Gratitude from community partners 

For the past 100 years, the generosity of so many local businesses and individuals throughout the St. Louis region has powered United Way to create powerful and positive change in our community. As we reflect in gratitude for this incredible support, a few of our nonprofit partners took the chance to express how thankful they are for your support through United Way, and how it’s making a difference for so many of our neighbors!  

Healing hunger 

18 percent of the St. Louis–area population lives in a food desert –an area with few to no options for affordable and healthy foods. Operation Food Search’s priority is reducing food insecurity for individuals and families throughout the communities they serve, and their Mobile Market gives clients in food deserts the opportunity to access fresh fruits and vegetables as well as basic needs. With United Way’s funding and support, Operation Food Search provides food and services to more than 200,000 people each month in the bi-state region.

“United Way helps create awareness of our mission to meet the immediate need for food today, while also working on long-term solutions that help create a hunger-free tomorrow. We are grateful for their strengthening of the St. Louis community throughout the past 100 years. We look forward to continued collaboration with this excellent organization and congratulate United Way on their anniversary!”

-Kristen Wild, President and CEO, Operation Food Search

Furnishing hope

Starting over can be financially and emotionally taxing on a family without housing. Our partner Home Sweet Home helps struggling families transition into new homes. So far in 2022, they have served more than 915 families, helping more than 2,100 individuals transitioning into new housing can complete their homes with the basic furniture and household items everyone needs. 

“United Way’s funding helps us put gas in our trucks and support our movers to ensure we can continue our mission. United Way has been a foundation for bringing communities and compassion together for a century. Incredible! We look forward to the future of United Way, expanding its reach to help even more of our St. Louis neighbors in the years to come.”

-Katie Guymon, Communications Coordinator, Home Sweet Home

Empowering communication

Problems with vision and hearing can translate into problems with learning and language development for young children. The Center for Hearing & Speech provides hearing and vision screenings for students in low-income, traditionally underserved neighborhoods. The Center is able to go into the children’s schools, conduct the tests, and then provide results and follow-up resources to students’ families through their schools. 

“This program is a frontline example of how United Way advances equity: by reaching communities where healthcare services in general might not be readily available, much less for conditions that are themselves not always easy to identify in younger children. Founded in 1920, the Center is honored to have served alongside United Way for more than a century, sharing in a vision of a healthier, more equitable community.”

-Kevin Condon, Director of Development, Center for Hearing & Speech

Building a stronger future through young people

The Gateway Region YMCA, a longtime United Way partner, will soon unveil a new program called the Boys and Young Men of Color Strategy. Aimed at impacting positive change for boys and young men of color, the program’s efforts will focus on reducing school truancy and chronic absenteeism, improving graduation rates, and helping establish career pathways to ensure economic mobility and a brighter future.

“For 100 years, United Way has helped enable our Y to serve individuals and families of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to achieve their potential throughout the entire bi-state region. We rely on United Way’s help to fully deliver our mission and are so grateful for its ongoing support. We look forward to the next 100 years, and what we can accomplish working together!”

-Steve Mastorakos, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Gateway Region YMCA

Inspiring strong girls

Girls Inc. of St. Louis focuses on the development and wellbeing of girls throughout the St. Louis region. Their Project Accelerate program supports young women through critical transitions from high school to college, and from college to careers.

“With the support from United Way funding, Girls Inc. has the opportunity to advance real, equitable change for women and gender equality across the St Louis area by breaking down barriers, expanding opportunities, and changing systems.  Expected outcomes include an increased number of young women graduating college; an increased network of influence for girls from historically marginalized groups; and job placement in high-paying, positions of leadership. Thank you, United Way for staying the course for 100 years by helping make the difference in the lives of the underserved and under resourced communities.”

-Cheryl Jones, President and CEO, Girls Inc. of St. Louis

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Rodney Humphries
Rodney Humphries

Rodney Humphries is the Communications Specialist for United Way of Greater St. Louis and a proud graduate of Webster University where he developed his passion for writing. In college, he combined his love for writing and sports, serving as the primary sports writer for his school newspaper while also developing his own sports blog. After graduating, he continued his love for writing as he served as a freelance writer for various publications. Rodney continues to be a fan of Webster athletics, you will often see him sitting courtside at a lot of their basketball games.