As we reflect on another year, we realize our mission—to spark breakthrough community action that elevates children and families toward brighter futures— is more important than ever.
Opportunity is not a given in our region. Many San Diego families struggle to meet basic needs, like food and shelter, even with two parents working full time. We know that when parents struggle, children struggle. And that’s where United Way steps in, as we have for nearly a century, a positive driving force for children and families in our community.
Whether it’s using our attendance and reading intervention programs to increase opportunity and help all children succeed in school and life, or supporting families in need by providing emergency food, housing, and transportation assistance, our goal is the same: we disrupt cycles of poverty by tackling issues of inequity. And with the help of our donors, our community partners, our volunteers, and our friends like you, we change the odds for children and families in our region. These pages reflect that effort and the work we accomplished last year.
Thank you wholeheartedly for being part of this effort and for your continued support as we move forward into a brighter future.
Interim President & CEO
United Way of San Diego County
To spark breakthrough community action that elevates every child and family toward a brighter future.
United Way envisions a vibrant community built on opportunity for everyone.
Community Members Reached
Businesses & Partners Engaged
Nearly 50% of households with children in San Diego struggle to make ends meet.
Referrals to 2-1-1 and other community-based resources allowed families to invest directly toward their own needs, paving the way for future stability.
Participating students attended an average of 2 weeks more of school, resulting in San Diego Unified School district recouping nearly $29,000 in average daily attendance funding.
For many lower-income students, the skills and knowledge learned during the year are lost over the summer. Students can fall up to two months behind by the time they return in the fall.
Readers in the Heights summer reading intervention provided learning and enrichment experiences for 277 students in City Heights over summer break.
85% of students maintained or improved reading scores after nearly 10,000 hours of learning, or 36 hours per child.
A strong pipeline of talent is critical to San Diego’s future economic success. By working with K-12 school districts, community college districts, industry partners, and non-profits, we’re feeding that pipeline by creating career pathways to show teens the kinds of jobs that are possible.
The Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) is a powerful network of women across all sectors who want to create authentic connections and make a positive impact in San Diego County. With bold goals for changing the lives of women, children, and families, the WLC brings women together through engaged philanthropy. They create networks for their businesses, careers, social lives, and the community.
“Supporting each other through professional development and purposeful networking, we solve problems and share United Way’s work to build camaraderie with other members from all sectors.”
—Sarah Thompson, WLC Chair
The Emerging Leaders Council (ELC) is a network of young professional community leaders representing nearly all industries in San Diego County. Members are given monthly opportunities to develop business acumen and leadership skills all while building a strong, cross-industry network.
“I’ve learned a lot from the ELC professional development workshops, but what I love most about UWSD is their child literacy programs. If I can help a child learn to read, they will do better in school and have more opportunities.”
—Reana Shah, Member & incoming Chair
Created in 1984 by the late James F. Mulvaney to recognize philanthropic leaders, Tocqueville Society membership is granted to individuals who give at least $10,000 annually to United Way. Leading San Diegans committed to improving lives, members play a vital role in developing the leadership and resources that help United Way have the greatest impact in our community.
United Food & Commercial Workers Local 135
California Dept. of Transportation
Wells Fargo Bank
San Diego Public Library Foundation
San Diego Education Association (SDEA)
Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger, LLP
San Diego Community College District
Ignacio De La Torre
AT&T – External Affairs
Regina V. Evans
Alexis S. Gutierrez, Esq.
Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP
Wendy Hunter, MD
Rady Children’s Hospital
H. Gilbert Johnson
Procurement Concepts, Inc.
SD Co. Bldg. & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO
Dr. Richard Pattenaude
San Diego Grantmakers
(July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017)
508 dedicated volunteers donated nearly 2,810 hours by serving on boards and committees and participating in volunteer projects like reading to children in classrooms and sorting and distributing food, painting and improving school and library spaces and more. The value of our volunteers' collective labor equals $67,839.
In May 2017, United Way raised $200,000 at its Changing the Odds Community Breakfast, with 700 community partners, local businesses, and allies attending. Our Women’s Leadership Council awarded 7 scholarships to high school seniors, totaling $10,000. More than 27 local companies supported the breakfast, where keynote speaker Liz Murray shared her journey from homeless teen to Harvard graduate. She stressed the importance of education and community intervention to help youth like her succeed and thrive.
Our longtime partner and Community Breakfast Champion Sponsor, Solar Turbines, led the charge to support our efforts on behalf of local children and families.
“Solar Turbines and United Way have a shared value of supporting sustainability through education. We were proud to support the event and to see what kids can accomplish through our donations and support.”
—Matt Sager, Vice President Global Human Resources Solar Turbines, Incorporated