery, his mother enrolled him in speech therapy, but he still struggled, having trouble speaking in complete sentences. The United Way funded Parent Educator brought Will’s mom the three year PAT visit plan called “Word Games.” This helps language development because children learn from interacting with parents and they must name the objects in the game. The Parent Educator was concerned because Will never said linked words together during a visit, but the lesson plan was a success. Not only did he love both games but he was able to name all of the objects and play "I SPY" perfectly. Mom was so surprised. By the end of the visit he was joking around and speaking in three word sentences, such as "Pig is gone.” This United Way funded program truly makes an impact in catching developmental delays early enough to create lasting change in children’s lives. When you reach a hand out to one, you influence the condition of all. That’s how you LIVE UNITED.
How Nathaniel and Nathan LIVE UNITED To some folks in North Carolina, Nathaniel and Nathan will always be heroes. Last year as the boys were paddling over the Nantahala Falls, they saw someone struggling below. The boys quickly assessed the situation and jumped into the water to save the blue-faced boy. They calmed him down and got him breathing again as they pulled him to shore. “He was really scared and coughing up water,” said Nathaniel. Nathaniel and Nathan learned these skills through their participation in the Boy Scouts of America Cherokee Area Council, a United Way-funded youth development program that teaches life-saving skills, strong values, and community service. Drowning is the second major cause of death for children ages five to fourteen – knowing what to and being prepared can prevent that. North Georgia Troop 125 is proud of the boys. And Nathaniel and Nathan are prepared for success in life, no matter what happens. When you reach a hand out to one, you influence the condition of all. That’s how you LIVE UNITED.
How Angel LIVES UNITED Five-year-old Angel is a happy child, but that wasn’t always the case. Last fall, her parents enrolled her in a pre-K program in Catoosa County. There, a United Way funded Parent Educator discovered that Angel rarely spoke and was completely unintelligible when she did. Angel’s mother, a teacher, felt she was just developing at her own pace. However, the Parent Educator ran a test showing Angel had speech and hearing problems. Her parents took her for a physical, where they discovered frequent ear infections had caused hearing damage, which in turn slowed her speech development. She’s infection free now and is speaking clearly after working with a speech and hearing therapist. Angel is calmer and healthier, thanks to this United Way early intervention program. When you reach a hand out to one, you influence the condition of all. That’s how you LIVE UNITED.
How Mike LIVES UNITED Mike came from North Georgia looking for a job. His Asperger’s syndrome kept him from going out and finding work on his own. A job developer at a United Way-supported program for adults with disabilities worked with Mike and found him a job at a BI-LO in North Georgia. He has been there over 7 months and loves it. His primary jobs include bagging groceries and bringing in carts. Mike’s supervisor says he’s very dependable and courteous, always going the extra mile to assist people with their groceries – everyone loves him. Mike’s enthusiasm shows – he’s called in, even on his days off, because he’s so dependable. Mike is Living United by showing how the barriers of disability can be overcome and independence can be achieved! When you reach a hand out to one, you influence the condition of all. That’s how you LIVE UNITED.