United Way of the Mid-South Catalyst Fund accepting letters of interest through September 15

United Way of the Mid-South Catalyst FundAttention nonprofit agency executives & community collaborators:

The United Way of the Mid-South Catalyst Fund supports collaborative community solutions to tough Mid-South issues. Letters of Interest in Catalyst funding will be accepted from community collaborations seeking funding through September 15, 2017.

Click here for Catalyst Fund Guidelines for funding with instructions for the Letter of Interest (PDF document will download).

Posted in Catalyst Fund |

EVENTS: Driving The Dream Town Hall, Tuesday, August 15

Elisabeth D. Babcock

Purchase tickets to United Way’s Driving The Dream Town Hall event
As Memphis prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., United Way of the Mid-South CEO and President Dr. Kenneth S. Robinson and Terri Freeman, President of the National Civil Rights Museum, step forward to hold a conversation about solving Memphis’ poverty challenges and United Way’s new initiative, Driving The Dream, with nationally-recognized writer and speaker Elizabeth Babcock, President & CEO of EMPath – Economic Mobility Pathways.

The Driving The Dream Town Hall at The Peabody on Tuesday, August 15 begins with a Donor’s Reception at 4:30 p.m. and the Town Hall will start at 5:30 p.m.

In addition to Elizabeth Babcock’s presentation, a panel of local community leaders and experts including Kenya Bradshaw (The New Teacher Project), David Waters (The Commercial Appeal), and Eric Robertson (Community Lift, Greater Memphis Neighborhoods) will be led by Dr. Robinson in a discussion about the impact poverty has on Memphis and possible solutions toward advancement.

Driving The Dream is a new, groundbreaking initiative bringing groups with a history of alleviating symptoms of poverty together to strengthen cooperative efforts. The initiative creates a network of care using shared strategy, data, and teamwork across multiple organizations, helping more people with a “no wrong door” approach to connect with a series of services resulting in greater financial security.

The Donor’s Reception at 4:30 celebrates the generous contributions of United Way donors throughout the 2016-2017 campaign year. United Way will reveal the first phase of an ongoing “photomentary” project, Faces of Poverty to show the faces of people who have and are advancing out of poverty juxtaposed to their past story. Reception guests will have the opportunity to meet special donors, network and learn more about Driving The Dream and United Way upcoming initiatives and engagement events.

Please contact United Way with any questions. We hope to see you there!

Posted in Driving The Dream, Events, Poverty |

Public Notice: Emergency Food & Shelter Grants Funds Available (Crittenden County, AR & Shelby County, TN)

Emergency Food and Shelter Grant Funds Available: Shelby County

Shelby County will receive $450,141 in Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funds earmarked for 501 (c)(3) agencies to supplement emergency food and shelter services in Shelby County. EFSP funds are Federal funds awarded through the Dept. of Homeland Security. Non-profit agencies providing emergency food and shelter services can obtain access to the Application by contacting Janet Haas at United Way of the Mid-South at (901) 433-4333.  The deadline for submission is Friday, July 21 at 5:00 pm.

Emergency Food and Shelter Grant Funds Available: Crittenden County

Crittenden County will receive $20,421 in Emergency Food and Shelter Program Funds earmarked for 501 (c)(3) agencies to supplement emergency food and shelter services in Crittenden County EFSP funds are Federal funds awarded through the Dept. of Homeland Security. Non-profit agencies providing emergency food and shelter services can obtain access to the Application by contacting Janet Haas at United Way of the Mid-South at (901) 433-4333.  The deadline for submission is Friday, July 21 at 5:00 pm.


Note: These items were published in the Legal Notices section in local newspapers on Friday, July 14 (Crittenden) and Saturday, July 15, (Shelby) 2017.

Posted in Funding Decisions, Grants |

EVENTS: United Way and FOX13 present Family Focus School Supply Drive Wednesday, July 19

United Way of the Mid-South and FOX13’s Family Focus School Supply Drive will collect donations of school supplies to help students in need at Shelby County Schools on Wednesday, July 19 at Poplar Plaza shopping center at Poplar and Highland in Memphis, TN.

We’re looking for: 3 ring binders, hand sanitizer, calculators, ink pens (red, black and blue), colored pencils, legal pads, composition notebooks, loose leaf paper, copy paper, pencils, crayons, pencil bags, earbuds, primary handwriting tablets, folders with pockets, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, and tissue/Kleenex.

Donations can also be delivered to donation drums and boxes at FOX13 Family Focus partner locations.



Posted in Education, Events, News |

“There’s Hope.” (Tonya’s story)

“Is this a real house, mommy? Does someone live here?” 

Tonya was sleeping on the floor of her aunt’s house with her 3 and 1-year old daughters when she was introduced to a Hope House representative. 

“It wasn’t an ideal situation for me, with two small children.”

While working as a peer advocate at the Shelby County Health Department, she told her story about living with HIV. A supervisor and friend introduced her to Hope House, a United Way partner agency nonprofit. One day, with her daughters by her side, she stopped by the small, sky blue cottage on Idlewild Avenue in Memphis.

Hope House’s mission is “to improve the quality of life for HIV-affected individuals and their families by providing high-quality early childhood education and social services.”

It did not register with Tonya at the time, but she would soon find the family and support she needed to live her dreams within the corners of Hope House.

