The 2022 Annual Report

As the song says: “It takes every kind of people to make the world go round,” and we know it takes “every kind of people” to create a strong Berks County for all of us.

YOUR unwavering support is making a difference in the lives of 190,000 Berks Countians. This Annual Report celebrates accomplishments and progress YOU make possible, and highlights the impact we have when we work together, like:

Investing in


crucial programs


dual impact

through Read Alliance

Expanding access to

healthy foods

For children and families




You inspire us

The United Way Campaign is about helping people — sharing a commitment to providing help,hope and opportunity for 190,000 Berks Countians. With the leadership of Campaign Co-Chairs Joe and Dana Hartz, we raised over $11 million to help feed more hungry families, provide emergency shelter for the homeless and connect individuals and families to the help they need. We are grateful for the community’s outstanding support. Special thanks to our 2022 Challenge Match Sponsors: Brad and Barbara Hall, EnerSys, Kelly Auto Group, PENN Entertainment, Tompkins, UGI, plus two anonymous donors.

Meet Someone You've Helped

A second-grade boy stands next to his therapist, a woman, who is kneeling on the ground. There is a colorful mural on the wall behind themHarrison, a second grade student, is thriving with the help of Easterseals programs. The United Way Agency Partner provides support and therapies designed for the needs of children with autism. Harrison’s parents enrolled him in the agency’s Early Intervention program, and he began outpatient therapy just before starting kindergarten. He has made significant progress in both therapy sessions and social skills group, and his family receives comprehensive support through Intensive Behavioral Health Services. Harrison is eager to attend therapy each week, and his mother is delighted with his progress and the compassionate care provided by Easterseals.


Continued innovation and impact were achieved through additional grant distribution from the $10 million gift we received in 2020 from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Through these grants, we impact the areas of education, workforce development and health.View the complete list of grant recipients and their supported programs.

Creating Ripples of Change Through the Harwood Institue

A woman and three children are sitting on blankets on grass on a sunny day. They are reading booksReal, lasting change occurs only when people and communities help lead the solution. United Way is working with community members to learn together, inspire each other, and take on shared challenges to act on three community-driven action items: early childhood education, English as a Second Language and after/out-of-school programs. During the past year, we facilitated a series of community conversations with residents to gain public knowledge, with a central philosophy of “doing with…not to”. Teams are now planning action steps around community aspirations.

The West Reading Disaster Recovery Fund

In March 2023, our community suffered a tragedy when an explosion occurred in West Reading. The immediate response of Berks Countians was to help. The West Reading  Borough enlisted the organizations they trusted to help…The Berks County Community Foundation and United Way. Together, the organizations established the West Reading  Disaster Recovery Fund. The outpouring of support was incredible; more than $1,000,000 has been donated by thousands of individuals, families and businesses across the county and country. Families who lost loved ones working at R.M. Palmer Company at the time of the explosion and those living close to the explosion who lost their homes and  possessions received disbursements from the fund, with the hopes to ease their burden as they cope with loss. The families have expressed gratitude for the kind generosity from the community during this difficult time.


The end of third grade is an important milestone, as up until that time, children are learning to read. By the beginning of fourth grade, students read to learn. That’s why our Ready.Set.READ! initiative focuses on kindergarten readiness, reading proficiency by third grade and family engagement. Here’s how we are making a difference:

200 volunteer tutors

in the Star Readers program were paired with 162 students

High school students

tutored first graders through Read Alliance


59 Early Childhood Educators

have received advanced education through Growing Readers

Read with Me


The Impact of Collaboration

United Way formed the Oakbrook Collective Impact Council in 2018 to build a stronger neighborhood through resident engagement. 2022 highlights included:

  • Oakbrook Speaks Community Forum shared results from a community needs survey, conducted in partnership with Project REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) and showcased how OCIC’s work addressed barriers around issues of food insecurity, education, employment, transportation, safety and sense of community
  • Recognized United Way’s role as the collaborative’s anchor organization and OCIC’s history of accomplishments: created summer learning programs focused on retaining or increasing reading skills, provided ESL programs for residents, and increased access to healthy and fresh food through a community garden and access to Helping Harvest’s mobile market
  • As the collective work evolves, the efforts now transition to the Reading Housing Authority, as they established an Advisory Group to continue the work and create a neighborhood resource center and family services center

Through Leadership United we are recruiting, training, engaging and connecting volunteers, nonprofits and companies. Leadership United includes Blueprint for Leadership (BFL), Emerging Leaders United (ELU), Leadership Berks and the Volunteer Center.

13 participants

graduated from BFL


ELU members participated in



Leadership Berks celebrated

29 graduates