2019-2020 Live United Report

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4 10 14 20 2


65 Years of Connecting


Fighting for Health, Education & Financial Stability

Expanding our Resources


Responding to Pressing Needs

Recognizing our Investors


Advocating, Acting & Innovating

Serving the Greater Community


Improving our Infrastructure

Our Journey

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT/CEO AND BOARD CHAIR In this Annual Report, we look closely at the impact of our efforts, not just for 2019-20, but for five years. Why? To evaluate and convey the breadth of our work. This is especially important when considered through the lens of today’s environment. It is being said that these are unprecedented times, but at United Way of St. Johns, we choose to focus instead on the precedent. Year after year, there is a need for our work in our community. We believe that today’s issues clearly remind us just how fragile we are as individuals – our most vulnerable neighbors, our seniors, our school children – many need our help now more than ever. At United Way of St. Johns, we believe that our strength is in the work we do together, collaboratively, in our community. It is abundantly apparent that we must remain focused on breaking cycles that prevent our neighbors, co-workers and family members from achieving success. We all win when a child goes to school well rested and fed, is successful in school and later enters the workforce prepared to care for his or her own family. Throughout our history, United Way has engaged passionate people to make a difference in their community by building partnerships that multiply impact. As an organization, we’ve built the largest global community of donors, advocates and volunteers who fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. The result is more children reading at grade level, more people living healthier lives, and more families emerging from poverty. United Way of St. Johns finds and invests in programs that offer solutions to local challenges. Every dollar we raise makes a true and significant impact here in our community be it Pomona Park or Ponte Vedra, Interlachen or Armstrong. We do this by collaborating with our partners – nonprofits, businesses, elected officials, faith leaders, and you. Your involvement and support is amplified through these relationships, through meaningful volunteer opportunities and through your contributions addressing causes that matter. For those that are not already involved, we invite you to join our fight. For those that are, we cannot thank you enough! We think you will agree that although the times may be unprecedented, our mission is not. Together, we can do so much more. Melissa Nelson, President/CEO | Bev Slough, Board Chair

STAFF Melissa Nelson President/CEO Jenny Harvey Director of Community Impact Becca Crum Director of Finance Lorie Shvets Director of Communications Dawn Infanti Director of Donor Relations Richard Bashaw Administrative Staff Na’Tiece Anderson Administrative Assistant Chase Rocker Marketing


CONNECTING IN OUR COMMUNITY NEARLY 65 YEARS OF SERVICE AND COUNTING. The brand of United Way of St. Johns has updated, our work has not. We’re the only nonprofit in our community that is charged with bringing people together from all walks of life to be part of local solutions. We bring together businesses, organizations, faith-based groups, government and individuals around a common cause, a common vision, and a common path forward. Our Board of Directors is local and diverse. We rely on our Board, along with our community of volunteers, to identify and respond to the most pressing needs in our community. We partner with nonprofit agencies, large and small, that focus on health, education, and financial stability. We work with our school districts, local law enforcement agencies, city and county governments, churches, and civic groups. The list is long. Some of these outstanding partners are listed on the next page.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bev Slough, Chair Dick Williams, Campaign Chair Lori Brandel, Community Impact Chair Milt Nuckols, Treasurer Joy Andrews Mark Bailey Suzanne Brown Matt Cline Kelly Green Glenn Guest Steve Hill Brittany Keith Gina Mangus Jay Owen Joe Pickens Susan Ponder-Stansel John Regan


MISSION To positively impact lives in Putnam and St. Johns Counties. VISION To inspire and lead a community united in providing transformative health, education and financial stability for all generations by collaborating with donors, partners and volunteers.


FIGHTING FOR EVERY PERSON EVERY DAY THROUGH COMMUNITY IMPACT. Every day, United Way is making a difference. We bring resources like Emergency Food and Shelter funding, prepare hundreds of tax returns for free through our RealSense program, advocate and respond to issues or needs in our community by holding food drives to stock pantries, as well as distributions to respond to food insecurity. We are the fiscal agent for long-term recovery from disasters like Hurricane Matthew and Irma. Our small staff is made mighty by the passion of our volunteers. COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANTS – Investing in programs that make a difference. Annually, United Way invests in nonprofits by offering grants to agency programs that improve the lives of people right here in our community. We do this by harnessing the energy of nearly 100 trained volunteers in the spring to review grant applications, agency financials and program results with a goal to guarantee that every dollar allocated will have a personal and real impact. Over the past 5 years, United Way has distributed nearly 3 million dollars in Community Impact Grants to our 30 partner agencies.



