Annual Report 2021 Introduction

Greater Valdosta United Way

For almost seven decades, the Greater Valdosta United Way has remained steadfast in its mission to create positive change by connecting people with resources that improve their daily lives.

Now serving Atkinson, Bacon, Berrien, Brooks, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Lanier, Lowndes, and Ware counties, the GVUW continues to implement long-term solutions that improve education, income stability, and health and wellness to create better lives and stronger communities.

The United Way’s mission is to help those who need it most. However, during the past two years, the serious short- and long-term impact of COVID-19 placed an even more significant financial burden on low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

As the effects of the pandemic heightened the need for assistance, the GVUW created the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund which has distributed more than $53,000 to local nonprofits and individuals in need. In addition, the fund provided $17,100 in utility assistance and $10,000 for food distribution.

For our efforts during the pandemic, the GVUW received the 2021 Nonprofit of the Year award presented by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by CJB Industries.

More than increased financial concerns, the pandemic escalated the number of adults and children reporting symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

As part of a regional coalition, the GVUW received a $200,000 two-year grant ($100,000 per year) from Resilient Georgia. The grant aims to increase mental health awareness, reduce stigma, and promote behavioral health services for children and adults in a seven-county radius.

Thanks to our donors, community partners, board, staff, and volunteers for working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for all people in the communities we serve.

We invite you to join us in our journey to Live United.

Advocacy

Together, We Live United

Advocating for a 10-county region, the Greater Valdosta United Way is bringing donors, volunteers, organizations, and business and community leaders together to solve critical problems that impact the lives of children and adults.

We are working to establish the GVUW as a valued leader and resource for local, state, and federal government representatives by:

  • Advocating for legislation that meets the critical needs of South Georgia’s most vulnerable populations.
  • Ensuring that state and federal dollars are distributed to GVUW partner agencies, other nonprofits, and community organizations.
  • Creating an awareness of issues that improve our community through education, income stability, and health and wellness initiatives that serve as building blocks for better lives and stronger communities.

211 Help System

Finding help when you need it can be a challenge. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people in need were confused and frustrated trying to find resources available within their communities.

If your community has the 211 system, help is just a phone call, text, or click away. However, only 60 % of Georgians have access to 211, and 41 counties in South Georgia are without this valuable service. The Greater Valdosta United Way is working with state leaders and various foundations to secure funding to implement 211 statewide, especially in rural communities.

Through the national 211 system, people looking for assistance like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare, can access a local community resource specialist that provides information about food and nutrition programs, shelter and housing options, utility assistance, services for veterans, employment and education opportunities, mental health support, and safe and confidential help for physical and domestic emotional abuse.

Child Well-Being Index

In 2021, the Greater Valdosta United Way launched the Child Well-Being Index, a set of 14 measures that provides a score for children, families, communities, and overall child well-being ranking. These scores represent key indicators that outline essential aspects of a community’s health and civic life.

Developed by Greater United Way of Atlanta, the Child Well-Being Index is being implemented by United Way agencies across Georgia. Serving as a “conversation starter,” sharing this crucial information with community leaders will facilitate the development of goals that drive transformational change that will benefit the region’s most vulnerable children and families.

Charity Tracker

Through an AmeriCorps grant, the Greater Valdosta United Way provides Charity Tracker at no charge for two years to local nonprofits, including churches and organizations that provide food, shelter, and utility assistance to people in need.

The web-based system allows charitable organizations to share information that ensures resources are given to individuals and families with critical needs and prevents duplication of services.

2021 Program Support

As part of its annual allocation process, the Greater Valdosta United Way provides funds to 20 partner agencies to support programs and services that reach a common goal of improving the quality of life for children and adults in communities throughout South Georgia. Every program is evaluated, measured, and reported for impact and investment over time to ensure they make a difference in the areas that matter the most.

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Time-out (ACTO)
Respite care for the elderly

American Red Cross
Disaster Cycle Services, Biomedical Services, and Blood Saves Lives

Boy Scouts of America
Cub Scouts, Boy Scout, and Venturing

Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta
Afterschool and summer programs

Children’s Advocacy Center
Prevention and health, mental health and child abuse services

Camp Rock of Georgia
Wilderness and summer camps

Easter Seals Southern Georgia
Family support & specialized medical supplies

Girls on the Run
Heart & Sole program

Habitat for Humanity
New home construction, ReStore, veteran repairs and aging in place

The Haven
Domestic violence, rape crisis, sexual assault and mental health education

Jacobs’ Ladder
Therapeutic horseback riding for people with special needs

Living Bridges Ministry
Transformation and educational classes, and food services

Lowndes Associated Ministries of People (LAMP)
Supportive housing for men, women, and families

Lowndes Advocacy Resource Center
Community day habilitation programs for adults with disabilities

Partnership Health Center
Medical and dental services for low income individuals

Second Harvest of South Georgia
Food distribution throughout 26 counties

The Miracle League of Valdosta
Baseball and kickball season for disabled youth

The Salvation Army
Social service programs and men’s emergency shelter

YMCA
Childcare, aquatics and safety program, and Champions League

Youth Impact Center
Education programs and scholarships for afterschool program

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