United We Can All Thrive

United way of san diego county 1

Since 1920, United Way of San Diego County (UWSD) has remained steadfast in its mission of uniting community partners to rebuild and reimagine a more equitable and inclusive San Diego County. Amid pervasive economic and social challenges, UWSD joins forces with school districts, businesses, the public sector, nonprofits and philanthropic groups to address inequities in our community. Through education and economic mobility initiatives and Corporate Social Responsibility work, the organization provides community-based support so that all children, individuals and families have the resources needed to thrive.

UWSD has long partnered with hundreds of local companies on workplace giving campaigns, employee volunteerism, and other social purpose activities, such as building hygiene kits for individuals experiencing homelessness or stuffing backpacks full of school supplies for students. The organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility work provides corporate partners with ways to engage their employees and the chance for employees to discover how rewarding it is to give back to our community.

With the rising costs of living in San Diego County, many residents are having difficulty paying for necessities such as food, rent and utilities. However, UWSD’s economic mobility programs, such as the San Diego County Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition, provide life-altering support to low-to-moderate income San Diegans who need the support most. In collaboration with 30 county-wide partners, the San Diego County EITC Coalition offers free tax preparation assistance and helps eligible participants claim tax credits that provide more money back. Through targeted economic programs, UWSD and its partners are moving the needle on pervasive economic disparities within our community.

A family’s lack of resources can also have long-lasting, reverberating effects on children and their educational success. For instance, the inability to access books can impede a child’s literacy development which often dictates their future academic pursuits and, in turn, economic success in life. For this reason, the San Diego-based organization invests heavily in educational development for students in communities experiencing great educational and economic inequities. UWSD’s annual Read Across America Book Drive aims to increase children’s access to age-appropriate, high-quality books at home to foster a nation of confident and engaged readers. In addition to providing high-quality books, access to reading mentors has proven its significance in fostering a love of books and increasing reading confidence. UWSD’s Early Learners Literacy Pilot Program with Traveling Stories provides one-on-one mentorship to help children receive tailored reading instruction, become more proficient readers, and learn stronger communication skills. The organization’s STEAM-to-Careers afterschool program is focused on career readiness for high school students, introducing them to well-paying, high-demand STEAM-related career pathways with hands-on learning activities in engineering, media arts production, and more. By aligning with like-minded educational partners, UWSD maximizes impact and transforms the lives of students in San Diego County.

When you support United Way of San Diego County, you help to grow these crucial education and economic mobility initiatives that help ensure all children, individuals, and families can succeed. Learn more about UWSD’s work and get involved today.


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Esteban Villanueva