There is no better time to support organizations that help those who need it most.
United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL) is proud to be a champion in our community as we stand at the forefront of initiatives that address health, education, and equity to create lasting impact.
When you choose to donate in support of UWSL on Giving Tuesday, you are investing in a future of compassion and positive change. Our team compiled several stories that showcase the impact of your support on kids and families in Utah.
Full-Day Kindergarten Gets Full State Funding
In 2007, UWSL helped pass SB49 Optional Extended-Day Kindergarten. The legislation established the foundation for full-day kindergarten (FDK) expansion in Utah. Over the next 16 years, we remained relentless in our advocacy efforts and helped establish the Utah Full Day Kindergarten Now Coalition to collaboratively seek full state funding for FDK.
HB477, “Full-Day Kindergarten Amendments” passed during the 2023 legislative session. In March, Governor Cox signed the bill into law, giving all Utah children the opportunity to attend FDK.
And recently, the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) shared data that indicates enrollment in FDK ha s more than doubled, from 34% to 77% of students. In 32 of the 41 school districts, including Davis, Granite, and Canyons, more than 90% of students are enrolled in FDK. We are thrilled that parents now have this choice, and that children will have a stronger foundation for their future educational success.
Thanks to nearly two decades of hard work by families, educators, policy champions, community leaders – and legislators, all Utah families are able to choose the kindergarten option that works best for their children. This momentous achievement and our advocacy efforts on behalf of Utah kids and families is only possible with your continued support.
Storytelling Leaves Legacy of Learning for ESL Students
Over the past year, over 50 English as a Second Language (ESL) students at East High School joined an exciting literacy project with UWSL’s Women United members. To better learn English and immerse themselves in the language, students became storytellers, crafting children’s books that reflected their unique backgrounds and aspirations. These student stories were bound and published with student illustrations. They were showcased at Power of Your Purse, where students, parents, and teachers shared their stories leaving a lasting impression on guests.
As the school year ended, students celebrated their literary achievements with their Women United mentors. Next year, many of the students will return as mentors to new students in the ESL program. They are excited to continue with the project. The impact of these young authors goes beyond the pages of their books. The stories they’ve created will continue to enrich schools and community centers, leaving a legacy of empowerment and learning.
Increasing Family Engagement in Kearns Schools
What started as a way to re-engage parents in their school communities during the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed into a scalable parent engagement strategy for Promise Partnership Utah’s Community Schools.
It’s important that Spanish-speaking parents have the same opportunities to engage in their student’s education, without language barriers. That’s where Flor Isabel, a then-Grassroots fellow with Promise Partnership Utah, came up with an idea to help schools and parents in Kearns community schools.
In February 2022, Isabel created Cafe con Flor, a parent cafe designed to engage Latine parents in their school communities by discussing important topics such as student safety protocols, career paths, school function announcements, and more. The cafes began with just five parents in Isabel’s home and quickly grew to monthly multi- night meetings at several schools across Kearns.
Parental engagement is a key component of Promise Partnership’s community schools strategy, as parents help schools co-create support for their students. Research also shows when parents are involved as collaborators in their children’s education, students see better academic outcomes.
Other schools have now taken ownership over parent cafes, using Cafe con Flor as their model. Isabel, now a community leadership coordinator for Promise Partnership Utah, said the key to the parent cafes’ success was taking the time to build trust with parents and build relationships from the ground up. Most recently, they have been identifying opportunities for parents to take on leadership roles within schools, providing strong support for the PTA at Kearns High School and West Kearns Elementary.
211 Makes Finding and Getting Help Easier
211 Utah takes pride in simplifying the process of finding assistance by offering a comprehensive statewide resource database and referral network. Designed to aid every Utahn facing crises or challenging circumstances, our system ensures individuals receive support to meet their basic needs.
Our 211 Information Specialists engage in closed-loop referrals, maintaining additional contact with those seeking assistance to validate the accuracy of referrals. A team member shared a poignant story involving an elderly gentleman who had recently relocated to Salt Lake City. Without a permanent residence but in need of a mailing address for Social Security benefits, he faced difficulties connecting with the Weigand Homeless Resource Center.
Following up three days later, our specialist discovered the man’s struggles and intervened, contacting the center on his behalf. This proactive approach ensured he not only received resources promptly but also obtained referrals for adult and aging services suitable for his situation.
The specialist even coordinated with the Gail Miller Resource Center to secure a mailing address for him. These extra steps, closing the loop with clients and advocating on their behalf, proved indispensable in ensuring the elderly gentleman received the assistance he required. Without such dedicated efforts, his needs may have gone unmet.
Promise Incubator Program Supports BIPOC-led Organizations
The Promise Incubator Program, a collaboration with Promise Partnership organizations, community groups, and diverse stakeholders, empowers BIPOC-led emerging organizations.
The program offers funding and co-creates leadership development opportunities, aiming to cultivate future Promise Partners. The cohort, comprising Curly Me, Hartland Community 4 Youth and Families, UPICEC, Nuanua Collective, and 1999 Collective, engaged in nonprofit organizational development and capacity building. Training covered metrics, financial literacy, fundraising, and board management. Follow-up sessions with trainers provided personalized support. Virtual gatherings explored nonprofit insurance and legal assessments.
Thanks to supporters, organizations expanded their reach through enhanced social media coverage, additional programs, and long-term planning. Your support fuels these impactful initiatives.
How to Make a Difference This Giving Tuesday
Your support to UWSL on Giving Tuesday strengthens communities and helps kids and families thrive.
Thank you for supporting our work on this global day of generosity.