Tell your story.

Many local businesses and organizations request United Way speakers during their annual fundraising campaigns. Each speaker is unique and brings with them a personal story of their involvement with United Way. If you would like to tell your story or lend your voice to engage potential donors and volunteers, please contact Jessica Young

Public policy

Our 2016 Policy priorities are designed to help ALICE - Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed: the 39% of people in Kent County who are working and paying taxes, but still struggling to make ends meet. 

Michigan 2-1-1

ALICE needs an easy, non-bureaucratic mechanism to connect with faith-based, nonprofit, and public resources to address their basic needs before those needs become costly emergencies. Our 2-1-1 website, app, and hotline connect people with a statewide database of the available health and human services they need during difficult times.

Earned Income Tax Credit

Reductions in tax credits, especially the EITC, Child Tax Credit, and Homestead Tax Credit, widen the income gap for ALICE households. Our Kent County Tax Credit Coalition works to increase stability in ALICE households and advocates for the restoration of the state Earned Income Tax Credit.

Pre-K and Early Childhood Education Programs

When ALICE’s children lack access to quality care and education before they go to kindergarten, they can fall behind, and some children who fall behind early never catch up. Early investment can help prevent future burden on the education system and other social services.

High Quality K-12 Education

Kids from ALICE households cannot prepare for a successful career and life without a quality education. ALICE student achievement and reading by third grade depends upon support for high standards, improved teacher quality, and excellent schools.

Post-Secondary Education and Workforce Development

Without opportunities for post-secondary education or training, members of ALICE households become trapped in minimum wage jobs. Adults who cannot make a good living cannot significantly contribute to Michigan’s economy.