Community Impact

Community Impact

United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a critical community convener that mobilizes local partners, including businesses, community leaders, public officials, and community members to provide opportunities for people to succeed.  We believe we can do the most good, achieving long term change, by investing in key building blocks of a good life:  Education, Financial Stability, Health, and Basic Needs.  Remove any of the building blocks and the others topple.  Build them all up, and you have a cornerstone for individual and community prosperity.

Of course, United Way can't do it alone.  We must work with our community partners.  Together, we must tap into peoples aspirations, focus on issues and underlying conditions for change, and bring people and organizations together to create community impact.

Our Focus Areas

  • Education – Education is essential to getting, and keeping a job with a wage that can sustain a family.
  • Financial Stability – Families must be able to cover their costs today, and save for the future.
  • Health – Good health helps kids stay on track in school, and ensures that adults can be productive at work.
  • Basic Needs – As a community, we must provide support for fragile individuals and families at risk of homelessness.

Changing the Odds for Children and Families

United Way is committed to changing the odds for all children and their families, regardless of their current situation or circumstance, giving them equal opportunity to succeed in school and in life.  In July of 2014 United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley's Board agreed that investing in services and supports focused on children ages 0-8 and their families will have the best return on investment, and is the most effective way to achieve our long-term goals.  Ensuring that every child develops both emotionally and physically, is ready for kindergarten, and is armed with the skills they need to be successful once they are in school is critical.  We know that children learn to read through third-grade, and that beginning in fourth-grade children are reading to learn.  We also know that reading at grade level at the end of third- grade is a critical milestone, and is considered to be a predictor of whether or not that child will graduate from high school.

The Communities We Serve

United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley serves Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties. Our work is grounded in the diverse needs of each community we serve, and is informed by local input, local data, local research, and local expertise so that we understand and can address not only the immediate needs but the underlying conditions as well.  Find out more about the local data that drives our work.

Our Approach

The challenges we face as a community are complex, and too big for any one organization or sector to solve.  There is no “silver bullet” to solve these problems, rather it requires a strong cross-sector of support.  Like many communities and organizations across the country, United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley has embraced the Collective Impact framework to achieve measurable results that improve community conditions and create lasting impact.  Find out more about Collective Impact.