Trunk Or Treat “Makes a Difference” in Community

Trunk or Treat is an annual event for UWMS. Families enjoy perusing trunks full of candy and goodies of organizations and agencies from across Memphis. It’s not only a safe and fun opportunity for kids wearing their Halloween costumes, but also a chance for families to learn about the services available in our great city, those that can assist in driving their dreams toward a better future.

This year, we continued the festive tradition while honoring National Make A Difference Day and Lights Out After School Month. Since 1992, October 28th is a day of service projects completed nationwide by volunteers with one common purpose” to improve the lives of others. Lights On Afterschool, launched in 2000, honors the programs that offer after-school programs, expanding safe learning hours for kids. UWMS is proud to serve organizations that offer after-school programming including Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis, YMCA, Knowledge Quest and Girls, Inc.

This year, Trunk or Treat touched over 900 people especially from the 38112 community near the UWMS headquarters.

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Posted in Uncategorized |

Memphis Mayor and United Way CEO Race with Distorted Vision Goggles to Help More People Escape Poverty

Mayor Jim Strickland will race United Way President & CEO Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

MEMPHIS, TN – On Wednesday, October 18th, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and United Way of the Mid-South President and CEO Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D. will compete in a race in conjunction with City of Memphis employees’ United Way campaign.

Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D.

Mayor Jim Strickland

Mayor Strickland and Rev. Robinson will race golf carts – which should be funny, but there’s an added challenge that may make the contest more hilarious: each will wear “distorted vision” goggles!

The loser will give the funds raised by his organization to the other’s 2017 United Way resource development drive, so either way, our community wins. The race begins at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main Street, Memphis, TN.

The City’s campaign theme is “Driving The Dream,” in support of United Way’s new, groundbreaking initiative of the same name. Driving The Dream is a system-of-care network with shared data, strategies, and resources amongst a host of organizations, agencies, and services. The goal is to collaboratively support people living in poverty as they “drive” themselves toward a better quality of life and self-sufficiency, assisting people who are tackling the multiple stressors and challenges that arise and keep a person in poverty.

City of Memphis employees have a long history of generous support for United Way. Last year, city employees raised over $230,000 for United Way’s Community Impact Fund, which supports local nonprofit programs providing lasting, collaborative solutions for people living in poverty and ensures they have more opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency through stronger education, financial stability, and health.

Media contacts: 
Lori Spicer Robertson, United Way’s Chief Communications and Engagement Officer    901-433-4317
Dave Skorupa, United Way’s Director of Communications    901-433-4380

Posted in Events, News, Volunteers |

Join us for United Way Trunk or Treat on Tillman Street October 28


United Way Trunk or Treat on Tillman Street is back, Saturday, October 28 at United Way Plaza (1005 Tillman Street) from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Join us at this family-friendly festival where children can safely trick-or-treat from the decorated tailgates of cars and trucks sponsored by local volunteers and area businesses and other organizations. There will be plenty of fun, food, games, music, face painting, and other enjoyable activities. Note: Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

You can volunteer to help Trunk or Treat, and we’re still receiving support from local organizations. Contact for more information.


Posted in Events |

United Way Recovery Funds for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

United Way Worldwide has created recovery funds to address the immediate and long-term needs in local communities of the United States and the Caribbean which are affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

United Ways in the areas impacted by these hurricanes will continue to raise money locally and respond to emerging needs as appropriate.

United Way’s recovery funds will complement those efforts, help smaller United Ways who may not have the capacity to create their own funds, and provide a clearinghouse for individual and corporate donors who wish to help the affected areas.

You can learn more about these funds, including information about how donations will be distributed, by visiting the United Way Worldwide website here.

Posted in Disaster, News, United Way Worldwide |

Remembering September 11 and uniting to serve after the attacks

United Way Communications Specialist Kirstin Cheers posted a story on Medium this morning sharing the experience of our United Way Director of Communications when the attacks on New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania took place on September 11, 2001.

United Way had prepared to hold its Day of Caring volunteer service event three days later, on September 14, and decided to move forward with the activity so people could respond to the events in a way that created a positive difference for people in need.

“Since then, we have volunteers who habitually return for Day of Caring, recalling both the despair of that day with the hope of tomorrow,” said Dave Skorupa. “It was the landmark of United Way of the Mid-South: we serve and unite through adversity.”

Posted in Day of Caring, News |

United Way Days of Caring Block Parties and other activities Sept. 11 – 15

Block Party at United Way Monday, September 11

UPDATED: See photos and learn about Days of Caring impact results here.

“Days of Caring” are days when Mid-South volunteers unite with nonprofits for service and activities that impact lives across our area. We’re still recruiting volunteers for this year’s events via our Volunteer United site.

