MAY 2012 eNewsletter OUR WEBSITE ABOUT US SUBSCRIBE

IN THIS ISSUE:

Eastside Promise Neighborhood Community Update May 8

WLC Legislative Luncheon May 22

Join Us in Celebrating Volunteerism June 28!

Crowd of 10,000 Enjoys Kids Day in the Park

Blue Ribbon Task Force Holds Block Walk

Zachry Volunteers Conduct Day of Caring

SA Youth Commission Volunteers Spruce Up East Side

Spurs Sports & Entertainment's Volunteers are Superstars

United Way Receives Chairman's Pinnacle Award

San Antonio KIDS COUNT Briefing

Help is as Easy as Calling 2-1-1

STORY OF HOPE
Goodwill Helps Kenny Go from Imprisonment to Empowerment

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Eastside Promise Neighborhood Community Update May 8

Everyone is invited to attend a community update meeting on San Antonio's Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) on Tuesday, May 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Antioch Sports Complex, 314 Eross. City officials, including District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, neighborhood parents, and Eastside Promise Neighborhood Ambassadors, will be on hand to provide an update on progress to-date as well as future initiatives to improve and revitalize San Antonio's Eastside neighborhoods. Officials from the Mayor's office will address the shared link between EPN strategies and the goals of SA 2020. Topics will include school readiness, academic proficiency, high school and college degree attainment, 21st century learning tools, student health, and community safety. Please plan to attend this important meeting as United Way helps facilitate work to successfully support our youth from cradle to college to career in stable and vibrant neighborhoods. United Way's Women's Leadership Council will present a $50,000 check to help sponsor the five-year goals of the initial Federal grant awarded in 2011. For more information, please contact Henrietta Munoz at hmunoz@unitedwaysatx.org.

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WLC Legislative Luncheon May 22

United Way's Women's Leadership Council invites you to attend the “Preview to the 83rd Legislative Session” on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at the Sally Cheever Girl Scout Leadership Center, 811 Coker Loop Rd. Featured speaker is Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as well as members of the Bexar County Delegation. Click here to register online. The luncheon is graciously underwritten by Silver Eagle Distributors. For more information contact Rhonda Spurlock Dahlke at rsdahlke@unitedwaysatx.org.

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Join Us in Celebrating Volunteerism June 28

The Volunteer Center at United Way is planning a great event in celebration of community volunteers! The “Night of a Thousand Stars” will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2012, and over 100 "stars" will shine under the spotlight as we honor volunteer accomplishments. There will be music, an exciting presentation honoring the nominees, great food and heart-warming stories. Plan to join us as we celebrate and honor the volunteers who give of their time to make our community a better place. To register, please click here. For more information, please visit our website or contact Esther Cantu at ecantu@unitedwaysatx.org.

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Crowd of 10,000 Enjoys Kids Day in the Park

Kids Day in the Park, a free event for parents and children 10 and under, was held on Saturday, April 21, at San Pedro Springs Park. Over 10,000 people enjoyed learning activities, snack booths, art projects, and games -- all in the great outdoors. Stage performances, mascots and other surprises rounded out the beautiful South Texas day of fun. A special thanks to over 400 volunteer workers, Emcee Sen. Carlos Uresti, and the Blue Ribbon Task Force. Kids' Day was presented by United Way, KLRN, San Antonio Association for the Education of Young Children, and the City of San Antonio. Co-sponsors were United Way's Women's Leadership Council, San Antonio Parks and Recreation Dept. and others contributing time and in-kind donations.

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Blue Ribbon Task Force Holds Block Walk

San Antonio's Blue Ribbon Task Force, founded by Senator Carlos Uresti, works to provide a haven for parents to get much needed support, and ultimately develop a safe world for all children that is free from abuse and neglect. On Saturday, April 14, 30 people participated in a block walk on San Antonio's East Side, reaching out to 423 homes by distributing bags filled with a variety of information from child abuse prevention tips to child care and assistance programs. Unfortunately, child abuse cases, removals and fatalities have risen in Bexar County since 2008. The block walk was sponsored this year by United Way's Children's Issue Council.

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Zachry Volunteers Conduct Successful Day of Caring

Zachry Holdings, Inc. conducted its annual Days of Caring project on Friday, April 13, at the Children's Shelter, a United Way Partner agency located at the corner of Woodlawn and St. Cloud on San Antonio's West Side. Zachry's enthusiastic “Care Team” volunteers completed landscaping for a new bike path, planted trees along the path, constructed 12 raised beds, placed sod and assembled soccer goals. Thank you, Zachry Care Team volunteers, for all of the great work!

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SA Youth Commission Volunteers Spruce Up East Side

Members of the San Antonio Youth Commission held a “Youth Day of Service” on Saturday, April 21, landscaping, laying sod, and sprucing up the KaBOOM! playground at the East Side's Ella Austin Community Center, a United Way partner agency and the new home to the Eastside Promise Neighborhood initiative. The Commission gives young people the opportunity to be a part of their community and to get involved with many issues facing today's youth. Thank you for improving our neighborhoods!