Tonya was afraid as soon as a member of the team opened the door. Not knowing whether she would be immediately judged for her living situation and health status, she planned to maintain a cordial demeanor, observing the attitudes and characteristics of the Hope House staff.

“We are intentional about having a home-space because we want people to feel at home here,” said Lenox Warren, Director of Development.

For the first time, Tonya felt welcomed for who she was. She had endured stigmatization from friends and family. A co-worker became emotional when she revealed she had HIV. Yet Hope House gave Tonya the support and strength she needed to endure and educate people away from their biases, and even how to combat her own.

“When I first found out I was positive, I was afraid,” says Tonya. “I was afraid I would die in front of my children while they were with me. I was afraid I would be alone, and I even struggle with this fear today.”

Tonya remembers feeling like “scum” for not being able to provide healthy and quality housing for her children and sometimes not being able to afford groceries. She admits she had to take routes she didn’t want to for money to ensure her children could eat. She was depressed and unhappy with no direction or guidance to point her where she needed to go.

“But there’s hope. There’s a silver lining around every cloud.”

Hope House introduced Tonya to a system of care that was invested in her success. A year after she was admitted as a client, Hope House assisted Tonya with finding a home for her and her children. It was the first time in a long time that Tonya had a place of her own and her children had their own room. Thanks to a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Hope House can assist clients with finding quality and affordable housing for their families.

“I was so excited. I stopped by garage and estate sales to find furniture. It’s all mine. I was so grateful for our first night. There were no lumps or bumps. I slept like a baby.”

Tonya is now a junior at the University of Memphis, studying computer engineering with a minor in social work. Her dream is to interconnect all HIV databases to support clients and reduce the number of times they have to relive and retell their story. Her daughters are straight-A scholars. Her oldest was recently inducted into the National Junior Beta Club and her youngest won her school-wide spelling bee.

Posted in Health, Income / Financial Stability, Personal Stories, Poverty |

United Way’s office is closed for Independence Day, July 4

Our office and building are closed Tuesday, July 4, 2017 for Independence Day.

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday! We will reopen Wednesday, July 5, 2017 for normal operations. Thank you.

Posted in News |

Making a difference: Campaign Representatives

During our busy resource development season, United Way is only able to achieve great results keep our overhead low because of people and organizations helping our Campaign Representative Program.

Campaign Representatives work alongside the United Way staff to generate critical resources for our nonprofit community. They become essential leaders in United Way’s work to raise more than $19 million so we can make positive impacts on local education, financial stability, and health.

To learn how your organization can provide an employee as a United Way Campaign Representative or sponsor full-time and/or part-time Campaign Representatives, see our information brochure.

Participants in the Campaign Representative program engage our community through group volunteer projects, tours of partner organizations, meetings, and by speaking with various audiences about United Way of the Mid-South’s work to help more people escape generational poverty.

The program emphasizes networking and mentorship. From building relationships with key corporate contacts to making presentations before different audiences, people in the Campaign Representative program expand their professional networks and gain skills to help them advance in their careers.

Posted in Campaign Representatives / Loaned Executives, Fund Raising, LEAA - Loaned Executives Alumni Association |

United Way accepting Citizen Storm Assistance program applications

United Way of the Mid-South is accepting applications for the Citizen Storm Assistance Program through July 31, 2017. Applications may be submitted on-line or in person at community application sites. Call 2-1-1 to get an up-to-date schedule of application sites.

The Citizen Storm Assistance Program was established by the City of Memphis to assist with the removal and disposal of large downed trees on the property of our low-income residents resulting from the large thunderstorm that hit Memphis on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be the owner and occupant of the home
  • Have income less than $30,500.00 per year

If the application is approved, the City of Memphis will arrange for trees on the property to be removed. Click here to access the online application (the application will open in another tab).

Posted in Disaster, Information Resources, News |

Employee Campaign Manager Summit

On June 21, United Way of the Mid-South concluded one and kicked off another year of campaigning with corporate partners across the region in Memphis, TN. Our employee campaign managers convened to learn more about how to engage, educate and inspire their fellow colleagues to join United Way campaigns at their respective workplaces.

United Way of the Mid-South would like to thank the University of Memphis and the University Center for providing a welcoming atmosphere, breakfast, and lunch for our ECM’s! Again we thank our corporate partners for their continued support and collaboration in building a better Mid-South and strengthening communities. Lastly, ECM Summit would not have been possible without the hard work and diligence of our staff at United Way!

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Posted in Uncategorized |

United Way brings over 100 volunteers to Pathways To Success Opportunity Summit

United Way of The Mid-South was glad to partner with fellow corporate partners and organizations across Memphis in support of the Pathways to Success Opportunity Summit, hosted by My Brother’s Keeper, the White House Initiative to set a positive trajectory for African-American young men and boys. Even thought the initiative targets boys, both boys and girls took advantage of the Opportunity Summit held at the Cook Convention Center on June 22.

We enlisted over 100 volunteers to recruit and support at the Summit which allowed Memphis youth to apply and interview for summer jobs across the city. More than 1000 youth attended and over 500 were offered jobs. Another 500 were offered second interviews.

This is why we have adjusted our focus to fighting the issue of poverty in Memphis and the Mid-South. We believe Where There’s A You, There’s A Way. We look forward to partnering with more organization to bring opportunities into our community as well as leading the fight against poverty!

Posted in Uncategorized |