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Friday, December 20, 2019
Over 50 volunteers participated in the UWFK and SOS Foundation joint Giving Tuesday Kids event to decorate and assemble 'holiday hunger' packs.  160 packs were assembled to be distributed to children at Gerald Adams Elementary over the holiday break.   Thank you to all who helped support this endeavor, including the Publix employees who came out.  Holiday hunger describes children who do not have enough food over school holidays without their regular school lunch.  This means that they and/or other family members must skip meals or reduce the quantity or quality of food to compensate. SOS and UWFK were pleased to help address this issue for students at one of our Monroe County schools.    
Monday, November 4, 2019
UWFK and SOS take on Holiday Hunger Holiday hunger describes children who do not have enough food during school holidays, meaning that they or other family members must skip meals or reduce the quantity or quality of food. We are helping with this problem through a new volunteer opportunity...families are invited to join UWFK and SOS in addressing this problem by volunteering at our Giving Tuesday Kids event in Key West on December 3! This Giving Tuesday, we are creating custom hunger packs for children and families who could use our help here in Key West! We are looking for volunteers 10 years or older to come help us decorate boxes and fill them with donated food. The hunger packs will be distributed at Gerald Adams Elementary before holiday break to provide food to children who might otherwise be hungry without school lunches. ...
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Introducing New UWFK Board Member Brandi Horton Originally from Texas City, Texas, Brandi Horton and her family moved to Florida in 1978, in search of blue skies, gorgeous water and spectacular sunsets. Brandi started working at Freewheeler Realty upon graduation and is now manager of the vacation rental department.  Brandi is also very active in the community. In the past several years she has taken part in the Women’s Counsel of Realtors, Business and Professional Woman, Take Stock in Children as a student mentor, Leadership Monroe County (graduate class X), Board Member of Ocean Studies Charter School, Ambassador for both Key Largo and Islamorada Chamber of Commerce’s, and was the District Director for the Business and Professional Woman Florida District XII. Welcome to our Board of Directors, Brandi.  
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Is your schedule flexible? Would you enjoy helping make our community more affordable for everyone? Do you want to be a SUPERHERO to some of your hard-working friends and neighbors? Become a volunteer during ourupcoming VITA tax preparation season!  Volunteers work as IRS certified tax prep assistants or greeters. Bilingual volunteers are needed as tax prep assistants, greeters or translators. VITA provides free tax preparation service to residents earning $55,000 or less annually. FREE one day, hands-on training in early January Tax preparation events are scheduled regularly throughout the Keys, January - April.  No tax preparation experience needed--just a willingness to learn, grow, and serve. Join us as a VITA volunteer and you will help fellow Keys residents maximize their tax return so they are better able to provide for their...
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
On September 6, 1930, Mr. George Jenkins opened his first store called Publix Food Store. Since then, Publix has become the second most generous United Way workplace campaign in the world!   UWFK and our nonprofit partners recently visited all 5 Publix stores in the Keys, to express our deep appreciation for their continued, strong workplace giving. We visited each department meeting associates and even got to see behind the scenes.    Thank you to Publix and congratulations on 40 years of partnership with United Way. Your generosity makes a tremendous difference in Monroe County. We are grateful.        
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
 Help Keys Children Set Sail on a Sea of Books! There are several initiatives in Monroe County that support putting books in children’s hands. One is the Dollywood Foundation's “Imagination Library” program, offered by UWFK, which mails a free book each month to a child's home until their 5th birthday. All parents need to do is sign up and upon graduation from the program their child has a library of up to 60 books.    Kirsten, a local parent, says, "We started the [Imagination Library] program when my son was born, and he is now eighteen months old. Every time a book comes in the mail he gets excited and can't wait to read his new book."    Early literacy has profound, long-lasting effects on our children and our society.  We love to hear from parents like Kirsten about how Imagination Library is impacting their child's vocabulary,...
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
SOS Foundation Serves After School Snacks at Bernstein Park in Key West 63% of Stock Island residents are considered ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), which means they work hard but struggle to make ends meet.  SOS helps ensure that residents do not go hungry, and now they are expanding to include food specifically for children on Stock Island.  As the highest ALICE percentage in the county, the children of Stock Island need this service and we are grateful to SOS for addressing this need by serving free, healthy, after school snacks at Bernstein Park each school day. The snacks are free for anyone under 18, and no income verification or ID is necessary.  Students can get a snack at the concession stand of Bernstein Park from 3:15-4:45 pm Monday through Friday.     
Thursday, June 27, 2019
UWFK CEO Leah Stockton presented at the annual Seabrooks e-cImpact conference in Memphis, sharing with the 60 attendees about our Hurricane Irma relief efforts and how we utlized this software to further our impact.   In addition, she was able to network with other funders from across the US, share best practices and take a deeper dive into how we can maximize the e-cImpact tool in our organization.    Best of all, it was wonderful to meet the Seabrooks ‘family’, who we have worked with closely since January 2018 as we administered 12 rounds of UWFK disaster funding through their software.   Thank you to the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce for awarding Leah a continuing education grant, covering her conference fees. We are grateful for the support and how this opportunity will help us strengthen our impact throughout Monroe County!
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...
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! 54 percent of children in the Florida Keys live in poverty or in ALICE households, with little access to early childhood education. By three years of...