27 Apr New Community Impact Strategy to Empower Self-Sufficiency
United Way Unveils New Community Impact Strategy
to Empower Self-Sufficiency
United Way of the Lowcountry (UWLC) has launched a new community impact strategy aimed at empowering self-sufficiency for residents in Beaufort and Jasper counties.
UWLC President and CEO Dale Douthat shared the announcement today with donors, nonprofit agency partners and volunteers during the organization’s Annual Meeting at the Culinary Institute of the South in Bluffton.
The new strategy, developed in response to the results of United Way’s recent Community Needs Assessment, focuses on five key areas:
- Ensuring an accessible safety net of services for individuals and families in need.
- Expanding developmental opportunities for children and young adults to help them reach their full potential.
- Helping adults and families become self-sufficient and financially stable.
- Supporting deeper collaborations to have a greater impact on the Lowcountry’s most pressing needs.
- Working collectively to remove barriers to basic needs services that would stand in the way of an individual or family’s success.
“By prioritizing self-sufficiency in all our investments, we are providing long-term, life-changing opportunities that empower our neighbors to build a better future for themselves and their loved ones,” said Douthat. “People want to pay their bills. People want to support their families. People want their children to be well educated. People want to be self-sufficient and able to stand on their own two feet.
When we prioritize supporting each other, educating ourselves and our neighbors and providing ample employment opportunities, we lay the foundation for a community that thrives.”
In the beginning of 2022, United Way embarked on a comprehensive community needs assessment to gain a deeper understanding of the issues affecting Lowcountry residents. The assessment was conducted in partnership with the Community Research Group of Greenville, SC, and involved a variety of methods including data analysis, interviews, focus groups and a community-wide survey.
According to Douthat, many residents felt that low wages and high cost of living — especially housing affordability and lack of employment opportunities were among the most challenging issues facing both Beaufort and Jasper counties. Residents also called for new avenues for children and young adults to acquire essential life skills; better guidance on where to turn for assistance with basic needs services; and for United Way to step up and take the lead in advocating for solutions, bringing decision-makers together and being a voice for the Lowcountry’s most pressing needs.
“A thriving community is one where everyone has a voice and a role to play”, said UWLC Board Chairman Carol Branch. “Whether you advocate for change, volunteer your time or donate your resources, your support is essential to building a stronger and more vibrant community. We invite everyone to work with us to find a way to connect, engage, and build a better Lowcountry.”
To learn more about the full Community Needs Assessment report or to see how you can become involved with United Way of the Lowcountry, please visit www.uwlowcountry.org/report.
United Way of the Lowcountry President and CEO Dale Douthat unveils a new community impact strategy designed to empower self-sufficiency today to donors, nonprofit agency partners and volunteers during the organization’s Annual Meeting at the Culinary Institute of the South in Bluffton.