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Spurs Sports & Entertainment's Volunteers are Superstars

While our San Antonio Spurs and Rampage are in the midst of playoffs, the Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) staff is behind-the-scenes staying active in the community! SS&E recently reported to the Volunteer Center at United Way that its 250 employees logged over 3,600 hours and that 100 percent participated. The Volunteer POSSE (People of Spurs Sports & Entertainment) is SS&E's volunteer corps. POSSE Committee member Matt Benson noted, “We spend so much time here at work, so going out to volunteer in the community not only serves as a team builder but also it also keeps things in perspective for our staff.” Members of the POSSE are committed to volunteering during work hours, after hours, and on weekends--their families also help out. A “traveling trophy” is part of a quarterly award given to an employee based on hours served. “Our community takes such pride and ownership of the Spurs franchise, and we believe it's our responsibility to give back in any way we can,” Rich Pych, SS&E President of Business Operations said. Photo: Rick Pych (right) awards the Volunteer of the Quarter trophy to Cindy Ricketts. To feature your volunteer group, please contact Leslie Sapadin at lsapadin@unitedwaysatx.org or click here to submit your company's volunteer tracking report.

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United Way Receives Chairman's Pinnacle Award

Big Brothers Big Sisters, a United Way partner agency, recently awarded United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County the Chairman's Pinnacle Award. United Way staff members have stepped up to join the Mayor and San Antonio corporations as part of the Inspire U youth mentoring program. United Way staff will mentor at Wheatley Middle School located in the Eastside Promise Neighborhood. Inspire U is a unique mentoring program that matches volunteers with middle and high school youth to help them become the first in their family to attend college. They are supported with career and college building activities. As a result of United Way's investment in mentoring, Big Brothers and Big Sisters helps local youth avoid risky behavior, make good decisions and stay in school. Youth who face environmental cycles of poverty, abuse, failure, drop out, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, and incarceration are matched with mentors for positive support and guidance. During 2011, Big Brothers Big Sisters' volunteer and family enrollment team conducted 1,689 interviews, 1,052 background checks, 3,034 references were contacted and 823 new matches were made. Thank you, Big Brothers Big Sisters for making a BIG difference in San Antonio.  "My little and I have been matched for over six months and we are doing fantastic! It has been a wonderful journey for both of us. Thank you for everything! Thank you for all your help," says Big Sister Ada Layda Pay and her Little Sister Jenette Gomez.

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San Antonio KIDS COUNT Briefing

The Center for Public Policy Priorities recently hosted “Choices: The State of Texas Children 2012.” Texas Kids Count Director Frances Deviney, Ph.D., addressed how kids are doing in Bexar County and across Texas. The State of Texas Children annual data book is part of the KIDS COUNT Project, a national and state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children. Texas KIDS COUNT provides data on more than 70 measures of child well being and is a resource to help create, implement, and encourage good policy and effective services to better the lives of Texas children. There was also a panel of community experts discussing the effect public policy choices have on the lives of Bexar County families. For additional information, please click here.

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Help is as Easy as Dialing 2-1-1

We all need a little help at some time in our lives. Or perhaps a friend or loved one has turned to you for a helping hand. United Way's 2-1-1 Help Line provides help for today – and hope for tomorrow. Calling 2-1-1 is free and confidential. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. The United Way 2-1-1 Call Center is staffed by trained and certified call specialists, including Spanish-speaking representatives. You can make a connection to community services such as food and clothing, legal help, medical care, employment, child care, housing, utility bill assistance, and more. To communicate with a Call Specialist, dial 2-1-1 or (210) 227-HELP (4357) anytime--day or night.

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Goodwill Helps Kenny Go from Imprisonment to Empowerment

“I grew up on San Antonio's West side where you see a lot of sad things; stuff that doesn't make you happy about where you are. My mom was very protective of me, but after a while I started running the streets with the wrong people. I got involved with drugs and ended up in prison. By then, I was now a husband, father and hit a transition point in my life.  I had to start making better decisions.

While behind bars, I was blessed to be introduced to the programs offered at Goodwill.  It gave us hope on rebuilding our lives and made me think, ‘man, I can do something different.' When asked what I wanted to do, I told them about barber's school. I was connected with a program to help pay for school while on the job. Goodwill even helped me get a loan to open my very own barbershop! I don't know where I would be without the blessings of Goodwill.  God, my family and Goodwill never gave up on me.”

Goodwill helps change lives through the power of work. Goodwill San Antonio was founded in 1945 on the South Side of San Antonio. Since then, the United Way partner agency has expanded to serve the entire city and beyond, including New Braunfels, Seguin and Laredo.

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United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County • 700 S. Alamo • (210) 352-7000 • San Antonio, TX 78205

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