2019-2020 Local Snapshot


Individuals/Families Improve Their Socioeconomic Status


individuals accessed affordable housing, financial products, and services

1,056 volunteers

IMAGINE THE STRESS OF BEING WEEKS FROM DELIVERY AMIDST THE COVID-19 QUARANTINE. Angela was told by her doctor to ensure a safe delivery of her baby, she had to take off time from work. Thankfully, she had an understanding employer and a job to return to, but she was still frightened. How would she make ends meet with no income? Luckily, Angela found support by connecting with United Way of St. Johns who assisted with the funds for her rent. Angela, finally able to rest, was able to focus on the impending arrival of her precious baby girl, Oakley, who arrived right on time, and is now happy, healthy and thriving. $156,000 INVESTED

financial sector staff trained to provide quality services


United Way community programs


individuals received job skills training


tax returns prepared at no cost to the client



tax refunds returned to individuals/families ÂŽ through VITA and/or MyFreeTaxes

of individuals gained employment


RealSense volunteer hours

Š 2018 United Way Worldwide | IP-0518



tons of food donated to local food pantries Data are representative of individuals/families served by United Way.


CHILDHOOD & YOUTH SUCCESS 2019-2020 Local Snapshot


Children Enter School Ready and Are Successful in Primary School. Youth Gain the Knowledge, Skills and Credentials to Obtain Family-Sustaining Employment


four-year-old children served

1,210 volunteers

in Voluntary Pre-K programs

GRADUATING FROM ST. AUGUSTINE HIGH SCHOOL IS USUALLY A TIME FOR CELEBRATION, BUT IT WAS ANYTHING BUT NORMAL FOR THE CLASS OF 2020. With the pandemic shutting doors faster than she could open them, Na’Tiece was ready for the next step. Thanks to a grant from WorkStarter, an organization started by retired local businessman Scott Branch and his wife Barbara, she joined the staff of United Way of St. Johns. Na’Tiece is getting valuable work experience, the nonprofit gains a much-needed extra pair of hands and the staff at United Way is thrilled with the addition of Na’Tiece to the team!



children served in the School Readiness program

United Way community programs

84.5% 8

of K-3 students reading at grade level

of youth served graduated high school on time


families provided with resources and training


of children achieved developmental milestones Data are representative of individuals/families served by United Way.

© 2018 United Way Worldwide | IP-0518


$108,000 INVESTED


2019-2020 Local Snapshot


Individuals/Families Have Access to Healthcare and Improve Their Health



individuals participated in physical activity and/or healthy food access/nutrition programs


WITH MULTIPLE FAMILY MEMBERS TESTING POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, IT SEEMED LIKE THINGS WERE CAVING IN AND JAMIE DIDN’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN. Around Easter time, with both parents unable to work, they were facing bills with no way to pay. Jamie reached out to United Way of St. Johns for resources, connections and help. Sharing the family situation, she worked with United Way and partners like Catholic Charities to bring the family current in their bills. Also, thanks to the referral, Jamie landed a new job doing census work. Jamie and her family are back on their feet, in good health and looking ahead to better times.



health sector staff trained to provide quality services


United Way community programs

saved on prescription medication through the FamilyWize program

individuals accessed healthcare services and support


individuals accessed health insurance


of program partners collaborate for unduplicated services Data are representative of individuals/families served by United Way.

Š 2018 United Way Worldwide | IP-0518


$206,000 INVESTED


REALSENSE PROVIDING FREE TAX PREP AND FINANCIAL LITERACY INSTRUCTION. A success story each year since inception, United Way offers free tax preparation to individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. While saving the cost of tax preparation and appropriately claiming tax credits for which they are eligible, our working families are well served by dedicated volunteers instead of being targeted by predatory lenders. Financial Literacy classes complete the program. United Way of St. Johns has been able to file about 1,600 tax returns and save over $1,920,000 for our community in the past 4 years. The key component for success is our amazing volunteers who have given 3,966 hours of their time to assist our community.

