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The Challenge

Let’s face it. These days, hard work is just not enough for many struggling individuals and families.

Many North Texans are stuck in a never-ending cycle of constant worry that a lack of education or needed job skills, one financial emergency, or the inability to access quality health care will be the last straw that sends everything tumbling down.

There is not a quick fix to create change that lasts. Not just one answer or one way to help our neighbors overcome their daily struggles. That’s why UWMD is creating long-term opportunities for North Texans by investing in three interconnected areas of life: education, financial stability, and health.

Breaking the cycles of school dropouts, poverty, and poor health in North Texas depends on engaging the entire community. To ensure lasting change, UWMD utilizes a five-pronged approach:



Identify the root causes of issues within our strategy areas of education, financial stability, and health.


Create game-changing impact by investing in solutions that are sustainable, scalable, and measurable.


Lead collaborative partnerships to develop much-needed programs to fill known critical gaps.


Invest in innovative social ventures to help us address old problems in new ways.


Advocate for public policy


Education is the cornerstone for success in work and in life – and it benefits the whole community! High school graduates earn more, are more engaged in their communities, and are more likely to raise kids who also graduate. By investing in programs that provide quality education for students of all ages, we’re investing in brighter prospects not just for ourselves or our children, but for the next generation as well.

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Local volunteers read to saldivar elementary k-5th grade students on Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Across our local communities, children who don’t receive a high-quality early childhood education are:


more likely to drop out of school


more likely to become a teen parent


more likely to never attend college

Across our local communities


f North Texas children do not attend preschool, even though early childhood education has been proven to impact lifelong success


children learn how to read up through 3rd grade. One in five children who read below grade level in 3rd grade go on to college.

Across our local communities


In 2012 in North Texas, only 32% of teenagers who took the ACT or SAT scored at the level indicating readiness for college


Less than ⅓ of U.S. eighth graders show proficiency in math and science, yet STEM jobs are expected to have nearly 2 million newly created positions available in the next 5 years

Among those between the ages of 18-24, dropouts were more than twice as likely as college graduates to live in poverty


Despite hard work, many of our North Texas neighbors are living paycheck to paycheck with no clear path to a more stable future. United Way helps create a pathway to financial stability by equipping people with tools to get and keep better jobs, keep more of what they earn, and save for their children’s futures.

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The café momentum program teaches formerly incarcerated juveniles the business of culinary arts

Across our local communities


poverty growth, while the City of Dallas' population grew by only 5% from 2001-2012


are one crisis away - such as loss of job or major illness - from slipping into poverty


of kids under the age of 18 live in poverty


Over 30% of single-mother households don’t earn enough to provide for their families

people in Dallas live in poverty despite having a job


Good health is critical to our ability to provide for our families and contribute to our communities. Expanding access to care for all ages, increasing availability of preventative care for healthy moms and babies, and promoting healthy behaviors like fighting obesity, preventing substance abuse, and eliminating domestic violence create a foundation for strong families and a thriving community.

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Kids at UWMD's health & wellness fair at klyde warren park receive free dental screenings

Across our local communities


of women in Dallas County receive no prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy


of children are obese or overweight


of Texas women are victims of family violence


of children of abused women are also physically abused


of food-insecure children ages 0-3 have a greater chance of having health reported as fair to poor


of emergency visits were preventable or avoidable

The challenges facing our community are real. So, who can fix them? This is where you expect us to say that United Way is the answer. But the reality is that YOU are the answer. Nobody knows North Texas quite like you do. Together, we can create a movement to build a stronger North Texas for future generations. We’re counting on you to do your part and help #UniteDallas. Are you up to the challenge? Join us.


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