What UWRV does for the Community

It’s our job to know and understand the Roanoke Valley’s toughest challenges. And every day, we bring the best partners together to solve the issues that matter most.

40% of households in the Roanoke Valley region are struggling to support themselves and your gift to United Way of Roanoke Valley provides help to families and individuals in times of crisis. You help ensure that our children have a safe, healthy start to life, and that they stay in school and graduate. You help provide access to health care for those who would otherwise go without and job training for those struggling for employment.

Click to view our Community Impact PDF, or scroll down for more information!

Family-Led Self-Sufficiency Model

United Way of Roanoke Valley leads collaborations among service providers across our region so that we can better, and more quickly, help those who need it.

It’s a collaborative approach to problem-solving with families working as partners in their journey towards self-sufficiency, and sharing what works with families to inform legislators and decision-makers. By addressing interrelated needs through coordinated care, the entire family – from infants to senior citizens – is able to thrive.

Our Vision

Resources For Your Associates

2-1-1 is committed to being the first, most essential resource to anyone who needs help. A team of highly trained specialists are available 24/7 to help you access local resources and services to address a wide array of needs. Visit www.211.org and for more information and resources.

Your gift to United Way allows us to lead and support the following community partnerships designed to provide integrated direct services to families and coordinate efforts across organizations to address the most important issues impacting family self-sufficiency in the Roanoke Valley.

Research shows that investing in early childhood resources is one of the most fiscally responsible investments we can make. But it is also our best opportunity to level the playing field for at-risk children right from the start.

We’re putting children of the Roanoke Valley region on the path to school readiness and academic success, helping create a more capable workforce and a more prosperous and livable hometown for all.

Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke (SBGR) is a collaborative effort of community leaders who are working together to ensure that every child in Greater Roanoke enters kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed in school and in life by providing young children between birth and kindergarten with special support and programming.

Apprenticeship: A Win-Win Strategy for Early Childhood Employers and Practitioners Building initiative. SBGR is actively supporting providers
in a low risk way to recruit, train and retain a high quality workforce to support the broader workforce across the region.

An initiative driven by the VA Department of Health, the Developmental Screening Initiative (DSI) has a vision to provide developmental promotion, early detection and linkages to services so that they
support children who are physically, socially, and emotionally healthy and prepared to enter school.

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Mixed Delivery

The Roanoke Regional Mixed Delivery Preschool Program expands and strengthens access to
quality care through a multi-tiered “Ready Families; Ready Educators; Ready Communities” approach involving public schools, Head Start, and private childcare partners across six localities. It includes intensive professional development services for participating private centers; incentives for quality improvement activities; more robust two-generation supports for families; and increased institutional flexibility including possible waivers of regulations or practices that hinder family or private center participation.

When students struggle academically due to poverty and instability, they are far more likely to drop out of high school. Research shows that increasing high school graduation rates means more jobs, more spending and investments, more tax revenue, more home and auto sales, more post-secondary degrees, less crime, and decreased health care costs. United Way investments ensure the availability of quality before-and after-school care for school-aged children and youth that emphasizes character development, academic performance, and prevent youth risk behaviors – preparing them for college and career.

The Preschool Development Grant Birth – Five (PDG B-5) initiative will accelerate Virginia’s development of an equitable early childhood system that delivers stable, affordable, and quality early care and education for the state’s families and children, particularly those who are most vulnerable and will benefit the most. In doing so, Virginia seeks to make significant progress toward the prioritized outcome of preparing children for kindergarten, putting them on track for success in school and in life.

As an extension of PDG B-5, UWRV had created the nationally recognized, innovative Smart2Start pilot program designed to help create easier access to early education for children beginning in infancy. By streamlining recruitment, eligibility, and enrollment, Smart2Start makes it easier for all families to review and enroll in early education and care opportunities that meet the needs of

Also an extension of the PDG B-5 to strengthen parent engagement, UWRV brings the region Bright By Text, a free text messaging service for parents and caregivers of young children newborns through age 5, providing helpful information and local resources.

Choosing an early childhood program is one of the most important decisions a family can make. By voluntarily participating in Virginia Quality, early learning programs show their staff, families, and community that they are committed to quality for young children. There are four main factors that determine what makes a successful Virginia Quality site: child to staff ratios; teacher-child interactions; the learning environment; and staff education, qualifications, and training.

