If the previous year has taught us anything, it’s that health plays a vital role in the well-being of our community. In fact, at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we believe health is so important that we’ve designated it as one of the building blocks of opportunity, along with education and income. With a focus on these three areas, we create, lead and invest in programs that deliver lasting results for North Texans.
To further our efforts of establishing a healthier, more vibrant community, we launched Aspire United 2030, a framework of 10-year goals developed in collaboration with community partners. The goals serve as our North Star to drive lasting change and advance racial equity in areas of education, income and health in North Texas.
In the area of health, our key focus is increasing the number of people with affordable health insurance. You may be surprised to learn how many of your North Texas neighbors are currently uninsured:
- 33 percent of LatinX residents
- 15 percent of Black residents
- 11 percent of Asian residents
- 8 percent of White residents
Together, we can change that. Our goal is to increase to 96 percent the number of North Texans with access to affordable health care by 2030.
Our Health-Related Advocacy and Programming
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is in a unique position to advocate for community health and wellness because we have the capabilities to mobilize stakeholders on both sides of the political aisle. With our network of connections and years of community activism, we hope to push through bipartisan legislation that can improve the lives of many North Texans.
Meanwhile, we also offer a wide range of programs to support healthy living, which is a key component of Aspire United 2030. By providing these opportunities, we strive to encourage healthy lifestyles and prevent family violence. These efforts are a long-term investment in the community and have a lasting impact for years to come.
For example, our Healthy Zone Schools program creates a health-conscious culture within local schools to improve academic performance and encourage habits for lifelong well-being. Thanks to this program, more than 170 schools in the area have the tools and resources to help their students achieve higher STARR passing rates and higher attendance rates.
Just Keep Livin Foundation is a program that empowers high school students in high-need communities with after-school fitness and wellness activities to encourage exercise, teamwork, gratitude, nutrition and community service. The program has served more than 500 students; 96 percent of those children increased or continued excellent school attendance, and 99 percent saw a boost in their grades and either improved or excelled in their school behavior.
Because United Way of Metropolitan Dallas knows that healthy lifestyles start at home, we also support a number of beneficial programs for parents and their children. This includes HOPES (Healthy Outcomes through Prevention & Early Support), a family violence prevention program, and the Texas Home Visiting Program for pregnant mothers and new parents.
HOPES gives local parents the resources, skills and instructions to create home environments in which children can thrive. As of 2019, 11,734 new parents had participated in the program’s shaken-baby prevention education course. Another 252 families received parenting education services, and 316 families got individualized, evidence-based home visiting services.
To support soon-to-be and new parents, the Texas Home Visiting Program matches individuals with trained home visitors that teach positive parenting strategies and how to prepare kids for kindergarten. Since 2012, more than 3,000 families have been positively affected by this program, with 80 percent of participating families increasing the time they spend on parent-child interaction.
Be Part of the Change in North Texas
Together, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the North Texas community can nurture healthier lifestyles for everyone. By providing people with the opportunity and access to achieve their full potential with healthy living habits, we make our city a better place for all.
Ready to get involved and lift up your community? Donate now to support the Aspire United 2030 goals and sign upfor our Advocacy Alerts to learn more about speaking up for health and wellness in our community.
This article was published on: May 20, 2021