United Way SLO County Annual Report FY20-21

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A YEAR UNITED

Annual Report July 2020 - June 2021

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Mission & Vision................................................................... 3 Letter from CEO.................................................................... 4 Board and Volunteer Committees....................................... 5 Program Spotlights 211................................................................................... 6 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)..................... 7 COVID-19 Response....................................................... 8 KYXZ 107.9 Excellent Radio.......................................... 9 Youth Board...................................................................10 Stuff the Bus..................................................................11 The Real Cost Measure of CA......................................12 VolunteerSLO.org.......................................................... 13 Impact Areas by the Numbers Education...................................................................... 14 Financial Stability..........................................................16 Health............................................................................ 18 Community Strengthening........................................... 20 Financials Income.......................................................................... 22 Expenses....................................................................... 23 Thank You to Our Donors................................................... 24 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion........................................... 26 Our Team............................................................................ 27

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OUR MISSION AND VISION Our Mission To foster structural change by addressing root causes in order to safeguard the future of our community.

Our Vision A strong, healthy, compassionate community that gives youth the foundation to thrive and succeed.

Our stance on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

United Way of San Luis Obispo County recognizes the strength that results from a community of unique individuals. We embrace and celebrate the diversity of our community and are committed to integrity, inclusiveness, and service to our community with diligence and caring. We especially value the commitment and diversity of experience, ethnicity, socioeconomic conditions, geographic location, and professional background of our board, staff and volunteers in supporting the families, neighborhoods and communities that we serve. The board and staff shall be representative of the community we serve and encouraged to engage our community without discrimination. No individual shall be discriminated against on any basis, including but not limited to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, ancestry, veteran status, or status as a qualified disabled or handicapped individual. United Way relies on the board, staff, and volunteers for their dedication, expertise and judgment to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. We build on the diversity of people, their ideas and perspectives. Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what it means to LIVE UNITED.

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A LETTER FROM OUR CEO Over my lifetime I’ve witnessed much progress, but not without unintended consequences. One would think that hard work needs to be compensated with at least the means to meet basic needs. Turns out we are living during a time when 1/3 of California households struggle to make ends meet despite having at least one working member bringing home a paycheck. As we’ve been working our way through COVID, I’m reminded about a couple of children’s fables we have used in our high school financial literacy program over the years: The Ant and the Grasshopper, Three Little Pigs, and The Little Red Hen. The moral of all three stories leads to resiliency: the value of saving for rainy days, the value of hard work and perseverance, and the value of self-reliance. I’m old fashioned enough to believe that the values they profess still hold true. When I heard these stories in my youth, one thought that never occurred to me was that the moral of these stories can vary significantly depending on one’s identity and station in life. The 2021 Real Cost Measure by the United Ways of California correlates those variations by households. Upon review, you’ll discover that 33% of California households are not bringing home enough income to cover a barebones budget with nearly all the households having at least one person working. In San Luis Obispo County, about 26% of our households are struggling to make ends meet. The report is based on pre-COVID data through 2019. I was raised to believe that if I put my mind to almost anything, backed by hard work, some level of success would be in my future. Yet to this day, too many of us from all walks of life struggle to make ends meet. I find the “Heart Force” that needs to be foundational through the lens of equity, diversity and inclusion is still a work in progress. The Real Cost Measure reveals that a household of four with two adults and two children needs to bring home $86,000 a year to make ends meet here in San Luis Obispo County (A rather large nut to crack, especially for households living paycheck to paycheck). However, the report is not as precise when it comes to revealing all the structural barriers still embedded in various institutions and systems that have historically and insidiously discriminated against many of us who are living below the Real Cost Measure. Yes, we can obtain and sustain unity in our communities. But it will take more than just valuing the lessons offered by those children’s fables from days of old and those yet to be told. Thanks to our volunteers, donors, funders and staff, the following report offers a summary of United Way of San Luis Obispo County’s efforts over the 2020/21 fiscal year. Best wishes to all, Rick London

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OUR BOARD AND COMMITTEES

Top Row: Trish Avery-Caldwell, Jeff Brown, Brian Campbell, Jen Cusack, Greg Gillett, Jeff Hamm, Christine Robertson Bottom Row: Michael Hicks, Ved Kenjale, Natasha Mercurio, Wade O’Hagan, Jen Slosar, Cliff Stepp, Roger Frederickson

