Throughout our history, United Way has done extraordinary work to improve people’s lives and build strong communities. With our focus on community impact, United Way has a key role to play in advocating for good public policy. Without community input, our priorities in Education, Health, and Financial Stability will lose critical government policy and funding support.
Your community needs you to have an impact on public policy decisions. Advocating in your community does not simply mean lobbying on a specific piece of legislation.
There are many ways that you can advocate. See below for ways you can make a meaningful impact in your local community.
EDUCATION: In support of early childhood education programs
FINANCIAL STABILITY: In support of tax assistance for middle and low-income families
HEALTH: To protect children's health coverage
The Clock has run out on CHIP!
Congress must act now. Taking care of our children is one of America’s most fundamental priorities. Our future depends on our kids growing up healthy and strong. But Congress has let federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire, leaving millions of children at risk of losing essential healthcare.
There is no such thing as “safely delaying” action on CHIP; the consequences have already started. CHIP directors in over 10 states are already preparing cancelation letters and freezing enrollments as early as November 1. Working families are growing anxious that the coverage their children depend on will disappear. CLICK HERE to see the CHIP Fact Sheet for Pennsylvania.
CHIP has always received bipartisan support since its inception. It's time to focus on what’s right and put kids first. Before Congress does anything else, we must get a clean, 5 year extension for CHIP. Kids and families can’t afford to wait.
Please CLICK HERE to contact your local legislators and encourage them to vote yes for CHIP!
When you finally land that job you’ve been hoping for, you don’t let anything get in your way—not even being homeless. Things had finally turned around for Jesse and he was grateful to be working at a production warehouse, but he still wasn’t able to afford an apartment. But when Jesse had his taxes prepared at United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site, he found out that he’d be getting the Earned Income Tax Credit. He and his wife Juana used their return to move out of their car and into a home.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps millions of workers like Jesse keep more of what they earn to pay for things like reliable transportation to get to work, housing, and food, and United Way helps people claim the EITC at tax time.
Spread the Word - Help family and friends connect to the EITC. One in five who are eligible for the EITC are leaving money on the table – money that can make a big difference in paying bills and putting food on the table. Anyone earning $64,000 or less in 2016 can do their taxes for free at MyFreeTaxes.com and can connect any credits for which they are eligible.
United Way of York County believes that every child in our community should have access to an early education. Currently, only 16% of the children in York County can attend a qualified early education program. Please add your name to the list of supporters through PreK for Pa in advocating for state funding. Click Here to get started!
Learn how your community ranks in academic attainment, income stability and health. Use the United Way Common Good Forecaster, a powerful online tool that lets people see for themselves how improving the education level has a positive impact on several key economic and social measures.
Engage With Your Community
Host a community conversation with your friends, coworkers or neighbors. Learn about what people say are their aspirations for your community and talk about how you can work together to address challenges. Read the Harwood Institute Community Conversation Guide. (.pdf)
Raise Awareness About a Cause
Use social media tools to educate your friends and networks about an issue you care about. Sample tweets and Facebook messages are below:
- EDUCATION: Every dollar to early childhood programs saves 7 in adulthood http://bit.ly/xrMw0t #LIVEUNITED
- FINANCIAL STABILITY: Children are the poorest age group w/ 15.5M children living in poverty http://bit.ly/LcCk31 #LIVEUNITED
- HEALTH: Uninsured children in fair or poor health are 5X more likely not to have a regular provider of care http://bit.ly/yWNHsu #LIVEUNITED
- Join our #KidsWin Rally to raise awareness about the issue of disconnected youth. Help us reengage young people that are unattached from work and school. Learn more.
- EDUCATION: Students who don't read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave without a diploma than proficient readers. Support United Way's work to promote the importance of early grade reading: http://bit.ly/xrMw0t
- FINANCIAL STABILITY: Children are the poorest age group with 15.5 million children living in poverty. Support programs that help poor children and families: http://bit.ly/LcCk31
- HEALTH: Seriously ill children without insurance who end up in the hospital are 60% more likely to die than the sick children in the same facility who have insurance. Help United Way increase children's health coverage: http://bit.ly/yWNHsu