Here at United Way of Smith County, we are blessed to call communities like Tyler, Lindale, Bullard, Whitehouse, Chapel Hill, and others home. While we live in one of the most beautiful and tranquil parts of Texas with some of the nicest people, there are many areas that we all agree need to improve for us to continue thriving and growing.
The fact is that Smith County household income is slightly below the Texas average, and about 20,000 residents over the age of 25 do not even have a high school education. Many families are torn apart by domestic violence each year, and many of our neighbors do not have access to quality healthcare for chronic diseases such as diabetes.
If you are anything like I am, you want to do whatever you can to help our most vulnerable neighbors, but it can be so overwhelming to see all of these hurting people and not even know where to begin making a difference.
United Way believes that collective impact is the most effective way to address the underlying cause of these issues. In fact, United Way Worldwide brought together more than 40 “issue” experts, 100 community leaders and a ton of research into what it takes to really advance the areas of Income, Education, and Health in our communities. Charting a Course for Change is the result of that major effort.
Here locally, we are partnering with dozens of local programs and collaborating with other nonprofit Directors on a monthly basis to discuss how we can advance these “impact” areas in Smith County.
Every dollar you give to United Way of Smith County is combined with the other 8,300 individuals who donate, and collectively, we are able to tackle the underlying causes of poverty and strengthen more families. If United Way did not exist and major donors or corporate partners decided one day not to support our work, the multi-million dollar total raised by the 8,300 individuals who give an average of $3.80 per week would disappear. To really advance our community and build a stronger Smith County it is going to take more people to give, advocate, and volunteer in 2015.