Bill Farmer’s Top 3 of 2015

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At United Way of the Bluegrass, we enjoy celebrating our successes with our supporters at the end of each year. This year has brought many successes worth celebrating.  Our supporters, partner agencies and the UWBG staff have worked hard to make strides toward the Big Bold Goal - 10,000 more families will be self-sufficient by 2020. This is a community initiative to help our neighbors as they work to take care of themselves, by themselves.

In no particular order, here are three successes from 2015 we are proud to share.

Scholarly Successes
In 2014, William Wells Brown Elementary in downtown Lexington was named as the lowest performing elementary school in Kentucky. Volunteers through UWBG and partner programs saw an opportunity to not only help improve these scores for the school, but to make a marked impact on the lives of children.  This year, test results showed a 19-point jump at WWB, and they received the designation of “high progress” as a result. Additionally, the number of Fayette County Public Schools listed as a “needs improvement” school dropped from 29 to 24 in 2015.

These are substantive improvements, and we are proud of the hard work of the students, staff and volunteers. Our goal is to have zero schools on the “needs improvement” list by 2020, and with this type of improvement each year, we know it is a possibility. We are continuing our work with the students, administration, volunteers and partner agencies within William Wells Brown and other schools in Central Kentucky to support continued school readiness and student success.

Dial 2-1-1
You’ve heard of 911 and 411, but 211 is another number you should know. 211 connects people to resources for food, housing, health care, senior services, childcare, legal aid, volunteer opportunities and much more. These resources exist thanks to partner agencies and community members, and 211 provides the open door opportunity, ensuring community members who need these services are able to access them.

Through grants and collaborations in 2015, UWBG led an expansion effort that brought 211 to nine additional counties in Kentucky. With an overhaul of our online database, we now operate as a 211 contact center- as opposed to simply serving as a call center, and can assist clients via text and email in addition to phone support. Our plans to grow the impact of 211 are underway, and we look forward to sharing those with you in the future. For more information on 211, visit our website.

Night to Unite
On Saturday, August 22, 2015, UWBG was honored to be part of a competitive collaboration between LEX18, FOX 56, WKYT and ABC 36, along with supporting partners, KY Forward, Lexington Herald-Leader and Lamar Advertising. The four television stations collaborated to tell the stories of initiatives, programs and lives impacted in our community in order to gain volunteers and financial support to increase the positive impact even further.

Beyond the opportunity to share the stories of those impacted by donations, volunteers and partner agencies in Central Kentucky, the competitive collaboration us to see that the Big Bold Goal is something on which we can all agree. If you missed the original airing on one of the partner stations, you can see the segments here.

Limiting this list was difficult. All successes show just how special our Central Kentucky community is, showing that we are willing to come together to make a difference.

In 2016, our commitment to you is to provide ongoing updates of the work being done by volunteers, partner agencies and UWBG team members. Thanks to your support, we will continue celebrating successes in 2016.



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