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United Way

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 1, 2009 - In recent years, the United Way of Greater St. Louis has ramped up its efforts to attract young people as volunteers and philanthropists, broadly defined. Here’s a look at what’s happening on two fronts:

Julie Russell, Dayna Stock and Mark Tranel joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss a new report from the United Way and UMSL.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A recent report by the United Way and the Public Policy Research Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis found that 43 percent of all St. Louis metropolitan area households (encompassing 16 counties) do not have the monthly income to meet their basic living expenses. Basic living expenses include housing, food, transportation, taxes, health care and child care.

Lisa Hickman, a 2-1-1 Call Center Supervisor, works for the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
provided by United Way

Here are some numbers you wouldn’t have been able to find two years ago.

Last week, 3,428 people from the St. Louis Metro Area called the United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline, asking for help. One in four requested financial assistance to pay a utility bill. Nearly 500 callers asked for rent assistance, a bed in an emergency shelter, or another housing request. Another 114 needed help filing their taxes.

One of the United Way of Greater St. Louis' donations in the aftermath of the events in Ferguson went to providing boxes of food to area families impacted by the unrest.
Courtesy of United Way of Greater St. Louis

Updated at 5:20 p.m. on Wed., August 19 - A detailed accounting of donations aimed at helping Ferguson shows that Emerson Electric's Charitable Trust is providing more that $8 million in mostly new funding, with major contributions also coming from the United Way of Greater St. Louis and Deaconess Foundation.

The three organizations provided St. Louis Public Radio with a clearer picture of what programs their donations supported and how funding decisions were made.

Report raises questions about Ferguson-related donations

Jul 18, 2015
St. Louis Advocates for Youth presents its "Resource Accountability Project" tracking Ferguson-related donations in the St. Louis area during a public forum.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of youth advocates is questioning how money donated to programs for young people in the aftermath of the unrest in Ferguson has been spent and whether the funds have made an impact. 

S. Wray Clay of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, speaks during a presentation of the annual Kids Count report in East St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

“We need to do something different.”  

That was S. Wary Clay's message to parents during a presentation Thursday of the 2015 Kids Count report at the Lessie Bates Davis Family Development Center in East St. Louis.

St. Clair County, which includes East St. Louis, has a 30.3 percent childhood poverty rate, the second-highest for all counties in Illinois. Nearby Marion County's rate is 30.5 percent.

The Fashions R Boutique was one of 13 businesses in Dellwood that burned down during Monday's riots following the announcement of the Darren Wilson grand jury decision.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

The United Way of Greater St. Louis is hoping to provide basic assistance to employees who lost work when businesses in Ferguson and Dellwood were looted or burned in November. But the agency is struggling to locate qualified individuals. 

Displaced employees who qualify for the assistance would have had to have lost their jobs or had their hours significantly reduced, by more than 40 hours a week, said the organization's vice president of community response Regina Greer.

Tax season is underway. So is a program that helps low- to moderate-income St. Louis families prepare their taxes for free.
401(K) 2012, via Flickr

A program that helps thousands of low- to moderate-income families prepare their taxes for free is underway across the St. Louis region.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis and four local tax coalitions are offering the service throughout tax season, including taking walk-in service at 20 sites Saturday.

_J_D_R_ / Flickr

Some social service agencies in St. Louis will receive less funding from the United Way of Greater St. Louis this year despite a record annual campaign for the agency.

The United Way raised $73 million to fund programs in 2015, about $500,000 more than its stated goal. But $3.7 million of those dollars were directed to specific agencies or causes - more than 20 times the amount of restricted giving in 2014.

United Way Offers Services For Cold Weather

Dec 26, 2012

With the cold weather moving through the St. Louis area, the United Way of St. Louis is urging people to take advantage of its free help line.

United Way spokeswoman Carrie Zukoski  says people in need of temporary shelter from the cold, a warm meal, or even a place to stay should call 2-1-1 for help.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 2, 2012 - The thousands of poor St. Louis residents accustomed to calling the Human Development Corp. for heating, housing and health services had to get used to looking elsewhere by the end of the year. That's because HDC officially went out of business as winter approached.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 1, 2011 - It seemed like a small thing.

Last year, during the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, volunteers cleaned the bedrooms and bathrooms of teenagers staying at Youth in Need. The young people weren't at the St. Charles-based child and family services nonprofit, but signs of them were, like pairs of shoes and toothbrushes.

Morning headlines: Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Aug 2, 2011
(via Flickr/jetsandzeppelins)

Sixth heat-related death reported in St. Louis City this year

Earline Walker is the sixth person in St. Louis to die of heat-related causes this year.

90-year-old Walker was found last week by her family at her residence in the 3000 block of Semple. She had window air conditioner units, but they were blowing hot air.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 27, 2009 - Alexandria Lee and Lizzy Burns, two sophomores at Saint Louis University, took part in a conference for college students over the weekend that got them thinking about how to generate interest -– both on and off campus -– in programs planned by their chapter of Student United Way.

One session at the second annual United Way Worldwide Student United Way Leadership Retreat, held in St. Louis, dealt with just that issue -– how to use guerilla marketing and other media techniques to create buzz around an event.

Need help? Call 2-1-1

Jun 5, 2008
2008 photo, 300 pixels, ID of people not given
Bill Smith | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 5, 2008 - Just short of its first birthday, Missouri's new 2-1-1 phone system, a referral service for non-emergency help, is within months of completing an ambitious plan to expand its reach into nine counties in Illinois. Once the program is up and running, it would make the Metro East region among the first in the state to become part of a 2-1-1 system, according to United Way 2-1-1 director Kay Archer.