The United Way of Santa Rosa County, in conjunction with the United Way of Florida, announced its statewide consensus agenda this week; United Way Impact Week, Feb. 3-7. Across the trade association; Florida’s United Ways lead the nation in developing a State Legislative Consensus agenda.
Focused on education, health, and income stability, United Way of Florida will collectively work along with leading United Way corporate and community partners to impact decisions made to allow better access to early education programs and access to affordable healthcare. United Way is best known for their ability to quickly assess community needs, raise and invest funds to affect community change, and leverage local contributions 4 to 1 to impact local communities by bringing in additional State and Federal funds to meet critical needs.
Advocacy for better quality government programs at a lower cost to the taxpayer is the charitable network’s least known, organized effort with the most potential to improve lives of the communities they serve.
Locally, the United Way of Santa Rosa County is focused on education, health, and income stability. “Ensuring children born into poverty have access to quality childcare provided to working parents is our primary educational focus; investing local dollars into the Early Learning Coalition of Santa Rosa County to provide early childhood development curriculum is the best way to enable school readiness for these children who may otherwise repeat the cycle of poverty," said Kyle Holley, Development Director of the United Way of Santa Rosa County.
At the state level local United Way dollars are working on public policy to lower the burden on taxpayers while still providing better access to affordable health care. “We have seen the need to provide more direct service to families whose skyrocketing health care costs have jeopardized the stability of their homes”, said Guy Thompson, Executive Director of the local United Way. “It is critical that our United Way work closely with local government to advocate for the investment of new money into our County and our cities to successfully re-brand our community as the best place in Northwest Florida for business development and job creation," says Thompson.
“Our local United Way is working to hold the line on services provided to those in need through the annual support of our agencies; while we work to mobilize the caring power of our community to reach outside of our area to attract more tourists, retirees, and business entrepreneurs”, said Kristen Loera, Director of Coastal Development.