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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...
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
  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 we’ve come and what hurdles remain. A few common questions about Black History Month are discussed below. Feel free to use these in engaging with your communities, or reach out to us to discuss further!  Black History Month started in 1926. Is it still...
Monday, February 13, 2017
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 supporters showed up to support the United Way! Thank you! Over 96% of UWFK’s campaign comes from individual donors. Without your support, we couldn’t serve the 25,000 individuals we were able to help this year. *Mike Forster (Mangrove Mike's), Kate Bauer-Jones,...
Thursday, January 12, 2017
United Way of the Florida Keys is pleased to announce the nomination of their Unsung Hero, UWFK volunteer, Carol Greco! On January 27th, United Way of the Florida Keys will celebrate the volunteer work of volunteer Carol Greco at the Community Foundation’s Unsung Hero Luncheon. The Unsung Hero Luncheon serves to honor the dedication of volunteers in the Florida Keys. All Monroe County 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organizations are invited to participate and nominate one individual per organization. Carol is a paralegal at Vernis and Bowling of the Florida Keys and lives in Key Largo. She is a long time resident of the Keys. Her son, John, is a commercial fisherman. He and his fiancé, Amanda, also live in Key Largo. Carol is a tireless volunteer for United Way of the Florida Keys. She attends events throughout the county, giving her...
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
  “In order to carry a positive action we must develop a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama   How to LIVE UNITED in 2017:   ·       Become embedded in our community. Volunteer. Cook a meal at your local food pantry. Start helping students with their homework at an after school program. Visit an elder with no family in the area. Get to know people not only in your social circle, but also in the community at large.   ·       Give freely. Not only financially, but with your time, commitment, and heart. Demonstrate community caring by supporting those who need help the most—those who are most afraid to seek it, or who don’t know where to look.   ·       Appreciate your friends and neighbors. Thank those who have supported you. Make new friends, and welcome them gratefully into your life.   ·       Make your voice heard. Speak out for change and...
Monday, November 21, 2016
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” --Martin Luther King, Jr.   A nonprofit board director’s value is not what they do for the organization they serve, but what they do for the community as a whole. UWFK is fortunate to have a board of directors who not only support our organization, but are actively involved in making the Keys community a better place to live. Our board members are Rotary members, entrepreneurs, Chamber of Commerce members, Unsung Heroes, teachers, healthcare professionals, business people, and so much more. They serve on other nonprofit boards and...
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Almost 17% of Americans don’t have health insurance. Many uninsured individuals have tried to get coverage but could not because it was too expensive. Others don’t have access to coverage through their workplace, and some, particularly low-income working individuals, are ineligible for financial assistance to help cover monthly insurance premiums.   For individuals without health insurance, fairly common ailments like pneumonia, strep throat, viral infections, and influenza can costs thousands in emergency medical care costs and missed work time. In an effort to make preventative flu measures more available to the public, Familywize Family Partnership, together with Walgreens, United Way of the Florida Keys, and the Southernmost Boys & Girls Club, provided a free health clinic at Bayview Park as part of the Boys and Girls Club’s “...
Thursday, October 6, 2016
UWFK’s new AmeriCorps VISTA member, Rebecca Medicine Eagle, has been serving during times of disaster in communities across the nation for more than 25 years. Here's what she says about preparing for Hurricanes: Many people are currently tracking the progress of Hurricane Matthew, including the size, force and trajectory of the storm. It's very important to keep track of the weather outlook and know the difference between a Storm Advisory, Watch, and Warning. You can do this by listening to a NOAA Weather Radio and watching the National Weather Service or by signing up for Monroe County Emergency Management alerts at: http://www.monroecountyem.com/. The next best thing you can do is build a disaster supply kit! Your kit should include:   ·         any special medications for members of your household   ·         1 gallon of water per...

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