Skip to main content

Blog

Friday, June 8, 2018
The United Way of the Florida Keys will be holding an annual meeting open to Fiscal Year 2017-2018 donors on Tuesday, June 19, at 10:30am in the board room at IberiaBank, Marathon Shores. All supporters are welcome to attend. IberiaBank's Marathon Shores branch is located at 12640 Overseas Highway, Marathon Shores, FL 33050. For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact Rebecca Zehr at 305-735-1929 or admin@keysunitedway.org. 5 days’ notice is requested.  
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
As a local relief agency, the work of Star of the Sea (SOS) continues now and beyond the storm. The goal at the Star of the Sea Foundation  is simple: increase the health and well-being of low-income individuals and families in Monroe County, Florida. They accomplish this through 3 main programs: a Food Pantry, a Central Kitchen, and a Nutrition Education Program, which allows them to create a significant impact in all aspects of our community. Since Hurricane Irma, 90% of the clients served by SOS report being negatively impacted by the storm. SOS and UWFK have a long history of partnership, and SOS has received funding through UWFK's annual Community Investment funding as well as our Hurricane Relief funding.  Executive Director Tom Callahan says, "We are very grateful for UWFK's support towards our IRMA relief efforts and wanted to...
Thursday, February 8, 2018
UWFK hosted a Poverty Simulation for the Leadership Monroe County on Saturday, February 3.  Each participant was placed in a ‘household’ with specific parameters for their income, expenses, access to transportation, and housing situation.  Then, they walked through four 'weeks’ of meeting their family’s needs within those parameters.  Some participants ended up in jail, some lost their homes, and some participated in ‘illegal activities’ to help meet their family’s needs.  Afterward, the group discussed what issues arose for their household and what they as people and leaders learned about what it is like to live in poverty daily.  The simulation gave these community leaders an opportunity to experience the circumstances of the 48% of families in Monroe County who are struggling to survive.  Thank you to Leadership Monroe County for...
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Tammy and Marc Hollander of the Coconut Castaways started thinking about what to do for those hit by the hurricane while they were preparing to evacuate, and after they made it out they got right to work on a CD to raise funds for hurricane relief.  Thanks to many artists who contributed music, design ideas, and more, 1,000 copies of the Keys Strong CD set were available just weeks after Irma left her mark on the Keys.  All costs were covered by generous donations, and the Castaways have already raised $27,000 for  the UWFK Hurricane Relief Fund.  There are only a few CDs left, so go to their web site to order your copy. They are only $25, and 100% of the proceeds are donated to UWFK.   Keys Strong is a 2 CD set:   Featuring Keys-themed songs by your Trop Rock favorites, including originals available ONLY on this CD! Artists include...
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
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 story has a different monthly theme and reviews important early life lessons—colors, numbers, food, and more! Twenty percent of children in the Florida Keys live in poverty with little access to early childhood education. By three years of age, there is a 30...
Thursday, June 8, 2017
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, child development and safety net services for these most vulnerable members of our community.  Since 1981, UWFK has worked with a wide variety of nonprofit partners throughout Monroe County. This year, they will increase their direct community investment impact by...
Thursday, May 25, 2017
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 community worldwide. The Florida Keys and our local United Way are proud of our diversity. We celebrate Pride, and the work our community does to overcome bias, intolerance, and fear. This year, we celebrate pride in our identities. We celebrate our character and...
Monday, May 15, 2017
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 for the better. We have to fight for these to remain our priorities around the globe.” Kate Bauer-Jones, UWFK President / CEO, presented a workshop, “Small United Way: BIG Impact." This workshop focused on how to strengthen and grow smaller budget United Ways by...
Friday, March 31, 2017
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 Key West Library and First Book. Some of the craft projects volunteers personalized included spelling flashcards, magnetic alphabet squares, rhyming trees, popsicle stick shapes, and spelling puzzles. Volunteers assembled over two hundred kits with four...
Monday, March 20, 2017
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 help reduce a child’s likelihood of living in poverty AND reduce their contact with the criminal justice system. UWFK also hand painted two different "authors chairs" for students to use while reading their own writing to the class. One of UWFK’s main focuses...

Pages