Several rallies and parties are kicking off United Way Days of Caring activities across the Mid-South:

In Memphis and Shelby County, enjoy food, fun, and music at United Way of the Mid-South’s family-friendly Days of Caring Block Party on Monday, September 11 at United Way Plaza from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.! Please RSVP to our Volunteer United website.

In DeSoto County this Saturday, September 9, United Way will have a Days of Caring volunteer recruiting drive and meet-and-greet information event at The Farmer’s Market, 2535 Highway 51 South, Hernando, MS from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. as another team of volunteers helps weatherstrip homes with Habitat for Humanity.

Lauderdale County will host a Days of Caring kickoff party at the Court Square in Ripley, TN on Thursday, September 14 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Fayette County’s Days of Caring Block Party on Friday, September 15 will take place at Fayette Cares (13300 North Main Street, Somerville TN) 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm.  Planning for Days of Caring projects is underway for Fayette Cares and Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center.

Posted in Day of Caring, Events, News |

MLGW hosts golf tournament for United Way (registration form attached)

Register for the MLGW United Way Charity Golf Tournament with this form or by using the information at the bottom of the announcement below. Our thanks to the generous people of MLGW for making this tournament possible!

Posted in Events, News |

In The News: DeSoto Times Tribune highlights United Way work in DeSoto County

United Way in the newsThe DeSoto Times-Tribune has published a story highlighting United Way’s work in DeSoto County, with an emphasis on our upcoming Days of Caring kickoff event this weekend at The Farmer’s Market in Hernando.

You can read the story on their website here.

Posted in Day of Caring, News |

Siemer Institute for Family Stability Partners with United Way of the Mid-South to Change Lives

In partnership with The Siemer Institute for Family Stability, United Way of the Mid-South is Driving The Dream of Financial Stability. 

An estimated 160 families sleep on Memphis streets or in shelters every night. Shelby County Schools defines homelessness as sharing housing of other persons, living in motels or hotels, or living in emergency or transitional shelters. United Way of the Mid-South and The Siemer Institute for Family Stability are partnering by supporting local non-profits and organizations committed to reducing housing insecurity


Tonya lost her job of 3 years, working for a cleaning company. Soon, she and her 3 girls were in danger of losing their utilities and having no place to live.

“It wasn’t what I would call a home, but at least it was a roof over our heads.”


Tonya describes her road over the past several years as “rocky.”

“Most days I feel like we are barely making it, but somehow we always do.”

When her daughters ask why they can’t have the things they want or why they don’t have a car, she tells them “everything comes in time, but now is just not the time.” More than anything she wants her girls to have a better life. Her oldest daughter wants to be a doctor, while her middle daughter has an interest in fashion. Tonya smiles – uncontrollably – when she shares that her “baby girl” wants to be a ballerina!

Tonya set a goal to become self-sufficient. She aspires to be a chef. “I love to prepare food that makes people happy… that makes me feel good.”

Tonya’s daughters were attending the Knowledge Quest Extended Learning Academy, and one day she learned about Knowledge Quest’s Family Stability Initiative (FSI) from a flyer and enrolled in the program.

Months later, Tonya showed up at FSI, beaming as she shared with the staff that her diligence and work had paid off – she had just been hired at the University of Memphis as a utility worker.

“This program helped me so much. It helped me build my confidence to go on job interviews.”

The once quiet and shy mom who rarely even spoke in parent trainings has a new-found confidence which helps her to keep reaching her goals. She shared one final thing that she gained from the program: “FSI has taught me how to smile again!”

So what does Tonya feel her future looks like now? “I think it looks good because I will never give up! I want to own a home, I want to have my own car, I want to be stable financially and not worry all the time about how the bills will get paid. I want our lives to be stable!”

FSI is one of Knowledge Quest’s four flagship programs serving the South Memphis community, which is one of the highest poverty zip code areas in the country. FSI helps stabilize families and prevents homelessness by addressing a family’s basic needs related to food, clothing, and housing. FSI provides an array of wraparound services including life skills and parenting classes, individual and group counseling, and assistance with job search.

Tonya has a new, positive attitude and goals thanks to Knowledge Quest’s Family Stability Program: “I will never give up! I want to own a home, have my own car, be stable financially and not worry all the time about the bills. I want our lives to be stable!”



Posted in Driving The Dream, Income / Financial Stability, Poverty, Uncategorized |

United Way of Houston establishes fund for flood relief

Our friends at United Way of Houston have a fund to help with the immediate and long-term relief efforts people are facing due to the devastating floods. Click on the link below to learn more.
Posted in Disaster, News, United Way Worldwide |