UWSLOC operates under the guidance of a volunteer board and 4 volunteer committees. We want to give a big thank you to all who serve on our committees! If you are interested in joining one of our committees, please contact us. Board of Directors Board Chair - Jeff Hamm Immediate Past Chair - Brian Campbell Treasurer/Finance Chair - Wade O’Hagan Secretary - Jeff Brown Vice Chair of Marketing - Cliff Stepp Vice Chair of Community Impact Trish Avery-Caldwell Vice Chair of Resource Development - Greg Gillett Youth Board President - Ved Kenjale Director at Large - Natasha Mercurio Christine Robertson Roger Frederickson Jen Slosar Jen Cusack Michael Hicks

Executive Committee Jeff Hamm Brian Campbell Wade O’Hagan Greg Gillett Trish Avery-Caldwell Cliff Stepp Natasha Mercurio

Finance Committee Wade O’Hagan Michael Hicks Jeff Brown Dave Bernhardt Tania Arnold Miller Newlon

Community Impact Committee Trish Avery-Caldwell Jeff Hamm Tom Kirkland Kyra Dykes Christine Robertson Roger Frederickson Brian Campbell

Marketing Committee Cliff Stepp Mariam Khan Jen Cusack Jennifer Slosar Darren Glenn Juan Carlos Herrera

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211 SLO COUNTY 211 is available 24/7 to answer the question “I need help, what should I do?”. By directing callers to the correct service, 211 reduces the amount of inappropriate calls to 911 and other services. Callers with immediate crisis or mental health needs are connected to an appropriate hotline via warm transfer, which means that callers do not need to hang up the phone while being transferred. 211 also helps streamline intake at social service organizations by informing callers of the services offered and intake process ahead of time.

7,633 Total Calls FY20-21

Top Caller Needs 1. Housing 2. Health/COVID Info 3. Mental Health 4. Utility Assistance 5. Legal Services 6. Food 7. Family Support 8. General Information 9. Transportation 10. Income Support

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READ THE FULL REPORT HERE


VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a free tax preparation service where clients can get their taxes prepared by an IRS-certified volunteer at no cost. In 2021, the IRS extended the filing deadline until May 17, 2021. UWSLOC is proud to be the only VITA site in SLO County that extended their service past the original filing deadline. During the season we filed a total of 182 returns, over 70 of which were filed after the original deadline. Why is VITA important? VITA helps filers claim important tax credits, such as the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), to return hard-earned dollars to the community. The CalEITC is one of the strongest anti-poverty measures in the nation, yet each year millions of dollars are left unclaimed. Our preparers ensure that each taxpayer receives all eligible credits to maximize their return.

182 Returns Over $250,000 Refunded to Taxpayers Over $36,000 in Fees Saved Filing with VITA* *Calculated assuming average cost of $200 to file with a tax professional.

Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Knowles We are beyond grateful for the help we received from Susan Knowles. Susan prepared over 140 tax returns for our clients, and is an indispensible asset to our VITA program. Thank you Susan! “2021 was a challenging year for us all. Cal Poly students were not available to furnish their normal excellent services because the in-person classes were cancelled. Providing free income tax services to low-income families through the VITA program with United Way would have come to a screeching halt if there was not a vision for changing how we operated. In a prior year the IRS had set up a “virtual” program but it was not well accepted by clients. However, in 2021 that system was our lifeline to providing services. We had an intake crew in Oceano who accepted documents, and a team of experienced volunteers to prepare and review each return before they were returned to the client in Oceano. Many thanks to the AARP volunteers who empowered us to extend preparation when the IRS extended the filing season. Overall, we prepared 182 returns for our community.” -Susan Knowles

LEARN MORE ABOUT VITA 7


COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORTS In 2021, UWSLOC partnered with the United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County to distribute over 55,000 masks and over 1,000 30 -oz. bottles of hand sanitizer.

Masks, Sanitizer, and other PPE is available periodically. Keep in touch to know when supplies are available!

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR COVID RELIEF PAGE 8

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KYXZ 107.9 EXCELLENT RADIO Excellent Radio (1995-98) was among the early pioneers of the movement to create a process by which communities could legally apply for positions on the publicly owned airwaves. The station was created as a model that became an inspiration to many other communities throughout the United States.

The new Excellent Radio is dedicated to fostering…. • Cross–Generational respect • Cultural Literacy • Recognition of the Libraries as the centerpiece of the community (The Commons) • Mentoring through United Way’s outreach programs of Health, Education and Income The creation of this station has a lot to do with the overall strengthening and educating our community for years to come.

LISTEN NOW

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YOUTH BOARD

The mission of the UWSLO Youth Board is to develop youth leadership and opportunities in the community by building awareness and making an impact through involvement in the United Way decision making process through awarding grants to local organizations.

United Way Future in Bloom Halpin Leadership Scholarship On behalf of the Youth Board, Board of Directors, staff and volunteers of United Way of SLO County we are excited to announce the inaugural winners of our United Way Future in Bloom Halpin Leadership Scholarship. CONGRATULATIONS to these two young leaders who demonstrated success and impact in academics, community service and outside activities.

Congratulations to Raise Up SLO, Paso Robles Youth Arts Center, Along Comes Hope, and RISE (now Lumina Alliance) for being our 2021 Youth Board Grant Awardees! Each organization was awarded $1,000 to support their programs for youth in SLO County! Isabella Osgood, SLO High School Awarded $1,000 Isabella now attends Yale University.

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Genevieve Dandurand, SLO High School Awarded $500 Genevieve now attends Stanford University.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUTH BOARD


STUFF THE BUS

$12,000 in school supplies donated to local school districts!

104 Backpacks distributed in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters SLO County.

LEARN MORE ABOUT STUFF THE BUS BIG Thank you to

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THE REAL COST MEASURE OF CA The federal government uses an outdated formula for calculating poverty —one that fails to take into account how much rent, transportation, healthcare, and other basic needs cost in California. Nearly one in three California families are struggling to cover their daily needs, according to a new study released by United Ways of California that defines which families struggle financially in California more accurately than the federal poverty level, and demonstrates that the current policy debates around child care, housing costs, and family tax credits are more urgent than ever.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT ON THE REAL COST MEASURE

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VOLUNTEERSLO.ORG

VolunteerSLO.org is a one stop shop for volunteer opportunities in San Luis Obispo County. Whether you are a volunteer looking for a way to help our community or an organization looking for an extra hand, VolunteerSLO is the place for you!

5,308 ACTIVE VOLUNTEERS 351 ACTIVE AGENCIES

464 RESPONSES TO OPPORTUNITIES 438 NEW VOLUNTEERS

Top 5 Volunteer Interests 1. Social Activities 2. Education 3. Animals 4. Food Prep 5. Physical Labor

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EDUCATION

Goal: For youth to gain the knowledg family-sustaining employment.

2,868 books

distributed via Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

$12,000 worth of School Supplies donated to local students by Stuff the Bus.

$4,000 awarded to youth-serving agencies by our Youth Board.

35 loca

studen develop leaders in Yout


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ge, skills, and credentials to obtain

al nts ping ship skills th Board.

2 Born Learning

Trails for kids to enjoy.


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FINANCIAL STABILITY

Goal: For individuals and families to i

Over $62,000 in fede tax credits claimed on MyFreeTaxes.org. Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program filed 182 total returns.

14 new songs and more from Sammy the Rabbit to kickstart financial literacy at a young age.


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improve their socioeconomic status.

eral n

$2,090 average return

on MyFreeTaxes.org self preparation software, with a total of $93,550 refunded to our community.

Money Talks went virtual and we added a series of financial education videos by MoneyCoach to our website.


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HEALTH

Goal: For all to become more aware o they have on ourselves and others.

$38,323 Saved on

Prescriptions with SingleCare Prescription Discount Cards.

Over 55,000 distributed to profit agencie


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of health risks and the potential effects

0 Masks

o local nones.

Over 1,400 Health related 211 calls helping callers with COVID Information, mental health, and well-being needs.

2 Compassionate Communication sessions teaching over 50 hours of social-emotional literacy to 12 students.


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COMMUNITY STRENGTHE

Goal: To engage diverse residents an develop solutions.

3 Fiscal Agency 40 organizations participate in Voluntary Organizations Against Disaster (VOAD).

Partnerships with Little Free Pantries, Care Packages for Christmas, and the Central Coast Restaurant Coalition.

11 Regular

Shows at K Excellent R


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ENING

nd identify priority community issues to

r Weekly KYXZ 107.9 Radio.

351 active agencies and 5,308 volunteers in VolunteerSLO.org.

211 Received 7,633 Calls and made referrals to over 650 resources.


INCOME United Way of San Luis Obispo County has a long tradition of adhering to very high standards of accountability and transparency. All of our financials are reviewed by a volunteer committee.

