Highlights from UWCA’s 2023 Annual Report

The year 2023 was monumental for United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA).

After 100 years of service to a steadily expanding area that now includes six counties, last year was a time for celebration of the past as well as initiation of new and innovative ways to serve the community and help more people.

Each year, with the release of UWCA’s Annual Report, we assemble not only financial information but also a recap of highlights from the previous year and the many ways United Way has positively impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and families. Read on for some highlights from this year’s report…and click the link at the end to see a digital version of the printed piece.

Some of the most exciting work that UWCA engaged in throughout 2023 was in the area of education.

Through the United Way Bold Goals Coalition, we worked with Fairfield community leaders to begin implementing the Community Schools strategy, which will make each of the four Fairfield schools a hub for a wide variety of services for students and their families, including tutoring, career mentoring and development, mental health support and other types of healthcare. While still in the early stages, numerous organizations have already agreed to begin a variety of additional services in Fairfield because of this collaborative effort. UWCA was awarded a $2.5 million federal grant, in addition to the $1.5 million United Way put into the program initially, to support the program over five years.

Also in education, a generous $1 million gift from the James Milton and Sallie R. Johnson Foundation enabled the Bold Goals team to establish the Early Learning Acceleration Institute (ELAI).

ELAI was created in partnership with a variety of local experts in early education, including Childcare Resources, Women’s Foundation and Success By 6 (another UWCA initiative). It seeks to improve the quality and increase the capacity of childcare operations in Central Alabama through grant funding and offers training in early learning best practices, business development and technical assistance.

The annual report also illustrates the vast number of people in Central Alabama reached through United Way’s massive network of services. For example:

  • 18,418,137 meals were distributed to individuals and families in need.
  • 352,888 clients received health, medical or nutrition-related services.
  • 57,043 youth participated in academic/career support or after-school programs.

In addition, we’re working hard to end homelessness among those who have served our country. Our statewide Priority Veteran program is focused on helping veterans who are homeless — or at immediate risk – find affordable, stable housing. In the 10 years that the program has been operating, there has been a 40% reduction in veterans experiencing homelessness in Alabama.

Other highlights featured in the report include the Centennial Parks initiative in each of our six counties, the Forever United campaign to grow UWCA’s endowment to $100 million and the public celebration held last summer at City Walk BHAM for United Way’s 100th anniversary with more than 3,000 in attendance.

For more on each of these topics and other notable events of 2023, please click here.