Infant and Toddler Specialist Network (ITSN) provides assistance to strengthen the capacity of early care and education programs so they can deliver high quality services to their families. ITSN offers on-site mentoring and support, training and technical assistance for caregivers, teachers and administrators, as well as professional development opportunities.

The Early Learners Collaborative

led by CHIP of the Roanoke Valley is a cross-generational, multi-agency approach which provides an array of support to identified low-income children and families. Numerous non-profit organizations and public agencies work together to integrate services for children beginning prenatally through third grade, and include supports to strengthen the family and engage them as active partners in the implementation of the project.

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Community Focused Future

Many individuals and families in Virginia do not earn enough to afford the five basic household necessities of housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care. When households cannot make ends meet, they are forced to make difficult choices such as forgoing health care, accredited child care, healthy food, or car insurance. Differences in health are striking in communities with unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods, or substandard education.

That’s why UW is focused on integrating approaches to improve health by addressing access to basic needs (food, housing, healthcare), and eliminating barriers to securing employment.

Building a culture of health in our community improves the lives of thousands of children, families and individuals, which also improves the health and well being of the entire Roanoke Valley.
Healthy Roanoke Valley works to achieve optimal health and safety by providing medical resources and educating citizens to make healthier decisions, especially in medically-underserved areas.

Healthy Franklin County connects residents with health and human services, as well as education and quality nutrition from Community Gardens and area food banks. With access to healthy food and information, Franklin County residents in traditionally medically-underserved areas are able to make the best possible decisions for themselves
and their loved ones.

Bank On Roanoke Valley is a partnership of UWRV, the City of Roanoke, local financial institutions, and community organizations working together to connect individuals to safe, affordable banking product. Free one-on-one financial coaching, provided by the City of Roanoke’s newly-formed Financial Empowerment Center, is getting us one step closer to a community of financially healthy and stable adults.

Rehousing Youth for Success in Education (RYSE) provides help to homeless children whose families do not quality for government funded homelessness intervention programs. RYSE case managers
from Family Promise of Greater Roanoke secure services related to the family’s underlying challenges in the areas of academic support,
employment, health and wellness, adult education, income stability, food assistance and other crisis interventions.

HRV Pathways HUB was developed to help our neighbors at greatest risk receive coordinated medical and direct service care with the help of neighborhood-based Community Health Workers, who guide residents through a pathway of customized services leading to improved health for the entire family.

OnRamp - Adult Employment Project

A collaborative project led by Total Action for Progress (TAP) in partnership with Blue Ridge Career Works and City of Roanoke to improve workforce development and employment of outcomes through shared screening and referrals that address barriers and increase likelihood of training completion and employment. Onramp enhances the performance of the workforce system to increase employment outcomes for families in poverty by cultivating better practices for working with the target population, better referral partnership with employers, and strengthening the integration of training and employment programs available to residents.

Strengthening Opportunities for Youth Success (SYOS),

a collaborative of afterschool programs,
lead by Family Service of Roanoke Valley, who are working together to address interrelated needs of youth and their families. SYOS provides integrated programs that address academic, behavioral, emotional, health needs, and job skills for youth through after school centers, Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia, CAFÉ Arts, Community Youth Program at St. John’s, Presbyterian Community Center, Teen Outreach Program, Total Action for Progress (TAP), West End Center.

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For nearly a century, United Way of Roanoke Valley has been a pillar of strength for our local community, offering support at every stage of life. In just the last 20 years alone, UWRV has raised more than $192,615,313 to lift struggling individuals and families in the region to a position of stability.

Our 2019 fundraising campaign raised approximately $2.5 million, and for 2020, we must raise even more! The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in dire economic consequences for a growing number of local families, and we are counting on community members just like you, who truly understand what it means to LIVE UNITED.

Click to download our PDF version of What UWRV does for the Community.

COVID19: Responding and Rebuilding

In just three months, United Way of Roanoke Valley raised more than $200,000 for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support non-profit organizations across the region working directly with families suffering in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

An increasing number of our neighbors, many of whom were already struggling to get by, have found themselves in need of food, shelter, health and dental care, medical and hygiene supplies, substance abuse treatment, counseling, legal assistance, childcare, and jobs.

Emergency funding, determined from volunteer community members across the region, was provided to the following organizations: