United Way’s footprint in our community is both broad and deep, affecting lives in ways that matter. With a focus on health, education, and economic mobility, we are meeting immediate needs and addressing the root causes of systemic issues.
Elevating Health as a Community Asset
We recognize that health is not just a personal concern but a communal asset. Food insecurity and limited access to health services and health education can significantly undermine our community’s ability to reach its full potential. 1 in 4 Columbia County households have experienced food insecurity. By supporting partners, like Columbia Pacific Food Bank, Turning Point, Hope of Rainier, and Vernonia Cares, that make healthy foods more accessible, we help
build communities where all of our neighbors are not just surviving but also contributing effectively to their own well-being. When people are healthy, they can work, volunteer, and actively participate in the community. In addition, the United Way of Columbia County: Senior Volunteer Program supports local senior centers provide home delivered meals to homebound seniors—ensuring our most vulnerable have access to nutrition. Our approach doesn’t just tackle problems on the surface but seeks to create a healthy foundation for everyone in our community.
Unlocking Future Success through Education
Education is also a cornerstone for personal and societal development. We partner with early childhood programs such as Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, offering access to reading materials for our earliest readers, ages 0-5. What this means for families is simple yet powerful: kids who read well early on have a better chance of succeeding in school and life. Our Parent Navigator Program trains local families with lived-experience to help others navigate early learning programs such as childcare, Head Start, Preschool Promise, and other community resources. Our United Way seeks not just to meet immediate educational needs but to build a strong foundation for future academic and career success.
Economic Mobility: A Generational Investment
We’re also focusing on adults, particularly in the realm of maintaining stable housing throughout family transitions. Through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, we’re creating a support net for individuals who have experienced Intimate Partner Violence or other household trauma to maintain or acquire safe, stable housing. Interventions like ours are important because they help break the cycle of trauma that can trap families for generations. The aim is to go beyond quick fixes, providing lasting solutions that elevate entire communities.
How Can You Help?
We have already made meaningful strides, but challenges remain. Far too many people throughout Columbia County struggle to meet basic needs, and too many children risk falling behind. These challenges call for collective action. Join us in creating opportunities so that everyone in our community can thrive. Please donate today.