“What a wonderful experience. Chris who did our return really knew what she was doing. We had several matters that needed to be addressed and she took care of them. We will be back again and again.” – Mary and Andy Bell


2017 125 Taxes Filed $150,000 Net Impact 789 Volunteer Hours

2018 311 Taxes Filed $300,000 Net Impact 1,041 Volunteer Hours

2019 658 Taxes Filed $750,000 Net Impact 913 Volunteer Hours

2020 504 Taxes Filed $721,000 Net Impact 1,223 Volunteer Hours

EMPTY STOCKING FUND FILLING STOCKINGS AND STOMACHS. Many families in St. Johns County must choose between putting presents under the tree or keeping the lights on. In 2018, United Way stepped in to continue the decades-old community tradition that allows parents and guardians to give their children gifts and provide meals for a joyful holiday season. The Empty Stocking Fund also benefits our elderly community who have no family support during their senior years. 2018 $105,000 Distributed to 538 Families/Seniors 2019 $104,550 Distributed to 550 Families/Seniors

FAMILYWIZE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS TO INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES. United Way is pleased to offer the FamilyWize Prescription Drug Discount card to increase the health and financial stability of families in our area. The card is free, has no enrollment/activation fees, no age or income restrictions, and can be used by the whole family. For those with or without insurance, Medicare or other benefit plans, it is accepted at most pharmacies nationwide. Average discounts equal approximately 30 percent or more. 2018 2019

5,025 people saved $404,149 5,285 people saved $428,866


RESPONDING TO FOOD INSECURITY STOCKING SHELVES THROUGH DRIVES AND DISTRIBUTIONS. With increased demand due to COVID-19, many local food pantries found their shelves bare. United Way partnered with St. Johns County to host two “drive-thru� food drives. Over 47,000 lbs. of food, 290 volunteer hours and 1,200 donors helped restock 22 critically-low local food pantries in St. Johns County. At the same time, eight Putnam County pantries were provided $23,000 in microgrants to respond to similar needs. Another collaboration between United Way, local chefs, the City of St. Augustine, St. Johns River State College and others led to the distribution of 7,800 boxes of fresh produce meal kits, with each box feeding four people for five days, totaling 156,000 meals provided to St. Johns and Putnam County residents. These nine events relied on 171 volunteers donating 660 hours to be successful. United Way annually partners with the U.S. Postal Service to hold the largest food drive nationally. Every year, postal workers and United Way volunteers collect an average of 35 tons of food to stock our local pantries.


EDUCATING CHILDREN ADDING UP ASSISTANCE WITH MORE THAN SUPPLIES. With a focus on education and a partnership with the school district, United Way of St. Johns supports learning in our community at every opportunity, from collecting school supplies to leveraging corporate relationships. We advocate for the needs of students and educators by funding programs that impact learning. We work with guidance counselors, administrators, and teachers to respond to student homelessness, food insecurity, social service needs and more. A great example of our work is the relationship between United Way, Publix and INK! (Investing in Kids), which results in pallets of donated school supplies for our students every year. Supplies are stocked and readied for teachers at the beginning of the school year. Teachers identify student needs and request supplies. Meeting the Publix truck to offload supplies is one of the best ways to start the school year.



RECOGNIZING INVESTORS FOR MAKING LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS AND LOCAL IMPACT A REALITY. Every dollar donated to United Way of St. Johns makes a real and transformational impact that would not be possible without the generosity of our partners and investors. How do we know that lives are changed? Because at United Way, we focus on ALICE. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households are people we know and see every day, they are essential workers living one paycheck away from financial ruin and struggling to survive. They are the childcare worker at our daycare, the cashier at our supermarket, aging parents on Social Security, waiters & waitresses, office clerks, and others. Visit unitedway-sjc.org/alice for the full ALICE report. When we invest in keeping families in their homes, feeding children, and promoting learning, we impact not only lives today but in the future. Our strength is in the work done alongside our investors, partners, and our volunteers. Since 1957, we have raised and distributed over $25 million dollars to programs focusing on the ALICE population in our community. With natural disasters like hurricanes, or the current pandemic, combined with a surging state population, the need increases each year. Our investors are an integral part of the solution. $1,630,731

$1,616,319 $1,286,249 $1,301,530 $1,192,194

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Publix Super Markets Charities

Publix Super Markets

Patricia Pierce

Ring Power Corporation

Ring Power Corporation

Stephen Buente

Wells Fargo

St. Johns County School District

Mr. & Mrs. Robert J. Darretta

NextEra Energy Foundation


T. Glenn Stastny

American Endowment Foundation

Deloitte & Touche

Col. Charles & Fran Myers, III

Johnson & Johnson

Allen & Delores Lastinger

Council on Aging

Randal & Paula Ringhaver

VyStar Credit Union

Dr. Roy F. Clark

Wells Fargo

Gerald & Polly Dirvin


Jeff & Mary Ann Parsons

The Hutson Companies Advanced Disposal Georgia-Pacific Foundation Truist Bank Burkhardt Sales & Service

Many thanks to our partners in area Rotary Clubs for their generous financial support of our projects and community work including the Born Learning Trail Grant. On behalf of the community, many thanks also for the COVID-19 Gift Card Program.


