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Thank you Nathan and Sarah! We are so grateful for your innovative and generous donation!

At United Way WA we are extremely grateful for all donations made, big or small.

All donations go towards funding transformational programs in our community, providing a future where every person is empowered to grow, through education, financial stability and healthy living – the building blocks for a happy life. We were especially touched by a recent donation made by friends of UWWA Nathan and Sarah!

Nathan and Sarah are tireless contributors to the UWWA cause and in March 2020 they tied the knot………with a twist. Instead of the usual gift registry, Nathan and Sarah decided to generously donate their ‘wishing well’ to United Way WA!

We received a whopping $1747.00 which goes towards early literacy programs that give families from disadvantaged communities the chance to access books and literacy tools, helping to break the cycle of poverty through education.

Both Nathan and Sarah are long time supporters of United Way WA giving their time, energy and connections to support our cause. They advocate our mission through their business, friendships and colleagues, volunteering as mentors and attending social events for UWWA, even helping to fix our offices last year!

The money raised will also focus on supporting adults living in poverty, some of whom have experienced homelessness, to build confidence, uncover skills and be guided along a pathway to a more secure and engaged life.

We thank Nathan and Sarah for their ongoing support to UWWA and their wedding guests who have made a significant impact on the lives of West Australians in need.

A big thank you from the team at United Way WA!

#LIVEUNITED

To make a donation to United Way WA please click here DONATE

Early childhood literacy, why it’s so important to read with your toddler.

Australia has a significant literacy issue. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 44% of adults don’t have the necessary literacy skills needed for everyday life and work. Additionally, the Australian Early Development Census shows that 17.3% of Western Australian children are starting school developmentally vulnerable or without the necessary language and cognitive skills.

Children who grow up in a situation of entrenched disadvantage, fall far behind in the literacy skills needed for a successful schooling experience, contributing to these statistics. Research shows that a child’s ability to read and write is set within the first five years of life, meaning by the time a child reaches school, it can already be too late. Children in this situation have higher rates of academic failure, substance abuse, health issues, unemployment and state dependence.

United Way WA’s mission is to battle this and create a future where every person is empowered to grow through education. Education is fundamental for a prosperous and spirited community and is hence one of the three pillars that UWWA is built around. UWWA aspires to make a difference by supporting a diverse number of early childhood literacy and reading programs within the community. UWWA works with local businesses, politicians, community groups, libraries and parent groups, with the ambition of filling gaps and empowering families to develop literacy skills with their children.

One of our flagship programs is Paint the Town REaD; a national, grassroots initiative promoting early childhood literacy ideas, information and activities by engaging local communities. The primary goals are to encourage the whole community to talk, read, sing, rhyme and play with children every day from birth, to support reading and writing skills in time for school. United Way WA is the State Ambassador for this program, assisting new communities in the creation, establishment and growth of their own early childhood literacy movement.

Another outstanding initiative is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library which aims to ensure that disadvantaged children have access to books at home by signing them up to receive a free, age appropriate book, chosen by experts, along with parent resources and tip sheets every month, from birth until their fifth birthday. As the State Ambassador for this program, United Way WA works with local communities to set up, fund and grow Imagination Libraries across WA to empower early childhood literacy.

Join us in or goal to eliminate illiteracy in our communites, DONATE today and be a changemaker in 2020

Why volunteering at at the Hope luncheon is so great!

As part of my internship at United way WA I was fortunate enough to be involved in an ongoing initiative with HOPE and United Way. This is a monthly luncheon for those in the community who are disadvantaged in some way whether that be sleeping rough, financial instability, isolation or other social or economical barriers. Together with volunteers from Bank West who are ongoing supporters of this initiative, we prepared a luncheon for about 80 clients at the HOPE building.

It was really interesting to see how this monthly event differs from other services in the area that focus mainly on the provision of food. This initiative seems to fill a gap in existing services by providing more than just a meal. Firstly, the event is run inside at tables and chairs which brings the community in out of the weather and offers them a sense of respect and dignity by welcoming them into a space. Secondly, a large focus of this event is the interaction of not only the clients amongst themselves but with those volunteering. A sense of bringing down walls and barriers is present as we all sat together and shared the same meals on our disposable plates. Conversation was mainly open and welcoming by all the clients, and so many were forthcoming with appreciation and “Thank You’s”.

So many different people walked through the doors, it was on one side beautiful and heart warming whilst on the other side at times confronting and humbling. There were young and old, people on their own, families, social groups, all from a range of cultural backgrounds.

Diced carrots, dice potatoes, and peas in a bowl
Hope BBQ volunteering event

The peas and carrots I was serving were not exactly the highlight, but the apple crumble I had assisted in making was a hit! I loved the idea that they were presented with a complete meal through to desert, plus the opportunity to come up for seconds, thirds and fourths. Leftover food was then offered for clients to take away with them, which was received with great appreciation. Most enjoyed the conversation and social aspect of the event, though a small few chose to sit on the perimeter of the tables alone. However, it felt as though the general sense of social interaction and being a part of a bigger community was not lost on them and they enjoyed being a part of this from a distance.

I really look forward to doing more of these events with United Way and hope that I get a chance to talk more to the clients in the future.

Emma is an intern at United Way WA

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