The Community Impact Equation
What it takes:
- Community Involvement & Collaboration –goals cannot be achieved by just one organization alone. We must work together, utilizing and leveraging our resources in the most efficient and effective way to see results.
- Community-Wide Strategies – We must develop and implement specific community-wide strategies to get us to the “how” of achieving our goals.
- Tracking Progress & Results – We must continually review our progress, assess our results, identifying what is working well and what we need to improve.
- Dedication – We need to understand that community-level change takes time and the effort of many. We must be dedicated to continued and collaborative focus on achieving impact even though, in some cases it may take years to see the community-level change.
How WE are meeting needs right now
Education: 35% of 3rd graders are not achieving reading proficiency. Students who don’t meet this critical benchmark are more likely to drop-out, to enter the criminal justice system, to suffer long-term unemployment and chronic homelessness. United Way of Gaston County wants our children to succeed, now and in the future. Collaborators like the Gaston Literacy Council, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Communities in Schools, and the YMCA work to raise student achievement and foster successful education outcomes. Together we’re working to ensure every child in Gaston County arrives at school prepared for learning.
Financial Stability: Housing stability is critical to the well-being of families, yet 27% of renters in Gaston County spend over half their monthly income on rent. One unexpected expense – a minor car repair, a child with an ear infection, a field trip – can be financially devastating. This places these families at extreme risk of homelessness. UWGC helped fund housing interventions for over 7,800 families last year.
Collaborators like SOCKS, Bessemer City Crisis Center, Dallas-High Shoals Ministry, Mt. Holly CRO, and Cherryville Area Ministries work to stabilize families in financial crisis.
Health: In Gaston County 25% of adults and 13 % of children are obese. Obesity greatly increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and respiratory conditions – all illnesses which are preventable and costly to treat. United Way of Gaston County funds preventive programs to encourage healthy lifestyles. Collaborators like The Heart Society of Gaston County, The YMCA, Cancer Services, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Communities in Schools, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts promote health awareness and better lifestyle choices. Data source: 2011 American Community Survey