Meet the New Innovators
In our prosperous community, many families are at risk. Vulnerable families face a range of challenges: lack of job skills and unemployment for adults create families that struggle with chronic hunger, poor health and the risk of homelessness.  This year we have launched Idea Generation/Next: College Edition (IGN-CE), a pitch competition designed to encourage and promote new ideas from college students committed to addressing social issues facing our communities. It's part of United Way's social innovation initiative to activate students across disciplines to think about ways to improve the lives of families and children in low-income households in the counties we serve: Wake, Durham, Johnston, and Orange.

On February 24th  the young innovators will make their final pitches after having worked with mentors to refine their ideas and business models. As we consider how far they've come in such a short period of time, we want to share how their journey began.

Equipping the Future, Now
On a chilly Thursday evening in January, thirty Wake county children and their parents streamed into AB Combs Elementary School for a life-changing lesson. Wake County school principals and counselors reached out to their school system weeks earlier, seeking affordable laptops for families with limited income. With schools becoming more and more digitized, there is renewed urgency in bridging the technology divide so that children in low-wealth families are not left behind, due to lack of access to the necessary tools to produce their school assignments. This is where United Way of the Greater Triangle's La Familia Technology Awareness Program comes in.

Started in early 2016, La Familia Technology Awareness Program began as a collaboration between United Way of the Greater Triangle and Univision 40, a local affiliate of the nation's largest Spanish-language broadcast TV network. The program provides refurbished computers directly to families with school-aged children who do not have a home computer and who can benefit from the use of  Univision Clave al Ã‰xito portal.  This bilingual portal offers resources to help parents track their children's academic progress, communicate with their teachers, and better prepare for college.

Coming Together as a 'Beloved Community' for the 12th Year at MLK Day of Service 2017
In 2017, United Way of the Greater Triangle celebrated our 12th anniversary of hosting one of our flagship events-Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. 2,300 volunteers made it "a day on, not a day off," and filled gymnasiums, cafeterias, meeting rooms, and other spaces across Durham, Orange, Wake, and Johnston counties to make good on this familiar call to service.  At this year's day of service, volunteers took a step towards creating the 'Beloved Community' that Dr. King often described, by giving back thoughtfully to our Triangle region.

Droves of volunteers, from pint size rice scoopers to seasoned volunteers wrapping diapers, everyone played a role in making the day a success.  As the saying goes, many hands make a lighter load and together, we made a huge impact in our region.
  • 120 Students receive new books and tutoring
  • 870 Blankets created
  • 2,500 Literacy toolkits packaged
  • 100,000 Diapers packaged
  • 147,800 Meal kits packaged
At North Carolina Central University, our largest volunteer site, the MLK Day of Service activities were dedicated to our late board member and NCCU Chancellor, Dr. Debra Saunders-White. Other highlights of the day include: local TV news anchors Debra Morgan of WRAL and  Sean Maroney  of WNCN emceeing at two signature sites, Duke athletics volunteering at our Durham Tech site, and continuing to see an intergenerational gathering of our community coming together through service.

Our MLK Day of Service partners included: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Principal, Rotary, North Carolina Central University, St. Mary's School, Durham Technical Community College, Duke University, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Johnston County, and the Family Success Alliance. 
Opportunities To Deepen Your Impact

Pull Up A Chair
In just a few weeks, two dozen young entrepreneurs will share their idea pitches to fight poverty in the Triangle as part of Idea Generation Next - College Edition. Purchase your ticket now to
attend our inaugural pitch competition funding young innovators' solutions.   
Serving Comes In Many Forms
Give back by serving on a nonprofit board of directors. Not sure what it takes? SPARC Nonprofit Board Training provides community members with a high level overview of what is required to serve effectively on a nonprofit board. Our SPARC (Strong  Partnerships  Activating Real Change)  Program, consists of seven, two-hour sessions offered in the spring  and fall. The next session starts March 2nd and meets Thursdays from 8:30-10:30 am  through April 20th. Deadline is March 1. 
Save The Date: SleepOut, May 5-6
On any given night, two-thousand of our region's residents are homeless. This includes children and their families. On May 5th we will host a 'SleepOut' so that individuals can come learn more about housing insecurity and homelessness in the Triangle and what they can do to help solve this housing challenge. 
What we're reading, watching, & hearing

Shifting Philanthropy From Charity, To Justice: Stanford Social Innovation Review

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