The story was published originally in January 2021 and has been updated as of March 30, 2021.

 

Together, can help families today, tomorrow and in the future achieve economic stability.

This is an important component of improving child well-being because children thrive when their families thrive.

United Way has supported families and provided financial tools and resources for over 100 years. Today, our strategy must reflect the context of the infectious disease COVID-19 — a disease that has now killed hundreds of thousands of people and infected millions over the past year.

We know that the COVID pandemic has had a crushing impact on many industries and left millions of Georgians out of work, but it has had a disproportionate impact on the Black community. This extends to employment and wages, too.

Black worker unemployment has been almost twice as high as unemployment for white workers. This will have a lasting impact on household budgets and the ability of families to rebound.

When the Great Recession began in 2007, Black workers’ unemployment rate increased to double digits and remained that high for more than six years.

In comparison, the unemployment rate among white workers never reached double digits during the Great Recession or its recovery. It took more than 10 years for Black workers’ incomes to return to their pre-recession levels.

But even for those who are working, many are working fewer hours or have experience months without income in 2020. Tax refunds have provided an opportunity for low and moderate-income families to accumulate savings.

However, because so many families worked fewer hours in 2020, they earned less and will not have the additional dollars they may have received in the past.

According to the Center for American Progress, families use tax refunds to improve their economic stability:

  • 84% used part of their refund to pay off a debt
  • 61% used part of their refund for child care expenses
  • 33% used part of their refund to purchase or repair a car
  • 47% put part of their refund aside as savings for goals or future expenses

As a community, United Way donors and volunteers have responded to this crisis with generosity.

We have helped thousands of families by packing snacks for kids, delivering meals, donating to food banks, providing rent assistance and increasing access to health services by providing digital technology.

At United Way of Greater Atlanta, we’re focused on the well-being of children, families and communities across our 13-county region. One of our most important areas of work is economic stability.

Helping families and individuals attain financial security is foundational for our community to thrive. We know that every person whose life we change, will go on to change the lives of countless others. And when we work together—pooling our resources, time and energy—our community impact grows exponentially. United, we can do more for our community.

With your help

United, we can help more than 13,000 families build wealth by expanding outreach across our region so that more families are aware that they can get their taxes done for free. We can provide online resources and virtual tax support through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, along with drop off and limited in-person options during the pandemic.

 $750 ensures that 50 families receive outreach and online tax support. $1,000 would provide financial coaching for 65 families.

We can help more than 2,000 individuals increase their wages and close the skills gap by increasing opportunities for hands-on work experience such as internships and apprenticeships and providing low-wage workers with financial support to secure credentials in high demand careers.

$500 would provide a month of on-the-job training for someone who has been forced to retool and start working in a new industry. $2,500 provides job placement and six months of employment support to enable a young adult or a new parent to be successful in a high-tech job and compete in the marketplace. 

We can help more than 27,000 families secure housing basic needs by ensuring that fundamental elements of life like stable housing, food security and reliable transportation are in place so that families avoid a financial crisis.

$500 can provide 30 days of rent or utility payments for a single mother who has lost her job to help her family avoid eviction.

When we Unite for More, everyone can climb. Work this important is never over or done alone. Can children, families and Greater Atlanta communities count on you? Unite for more today.

YPL was founded in 2010 as a place where Greater Atlanta’s growing population of young professionals could come together and actively engage in philanthropy, advocacy, volunteerism, and leadership in our community. In 2020, YPL celebrates our 10th year of service and over the past 10 years, we have seen our annual service hours grow from less than 500 hours per year to over 1,500 hours per year and seen annual funds raised exceed $2.5 million.

While YPL has been historically aligned to the United Way Child Well-Being cause by focusing primarily on the United Way Kid’s Home Initiative, as we look ahead to our next ten years of service, the YPL Board Leadership team is excited to announce that we will be taking a more strategic approach to progressing child well-being by aligning to United Way’s new Child Well-Being Investment Priorities. These investment priorities establish a collective vision and shared agenda with unified measures of achievement, strategies for attaining success, and an established evaluation process.

The four Child Well-Being priority areas include: Strong Learners, Economic Stability, Brighter Future, and College and Career Ready. Each quarter, YPL will focus our philanthropy, advocacy, and volunteering efforts around one of these investment priorities. We welcome YPL members and guests to engage in upcoming quarterly events and activities aligned to each of these priority areas to increase child well-being in our community. Our first priority area will be Strong Learners focused on improving third-grade reading levels and overall educational outcomes in Atlanta-based communities with low child well-being scores.

Click on the links below to learn more about each of United Way’s investment priority areas and join us for upcoming events and activities to support each of these priorities over the next year.

Strong Learners – August, September, October
Economic Stability – November, December, January
Brighter Future – February, March
College & Career Ready – April, May, June

To learn more, join us for our first virtual social and game night of the year on August 27th. See you there!

Brandi Wyche
2020-2021 Young Professional Leaders Chair

Want to connect with Brandi? Message her at ypl@unitedwayatlanta.org.