A Message from Our CEO - January 2021 | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

A Message from our CEO

At last week’s 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, the first U.S. Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman captured the moment and inspired the nation with her poem “The Hill We Climb.” She also reminded me of the message of unity she wrote in 2020 about United Way’s community impact:

“We are the world’s neighbors,
Making our communities brighter, greater,
Fighting for every person in every neighborhood.
We, the coming of the common good.
So dare to care, to be hope-sided.
We’re never divided, for when we live to give,
We always Live UNITED.”

Her words are a powerful reminder of hope as we kick off 2021. Now is the time for us to come together, united, to address systemic barriers in education, income and health and advance racial equity to ensure all North Texans, regardless of race or ZIP code, have the opportunity and access to reach their full potential.

Think about what education, income and health mean to you and your family. Imagine how your life would change without the foundation for school success, financial stability or access to high quality health care. Together, they make up the building blocks of opportunity that enable you—and our entire community—to succeed and thrive.

With corporate and community partners, civic leaders, and supporters like you, United Way is advancing the common good so that North Texas will continue to be the best place to live, work and raise families.

young volunteers take canned goods to destination

When we join together in support of our neighbors, we lift up the entire community.

young volunteers take canned goods to destination

That means building the North Texas workforce of tomorrow to keep our economy strong.

We all benefit when another North Texas student graduates on the path to success in college or career. And that starts early:

  • Students reading on grade level by 3rd grade are five times more likely to graduate ready to succeed in college or career.
  • College graduates can earn $36,000 more a year.
  • If 20% more North Texas young adults ages 25-34 earn a living wage, it will add nearly $800M to our local economy.

And it means ensuring access to high-quality health care. Physical and mental health builds the foundation for school success for children and economic outcomes for adults. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, perhaps more clearly than ever, the health of our neighbors directly impacts the health of our community as a whole:

  • Babies whose mothers receive prenatal care are four times more likely to survive.
  • Even before the pandemic, the cost of caring for uninsured patients in Texas hospitals was more than $7 billion a year.

With the Aspire United 2030 community goals for North Texas as our guide, we will continue to build new initiatives and innovative solutions that ensure all North Texas students graduate high school prepared for success in college or career, all North Texas families are financially stable, and all North Texans live long, healthy lives.


Increase by 50% the number of North Texas students reading on grade level by third grade.

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Increase by 20% the number of North Texas young adults who earn a living wage.

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Increase to 96% the number of North Texans with access to affordable health care insurance.

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Be Part of the Change

We believe in the power of unity to drive measurable, lasting change that will put opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. Here are three ways you can be part of the change today:

two kids smile


two kids smile

When you give to United Way, you invest in a brighter future. Setting up a monthly gift is a simple, effective way to make a long-term impact:

A $10 monthly gift would provide 3 children with a book a month for a year—or provide training to an early childhood professional to improve child-care center quality, giving children a direct path to educational success.

A $25 monthly gift would provide career training to help a neighbor get certified for a job that earns $6,300 more per year.

Give Today
little girl plays with blocks


little girl plays with blocks

When you advocate with United Way, you speak up and speak out to strengthen our community. We educate public officials, and others, on how education, income and health policies impact our community and we advocate to expand opportunities and drive systemic change. For example, our advocacy efforts led to increased childcare quality through enhanced training requirements for early childhood professionals, potentially improving early education outcomes for more than 466,000 children in our region. With the Texas legislature in session, now is the time for us to join together and make our voices heard.

Sign Up for Advocacy Alerts
two women volunteers pack books in boxes


two women volunteers pack books in boxes

When you volunteer with United Way, you invest in your community and make it a stronger, healthier place to live and work. We connect you with volunteer opportunities, events and campaigns that matter to you—so you can make a fulfilling impact right here at home. We invite you to join us at our upcoming virtual fair and/or sign up for Reading Day to inspire North Texas children with a love of learning.

Register to Volunteer

When we Live United, we change lives for the better. And you are a part of that generous, passionate and determined team of change-makers who are creating lasting change. Thank you for lifting up our community.

Yours Gratefully,

Jennifer Signature

Jennifer Sampson
McDermott-Templeton President and CEO

This article was published on: Jan 26, 2021