At United Way of Olmsted County, our mission is to unite people and resources to improve lives in our community. We do this in a variety of ways: We operate programs and shared resources that support the community; work collaboratively with partners from many organizations and walks of life to create systems change; and provide financial, technical, and volunteer support for programs that make a difference.
We fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community—the building blocks of a good quality of life—so that every person can reach their full potential, no matter their age or stage of life. We strengthen systems to build a community where all people can thrive, regardless of race or place.
When we unite behind a common cause, with a common vision, lives are improved and our community is strengthened.
Nicole is the School Readiness Supervisor for Rochester Public Schools - Preschool. During her 24 years here in Olmsted County, she has deeply woven herself into the community and United Way’s work including holding a position on the Advocacy Volunteer Team as well as being an active member of the Board of Directors. She said, "If one single person is trying to make a difference, it can get exhauasting and overwhelming and feel like an uphill battle. But if we are together as a community, moving in the same direction, we're able to really make substantial changes."
Lap and his family immigrated to Olmsted County 12 years ago. He shared, "I remember my teachers telling me that there was access to mobile dental clinics, that there were people willing to help me out and connect me with resources that will provide me with free school supplies." He recently graduated from John Marshall High School, a Full-Service Community School, and is about to go to Harvard! Lap knows the power of opportunity and hopes to be an advocate for economic prosperity and international relations.
Sahal and his family have lived in Olmsted County and the Meadow Park neighborhood for many years. He is a well-known and sought after advocate for new-comers in the neighborhood, as well as a dedicated volunteer with the Meadow Park Initiative. "I help out the community when it comes to rides to the clinic, to go grocery shopping, or doctor appointments, school, or whatever resources and services they need," Sahal shared. "I got help from the people who were here before me, I want to make sure I give back to the community."
Lance is a single-father of four that just wanted what was best for his kids, but wasn’t sure where to start. With no job or money to his name, he sought answers. With help from United Way and programs like Head Start, Lance was able to get his kids prepared for school and he was able to return to the workforce. He is now an entrepreneur and exploring the idea of starting his own non-profit for other single-fathers.
Just like Madi and Danielle, many families across Olmsted County struggle financially and feel isolated because of it. With help from United Way of Olmsted County and partners like the Civic League Day Nursery, her daughter Madi received valuable early childhood education that has prepared her for Elementary school.
Rosetta is a single mother of 5 who moved to Rochester to find a safer place for her family.
Struggling to find stability, Rosetta called Family Promise. They were able to help her obtain temporary housing, as well as Head Start services. She has overcome many barriers by participating in life skills, parenting training, and expanding her financial literacy. With support made possible by United Way, Rosetta is on the path to home ownership.