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We all have our favorite books from childhood—Corduroy, Cat in the Hat, Rainbow Fish, and Goodnight Moon. Now, thanks to a generous donation from a local community supporter and funding from Wells Fargo, children throughout Monroe County can have access to their favorite books, too!

The Imagination Library project provides children from birth to age five in Monroe County, Florida, with an age appropriate book each month for the first five years of the child’s life. Each month, children receive their free book in the mail at no cost. Most books are in both English and Spanish. Each...

Post date: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 2:29pm

United Way of the Florida Keys (UWFK) announced today that its board of directors has approved a change to its formal mission statement.

UWFK’s mission now affirms: “United Way of the Florida Keys, the leader in community caring, advocates for increased social consciousness while actively fighting for strong working families through access to nutritious food, child development and safety net services.”

Almost 50% of our Florida Keys community is one step away from homelessness and despair. United Way of the Florida Keys works to increase access to nutritious food, education,...

Post date: Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 1:04pm

For many reasons, this year Pride is more important than ever. Not only is it a celebration of life, love, and spirit, it is an affirmation of our values as we face potentially devastating policy changes and ongoing heartbreak on the international level. Many of these events remind us that the LGBTQ community is still at great risk.

Pride works to combat negative ideas and stereotypes while providing a safe place for the LGBTQ community to get together. On a larger scale, it’s an opportunity for our community to join together to end violence and intolerance against the LGBTQ...

Post date: Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 2:55pm

On May 10th, UWFK traveled to Orlando to meet staff and volunteers from other United Ways, talk about best practices, and share key learnings. More than a thousand United Way affiliates from all over the world attended the conference in Orlando, FL.

Smaller United Way seminars and workshops focused on marketing, major gifts, branding, and community impact. Conference-wide talks focused on the larger goals of United Way and our role in the world. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland stated, “Justice, dignity, and the rule of law are the values that can shape our future...

Post date: Monday, May 15, 2017 - 1:12pm

Agency site visits are a hallmark of United Ways across the country. They are an opportunity for interested community volunteers to deepen their understanding of United Way’s work and impact throughout the community. Site visits also make it possible for volunteers and UWFK board members evaluate the work of prospective partner agencies, seeing first-hand the work they do.

This year, UWFK’s site visits started on Monday, April 17th. A team of community members and staff, led by board chair Maria Jones, visited potential partner agency programs throughout the Upper Keys. On Tuesday,...

Post date: Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 9:54am

On March 30th, UWFK worked with a team of Wells Fargo executives from around the country to construct literacy kits for Monroe County school children. Facilitating Literacy Kit volunteer projects is one of our favorite tasks at UWFK, as we’ve worked in the past using the volunteer power of local rotaries to help create crafts and fill backpacks with books for young students throughout the Keys.

The Wells Fargo group spent time putting together academically minded projects to be placed in backpacks, along with two free books for students. The books were donated by the Friends of the...

Post date: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 1:55pm

This week, UWFK was fortunate enough to help sponsor several classroom makeovers throughout the Keys! The renovations took place at Sugarloaf School, Stanley Switlik, and Key Largo School. The purpose of the renovations was to help improve efficiency and functionality in classroom libraries.

Classroom libraries are crucial to increasing early literacy rates in students. Researchers suggest children should have 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading time each day, establishing a sustained engagement time for them to fully absorb their reading material. This early exposure to reading can...

Post date: Monday, March 20, 2017 - 11:18am
  More than 125 years ago, the diverse community leaders who founded United Way crossed cultural, religious, and economic boundaries to make a difference in people's lives through collective action. Today, diversity and inclusion remain vital to achieving our mission, living our values, and advancing the common good.  

United Way of the Florida Keys takes the broadest possible view of diversity, going beyond visible differences to affirm the value of all individuals in our community. In the current climate, it’s as critical all us to have a better understanding of Black history—how far...

Post date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 2:59pm

This Sunday, February 12th, from 11:30-2pm, United Way of the Florida Keys hosted a Valentine’s Day Jazz Brunch at the Lobster Crawl Bar and Grill on Fiesta Key. The brunch was located on the waterfront and included endless Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s as well as brunch options such as cinnamon roll French toast, local hogfish Oscar, scrambled eggs, and more. Additionally, the brunch included music from a local jazz trio and a raffle for a gift basket which included a free stay at Cheeca Lodge, chocolates from Key Largo Chocolates, champagne, and more.

Over 80 community members and...

Post date: Monday, February 13, 2017 - 11:41am

On Saturday, February 4th, UWFK was invited to facilitate a poverty simulation for Leadership Monroe County Class XXV. The simulation was designed to help participants understand some of the choices and experiences a person living in poverty may deal with during the course of a simulated month.

Twenty LMC class members randomly chose twenty different roles to participate in. Each simulated role reflected the realities faced by an adult living in poverty in the Keys.  Many were parents struggling to navigate the difficulties of providing food, shelter, and adequate childcare. Other...

Post date: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 8:04am

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