2018 September/October Issue
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Caring spirit displayed in back to school drive
As a sound investment choice in Union County, United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) works diligently and compassionately to help all those in our community who are struggling to succeed. By bringing together the people and the resources, we create new possibilities, so that those we serve can be strengthen and reach their full potential. Through community engagement efforts like our 2018 Annual Stuff the Bus Campaign this past August, we partnered with leaders in the community, individuals, companies and volunteers to provide over 500 students across the county in grades Prek-12th with ready-to-learn backpacks filled with school supplies.
We are grateful to our UWGUC staffers who pitched in, the countless volunteers who were in attendance to helped sort and stuff backpacks during Volunteer Day and the volunteers who rode the school bus (donated for the day by Villani Bus Company) to deliver them to six non-profit agencies. Each stop on the ride-along proved to be more inspiring than the last as county officials showed their support by handing out backpacks.

With special thanks Mayor Chris Bollwage, of Elizabeth, Mayor Nora Radest, of Summit, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, Assemblywoman Nancy Foster Munoz, Freeholder Chairman, Sergio Granados, Freeholder Linda Carter and Freeholder Betty Jane Kowalski, for their support of our efforts. With grateful thanks to our featured sponsor, Comcast, for their generous support of our campaign and to all of our supporters who donated countless school supplies and backpacks. Thank you for making this year's campaign extra special!

A few Union County
children show their appreciation with this
thank you video!

Read this article by Communities in School , about the average cost this year on school supplies.
Youth Employment Program Expanded
“We are happy to continue this initiative of bringing together all of our resources to strengthen our community and to help young people reach their goals” said James Horne, President and CEO at United Way of Greater Union County . “Our work to help strengthen Union County includes youth employment services that help give young people real-world opportunities to learn and grow”.

United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) was recently awarded a grant to expand its Youth Employment Pathways Program (YEPP) implemented by the Union County Youth Employment and Training Consortium (YETC) initiated in 2015. A grant sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Workforce Development Board, YEPP helps provide young men and women between the ages of 14-24 with career plans and on the job training experiences. To date, 375 young people have received services in leadership and financial development, job readiness, occupation and certification services, and more.

During the summer, UWGUC partnered with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders to help provide nearly 200 jobs for youth in industries such as information technology, hospitality, health sciences and retail . “By providing these job opportunities and training, we are assisting our youth with the opportunity to gain experience in a job sector they may choose as a career while also receiving financial compensation in the future,”  said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados.  “The Freeholder Board is proud to be sponsoring this program through United Way and we look forward to continuing this in the future.”  

Emergency Food/Shelter Grant Helps this Single Mother Receive Support
Imagine hearing a knock on your door and being served with an eviction notice because you're behind on rent. Unable to pay because you were laid off and now struggle with the decision to either buy food or keep the lights on. That was the reality for 28-year-old Sofia, a single mother of a 4-year-old child, who was let go from her job due to downsizing.    “It can happen to anyone, one day everything is fine and the next, you’re out of a job and barely making ends meet,” she said. 
United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) was recently awarded a federal grant, from the Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) to continue funding programs in our nonprofit network that provide direct service to families like Sofia, who are in crisis. Through these funds, last year, UWGUC funded 13 nonprofit agencies, who provided a total of 121 families with rental/mortgage assistance and served over 10,500 meals.

Sofia received the assistance she needed and was also connected with services where she received employment referrals.  “I couldn’t believe it. It is a blessing,” said Sophia.

For more information on the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, please contact our office at 908.353.7171 .
Our campaign season begins!
In these ever-changing times, we face significant challenges in ensuring that our families have opportunities to improve their lives: stable jobs, higher education, improved physical and mental health, and so much more.

Help us continue leading the charge in improving lives and building strong communities!

Your support ensures we continue to fight for quality education, financial stability and health and wellbeing. Be there for the thousands of families in Union County whose corner we are proud to stand.
Learn More About Us
Our mission and focus is at the heart of our work.

Learn about all of our special event programs and how you can support us all year round.

This organization helps communities bring high-quality pre-k education to children in New Jersey, interests we strongly advocate for.
The Community Impact Newsletter is the official bi-monthly publication of United Way of Greater Union County.

Editor: Melanie McLaurin
Director of Marketing & Community Engagement
Tel: 908.353.7171, ext. 104