GIVERS GALA CELEBRATING PHILANTHOPY IN ST. JOHNS COUNTY. In what has become an annual sell-out, the Givers Gala packs the house with donors, advocates and volunteers with the intent to recognize ALL givers, not just those that support United Way. “Together, we applaud the value of philanthropic giving and its impact in our community,” said Bev Slough, Chairman of the Board. “We celebrate what happens when those in our midst choose to be a game changer, a hand raiser, a problem solver.” Although the tone of the event is festive, there is a commitment to honoring the message of leadership, altruistic actions and transformational giving. Amidst the fun and fundraising, inspirational leaders are recognized for their generosity and commitment to improving the lives of those in our community.





Corporate Award Ring Power Corporation

Nonprofit Award Alpha-Omega Miracle Home

Nonprofit Award Early Learning Coalition

Trailblazer Award Steve & Christine Chapman

Corporate Award Publix Super Markets

Corporate Award Florida Power & Light

Legacy Award Allen & Delores Lastinger

Trailblazer Award Gregory B. White

Trailblazer Award Doug & Courtney Murr

Emerging Philanthropist Award Jeff Young

Legacy Award Randal & Paula Ringhaver

Legacy Award Col. Charles & Fran Myers, III

Emerging Philanthropist Award Jim & Kathy Lobinsky

The Nancy Burns Emerging Philanthropist Award Meredith Pearson

The John & Peggy Bailey Community Leadership Award Joseph & Jane Boles

The John & Peggy Bailey Community Leadership Award Brookes & Cathy Burkhardt

Join us in celebrating the actions of these individuals and businesses!


WOMEN UNITED POWERFUL WOMEN DOING POWERFUL THINGS. Hosting lively luncheon events since inception, Women United has welcomed 200+ attendees and inspirational speakers who have harnessed passion to be agents of change in their community. Outstanding speakers include UN Ambassador Nancy Soderberg; Cathy Parker, subject of the upcoming movie, Northern Lights; and Lisa Delaney, Senior VP and Chief Content Officer at AMG/Parade, the most widely read magazine in the U.S. In 2019, a panel of powerful women took the stage to focus on the work of United Way – Health, Education and Financial Stability – with speakers Pam Stewart, Commissioner for the Florida Department of Education; Alex Sink, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and Gina Mangus of Flagler Health+. 2015 Awarded $16,000 to Early Learning Coalition and Catholic Charities 2016 Awarded $12,000 to Wildflower Clinic and Children’s Home Society 2018 Awarded $13,000 to Catholic Charities Weekend Backpacks and Food4Kids 2019 Awarded $16,000 to the Empty Stocking Fund


CREATIVELY GROWING OUR WORK ADVOCATING, ACTING AND INNOVATING WHEREVER POSSIBLE. Much of United Way’s work doesn’t fit neatly in a category like Campout for a Cause. Planned as part fundraiser – part brand builder – part advocacy event, one evening under the stars achieved all goals. With 28 families unrolling sleeping bags and popping up tents, the campfire discussion addressed what it meant to sleep outdoors, not because you want to but because you have to. Children were introduced to the idea that their classmates might not have a bed, pillow or even a sleeping bag. Parents brainstormed ways to end homelessness. In October, United Way benefited from a philanthropic event that combined professional abilities with team building. Instead of holding a traditional anniversary event, local firm Design Extensions’ 20th Anniversary Event donated 20 hours of expert marketing and web design to United Way! Our website was completely rebuilt, press releases were written, invitations were designed, videos were shot, social media was created and donations were collected. An added benefit at the end of a very long day, which tallied a generous contribution of $35,000 in value, the professional team were confirmed advocates of an organization they now avidly support. United Way of St. Johns seeks opportunities to bring together corporate or organizational goals with community needs. Identifying team-building volunteer or advocacy opportunities that make a measurable difference requires creativity, commitment, and a connection to the most pressing needs in the community. All are boxes United Way of St. Johns can check. Pitch us your need or idea!


