For almost 100 years, United Way of the Mid-South has served the people of the greater Memphis metro area. People in Arkansas (Crittenden County), Mississippi (DeSoto, Tate, and Tunica counties), and Tennessee (Fayette, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton counties) benefit from the services this nonprofit provides that are designed to help break the cycle of generational poverty. Currently, 15.4% of people and 23.7% of children under 18 in the area that United Way of the Mid-South serves live in poverty. United Way of the Mid-South serves as a bridge between people who need a helping hand and assisting organizations.
Driving the Dream, a 2Gen Tennessee program partner, is helping to connect the dots between individuals and organizations. By making these connections, individuals and families can find the specific services they need to move out of poverty and see their dreams come true. These high-impact organizations are focused on helping to advance families in Memphis from poverty to prosperity and recognize that each family’s needs look different. While one family might need help finding overnight childcare, another family might need help finding reliable transportation. With the Driving the Dream program, United Way of the Mid-South focuses on fostering a community where the people served can become hopeful, resilient, and self-sufficient.
In cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, United Way of the Mid-South formed the Free Tax Prep program in 2002. The Free Tax Prep program is a coalition of various local businesses, nonprofit agencies, members of the faith-based community, and the public sector who work together to raise awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), provide free income tax preparation and electronic filing for individuals and families, and promote financial literacy and savings. Last year, United Way of the Mid-South’s Free Tax Prep helped bring in over $14 million in refunds and helped Mid-South residents claim over $4.65 million in Earned Income Tax Credits.
The Community Impact Fund plays a pivotal role in how United Way of the Mid-South creates community change and frees people from generational poverty. The Community Impact Fund unites donations from people, businesses, community organizations, private foundations, nonprofits, and agencies to create a fund that can help address major social issues. By uniting donations and volunteer efforts from both individuals and organizations, United Way of the Mid-South is able to create collaborative solutions to social issues that will have a long-term impact on the Mid-South community.
This holiday season, spend time speaking with your families on the importance of helping your fellow Mid-South neighbors. Whether it’s $5 of allowance money, a significant year-end donation, or a parent volunteering to help prepare another family’s taxes, children need to see that all donations make a difference and will help change the Mid-South.