Through United Way, you create COMMUNITY IMPACT.
Community Impact is at the heart of everything we do. It starts with identifying the needs of our neighbors and the resources available to meet those needs. Your support of United Way of Pickens County is an investment in programs and initiatives that work to improve 3rd Grade Reading and Financial Stability in your community.
United Way of Pickens County has evolved from its roots as a fundraising organization to a critical community convener that mobilizes local partners- including businesses, community leaders, public officials, and community residents- to expand opportunities for people to succeed.
These collaborations recognize the power of the collective: that when we come together around a common agenda – with shared goals, strategies, data, and guiding principles – we are capable of achieving real and lasting community impact.
3rd Grade Reading
Education is a cornerstone of individual and community success. It is essential to getting and keeping a job with a livable wage and health benefits, and it is fundamental to a community’s economic prosperity: a well-educated workforce attracts world-class jobs.
United Way of Pickens County seeks to help children and youth achieve their potential through education and has established a bold goal that 70% of 3rd graders will be reading on grade level by 2025.
Many people struggle to get by, even working multiple jobs. Family-sustaining income is a cornerstone of financial stability: the key to paying the rent, putting food on the table, and affording childcare and transportation. It is also the springboard to longer term asset building strategies such as saving to buy a home, sending kids to college, and saving for retirement.
United Way of Pickens County partners with the local community to develop resources and opportunities to help individuals and families become financially stable and independent.
More than half of Pickens County 3rd graders are not reading on grade level. Camp iRock is a partnership between United Way, the School District of Pickens County, the YMCA and the Call Me MiSTER program which provides struggling students with a summer reading and enrichment program to address these reading deficiencies, and help students read on grade level.
Pathways removes barriers to financial stability through financial coaching. This 6-18 month intensive, one-on-one program equips hardworking, low to moderate income individuals and families with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to achieve freedom over their finances.
Women United's signature program, Preschool Pages, provides early literacy experiences for young children and their caregivers to help more preschoolers become kindergarten-ready. Local elementary schools provide high quality programs, and Women United provides books for children to take home from these programs and form their own age-appropriate home libraries.
This volunteer driven free tax preparation program helps low to moderate income Pickens County individuals and families keep more of their hard-earned money. Sponsored by the IRS, Free File is available to anyone with a household income of $60,000 or less, but the average household income of our tax clients is $20,000, making this free service even more valuable.
Everyday moments can be learning opportunities for children. Born Learning helps parents and caregivers maximize these learning experiences. Born Learning Trails are interactive, walkable trails located throughout Pickens County which feature fun outdoor games designed to boost children’s language and literacy skills while helping families get active together.
2-1-1 Resource Line
2-1-1 is a non-emergency resource line which provides 24/7 assistance to connect our most vulnerable neighbors with resources like housing, utility assistance, food, transportation and more. With 2-1-1, help is just a call, click or text away.
Bright by Text
Bright by Text is a free texting service for parents and caregivers of young children prenatal to 8 years old. Powered by Pickens County First Steps, Bright by Text sends 2 to 4 free text messages per week with bonding activities, games to boost brain development, social-emotional development tips, and more, all tailored to your child's age and location. Available in English and Spanish, the service includes resources available right here in Pickens County.
Community Impact Grants
The volunteer driven Education Impact Council received and reviewed grant requests from the community to fund high quality programs that further United Way's mission to improve 3rd grade reading. Funded programs include Parent University (East End Elementary), Parents as Learners (McKissick Academy), and Reach Out and Read (Pickens County First Steps).