SERVING PUTNAM & ST. JOHNS COUNTIES ISSUES DON’T STOP AT COUNTY LINES. In 2019, United Way of St. Johns responded to the request to expand, “Fill the void created with no United Way presence in Putnam County.” This required rebuilding relationships and raising funds while forging new partnerships. Success is seeing the impact work take place. In little more than a year since the May announcement, there is reason to celebrate. United Way has: • Worked with historic partners to ensure involvement of ten certified partner agencies. • Funded nearly $23,000 in repair work for homes damaged during the prior hurricane. (See Ms. Annie’s story on back cover.) • Coordinated volunteers for hands-on projects like the beautification of SMA Healthcare in March and the fresh food distributions at St. Johns River State College in June. • Funded $23,000 in microgrants to eight food pantries impacted by COVID-19 in April.


• Worked with partners to advocate for significant support from Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund: Bread of Life, Catholic Charities, Epic-Cure, Feed the Need, Hunger Fight, Lee Conlee House, Putnam Habitat for Humanity, and Palatka Christian Service Center. Also, for multi-county organizations serving Putnam: Farm Share, Feeding Northeast Florida, ElderSource, American Red Cross, and Salvation Army.

PARTNER AGENCIES SERVING PUTNAM COUNTY 2-1-1 | American Red Cross Early Learning Coalition Catholic Charities | Lee Conlee House Girl Scouts of Gateway Council Putnam Habitat | Learn to Read North Florida Council of Boy Scouts St. Johns Housing Partnership



In 2018, an immediate investment in the infrastructure of United Way was required. Although nearby neighbors were flooded by Hurricane Matthew, United Way offices were spared. Less than a year later when Hurricane Irma blew through, luck did not hold. Although staff continued to address the needs of the community while working on bare concrete floors, the Board of Directors initiated a capital campaign for required repairs, the first in nearly 25 years. Generous partners funded the entirety of the needed work and minor renovations, and celebrated the increased capacity for community impact. SPECIAL THANKS TO THESE MAJOR DONORS: Auld & White Constructors | Arnett Heating and Air David Alban | Travis Cummings | Brad & Melissa Nelson The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida Central Bank | Danis Construction | Flagler College Fisher Koppenhafer Architecture and Interior Design Hurley Haywood & Steve Hill | Wes & Bev Slough The Patti Shrader Memorial Fund Rotary Club of St. Augustine | The Hutson Companies








23 Tons of Food Collected During Stamp Out Hunger


Nearly 200 Thanksgiving Meals served in Armstrong



National Red Nose Day Raised Funds Locally

Hurricane Irma Response Begins




Celebrated 60 Year Anniversary

Participated with over 2 Million Readers Nationally for Read for the Record


2nd Annual Women United Luncheon Sells Out


Restored Home with Partner Home Depot



2 Tons of Food Collected at December to Remember Nights of Lights


Art Advocacy Exhibit Displayed in St. Johns County Rotunda



Nearly 100 Community Impact Volunteers Visited Partners



Hurricane Matthew Response Begins

St. Johns County Sheriff “Beards for a Cause”

Sebastian Middle School Art Students Painted Fence

United Way Worldwide Visited St. Augustine & Awarded Funds






First Born Learning Trails in County Parks

First WorkStarter Grant Secured

Two Hurley Haywood Film Festival Events Raised 50K+ in One Day

Volunteers Stocked Little Free Libraries

2nd Holiday Season of Empty Stocking Fund with United Way

Rocked the Pantries with SJC Food Drives








5 Pallets of School Supplies Delivered

Partnered with City, College, Chefs for COVID Food Distributions


Inaugural Givers Gala

Released COVID Microgrants to Putnam Food Pantries




Putnam Expansion Announced


Families Camped Out for a Cause

Over 200 Guests Welcomed at Renovation Celebration


Kicked Off RealSense Tax Assistance Program

Distributed Interim COVID Grants to Partners

The timeline above only highlights a few key events, many are annual or held frequently. Don’t miss the chance to join us. Visit unitedway-sjc.org today!


LIVE UNITED Storms are hard on everyone but especially our seniors. In her 90s, Ms. Annie Watts’ home was damaged by Hurricane Irma. With a kitchen and roof in need of repair, she didn’t know where to turn and had trouble getting help. It took partners like United Way, St. Johns Housing Partnership and Salvation Army to secure the $17,000 needed and complete the work to make her home safe and livable again. At United Way, the only hurricane news we want to hear is that Ms. Annie Watts is in her kitchen cooking up a storm. She says, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”


We fight for Ms. Annie, will you join us? Designate to United Way of St. Johns during your annual giving, visit unitedway-sjc.org or text Live United to 40403.

United Way of St. Johns County 117 Bridge Street | P.O. Box 1007 St. Augustine, FL 32085 904-829-9721 | unitedway-sjc.org


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