We recently introduced you to United Way of the Bluegrass’s Big Bold Goal that 10,000 Central Kentucky families will be self-sufficient by 2020. You may be wondering how we as a community can have this great of an impact on that many lives. You are probably thinking: Where do we even begin? We feel this goal can be achieved with improvements to four main areas: basic needs, school readiness, student success and financial stability.
Basic Needs: There are almost 22,000 children in Central Kentucky who are living at or near the poverty level. It’s cold outside and they may not have a coat to keep them warm. It’s dinnertime and they may not have enough food to fill their bellies. This is a problem. We are committed to helping these families by providing resources along with addressing other barriers to their success. UWBG operates 2-1-1 that connects callers to available resources to meet their needs, as well as Hope Ministries Food Pantry, the Amen House and Salvation Army, among other basic needs providers in our community.
School Readiness: At United Way of the Bluegrass, we love kids and we love learning. Put the two together? We really love helping to prepare kids to learn in the classroom. We sponsor readiness programs and lead initiatives to improve quality childcare and public activities to raise awareness about development and educational needs. We also equip parents to make positive choices for their family. UWBG created Countdown to Kindergarten and Help Me Grow, also working with agency partners like The Nest and Growing Together Preschool.
Student Success: Education is the foundation for a good life that sets you on a path of personal fulfillment, economic security and societal contribution. Because of this, we sponsor programs to ensure academic achievement. We support programs to help high school students develop skills and build confidence as they prepare for college and career. Improving student success could greatly impact their future and help break the cycle of poverty that occurs in many families. UWBG’s STEM Academy, STEM Infusion and Trailblazers along with agency partners Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass and Mentors & Meals help support the area of student success. And did we mention we really love kids and learning?
Financial Stability: Meeting basic needs and providing educational support all lead to the goal of financial stability for Central Kentuckians. Investments in economic empowerment are important because they allow families to have the resources and support needed to meet basic, ongoing needs, weather emergencies and invest in a brighter future for their families. Back on Track, CKEEP and Bank on Bluegrass are UWBG programs focused on financial stability and work with agency partners to make improvements in this area.
Improving these four pillars of success is essential to achieving the Big Bold Goal. We invite you to join us in achieving this bold goal by giving, advocating, and volunteering. Together we can make a difference in Central Kentucky!