The 2021 Annual Report
“Helping people when they need it most…it is who we are and what we do…together. That’s the power of community and LIVING UNITED!”
The Power of Community
As we reflect on this past year, we are in awe of the commitment each of you share to provide help, hope and opportunity to those who need it most. We are incredibly privileged to partner with you, our donors and volunteers. YOU inspire our work. YOUR support makes good things happen across Berks County. Together, we:
is available 24/7
prepare for school
Create new and expanded
The Power of Unity
YOUR caring and compassion led the way, and together, we raised $11 million to invest in high-priority and high-performing community programs that provide help, hope and opportunity. The Annual Campaign, led by Dick and Angela Ehst, was bolstered by our largest challenge match ever – $1 million. Thanks to our Challenge Match sponsors Dick and Angela Ehst, Customers Bank, The Neag Foundation, Kevin and Susan Timochenko and three anonymous donors.
To learn about our investments, visit our Focus Areas page.
Meet Someone You've Helped
Ryan is a teen who struggles with social interactions, which makes it difficult for him to make friends and connect with his peers at school. Thanks to Easterseals, a United Way Agency Partner, he has tons of friends. Ryan makes friends at Easterseals’s Camp Lily and their weekly Hang Time program. At these programs, Ryan is surrounded by peers who accept and support him, which allows him to develop his identity and self-confidence. Ryan looks forward to seeing his friends every week at Hang Time and enjoys the chance to be a typical teen out with his friends on a Friday night.
The Power of Community Change
At the end of 2020 United Way of Berks County received a $10 million gift from MacKenzie Scott. In 2021, we began distributing the dollars to support Impact Grants to expand programming and the capacity to serve our most vulnerable neighbors. View the complete list of Impact Grant recipients and their supported programs.
Impact Grant Brings Expanded Care to the Homeless
The Street Medicine team meets homeless individuals where they are by setting up clinics at shelters and soup kitchens. The team builds trust with their patients, which leads to better health outcomes through proper diagnosis, medication/supplies, referrals and follow up.
New telehealth kiosks located at Hope Rescue Mission offer the programs’ virtual clinics, which are open to all at-risk community members. Recently, a 60 year-old male patient suffering from high blood pressure shared how weekly virtual visits helped improve his medical condition, which also contributed to him feeling so much better; he describes it as “I am a different man”.
The program increase access to primary and specialty care and reduces emergency room visits by breaking barriers and providing equitable health care, no matter where a person resides.
The Power of Impact
When kids are fully prepared for school, they have a greater chance of success in their academics and in life. Managed by United Way, the Ready.Set.READ! initiative continues to prepare kids for school and boost reading skills through a variety of programs focused on children from birth to third grade.
150 volunteer tutors
in the Star Readers program returned to the classroom
High school students
tutored first graders through Read Alliance
36 Early Childhood Educators
have received advanced education through Growing Readers
Read with Me
was launched to foster a love of reading at home
The Power of Collaboration
The Oakbrook Collective Impact Council is building a stronger neighborhood through resident engagement. Recent highlights include a resident survey, a Mobile Job Lab and distribution of resource packets to all Oakbrook residents.
OCIC partnered with Project REACH to give residents a voice through a door-to-door survey and focus groups. The survey gathered information to identify barriers and/or their needs to be self-sufficient. The survey information will help shape future services for their families and children.
graduated from BFL
ELU members participated in
Leadership Berks celebrated