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EXPENSES

OUR TAX FORM 990 OUR ANNUAL AUDIT 23


THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS

Individual Donors

Visionary

Bert and Candee Forbes Dr. Daniel Levi Partner

Patrick Behr Dr. Robert and Debby Alberti Mary Bianco

Advocate

David and Sandra Buck-Moyer Gary and Donna Davis Jeff and Ashlee Brown Christina Bird-Holenda William Randolph Daniel J Waldorf Stuwart and Arlene Atkins Dr. Zorus and Judy Colglazier Andy and Jeanne Greensfelder John and Marci Lindvall Patricia Avery Caldwell Marcus A Holt Benedict J. Erchul Jennifer Cusack Marian McGuire Dr. William Safarjan, Ph.D. Wade and Jennifer O’Hagan Rick London Dr. Penny Borenstein Jose Martinez Alvarez Sheriff Ian and Amy Parkinson Joannie and Jeff Hamm Supporter Laurent and Azita Bernad Virginia R. Walter John C Larson R Hushing-Kline R P Fain Marianne Goedinghaus Davis

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Diane K Clogston Christopher J. Brown Jessica L Bailey Sam and Jo London Monica and Jamie Irons Kuang Min John Armstrong Dr. Frank M. Basich and Andrea Pease Basich Norm and Pat Gallaugher Virginia Hanigan Don Tullman Wayne Wang Steve A. Arkowitz J M Cullins Heather and James MacFarlane Whitney Szentesi Janet Amanzio Bob and Laurie Neumann Beth F Gier Sandra L Gonzalez Colleen Phelan Chanan Gridiron Raphi Fuche Dona Connell Jayne Devencenzi E L Keeling Emma Kleeman Barbara Edginton Ashlee Akers Connie Bennett-Dreisbach Josh Krebs William Newman W K Winkler R V Westphal Lisa A Wallravin Lisa R. Tackett Shayne Sandeman Donna L Mc Gowan A Y Deguzman Harland A. Clouse Cynthia Brady D M Berber-Jimenez

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J D Armstrong Supervisor Bruce and Cherie Gibson D C Beard Catherine Hasbrook Andrea Montes Jens Bogesvang Molly Brown Zephorah Caudill David Cordero Chloe Kapner Paul Kelley Grant Trexler Dana Trexler Linda Wleklinski Yueping XU Gerald Clare Richard Comstock INC Dr. Barry and Sheri Eibschutz Irwin and Sharon Epperson Ed Freesmeier Ralph Goff Warren Jensen Jean Kidder Gina Kirk James Maino Don and Liz Maruska Linda Nousianen Nicolas Orraben Crystal Qualls James Ream Charlotte and Rolf Storlie Donna Sullivan Rebecca J. Tempeste Julie M. Stewart Angela M. Molinar Greg D. Klingenberg A K Hamrick


Corporate Donors

Visionary

KSBY TV ITW- Global Tire Repair American General Media Rio Broadcasting - La Raza County of San Luis Obispo United Ways of California Pacific Gas and Electric Company San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Benefactor

City of Pismo Beach

Partner

Target Sharkey Foundation James P Sargen Sharkey Foundation

Advocate

Astound Business Solutions Costco Promega BioSciences Caterpillar, Inc. Lucia Mar Unified School District PCL Construction, Inc. City of San Luis Obispo Hicks Pension Services Nationwide Insurance Enterprise UPS Kon Tiki Inn BTC HEG, INC Malibu Balance Day Treatment, INC Balance Tratment SLO, INC Balance Treatment Corporation AT&T Art Central

Supporter

Enterprise Rent-a-Car PayPal Giving Fund Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center Wells Fargo Bank Coast BMW - Nissan 1st Capital Bank San Luis Obispo Deputy Sheriff’s Association SDSA Sworn Deputy Sheriff’s Association Dignity Health Susan Polk Insurance Rexnord Cuesta College Lucia Mar Unified School District San Luis Coastal Unified School District FedEx Express Verdin Marketing Ink Co. Superior Courts of California US Bank

A special thank you to ITW Global Tire Repair for hosting their annual Walk-A-Thon Fundraiser!

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DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION For more than 60 years, United Way SLO County has worked to address all forms of structural inequality, so that everyone who calls SLO County home has the opportunity to thrive. The co-occurring crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence toward people of color have once again revealed that racial injustice that is intertwined with America’s past and its present. It is structural, institutional, and systemic. In order for us to create and sustain communities where all are given what they need to thrive, we must address larger systemic issues such as institutional racism. We must work to co-create communities where all people can live without fear of racism, discrimination and violence. United Way SLO County affirms and commits to the following as the guiding principles and values in our efforts to advance equity and justice: We commit to dismantling systemic racism, redressing past discrimination, and advancing equity within our organizations, in our communities, and in our nation--through our organizational policies and practices, in our programmatic work and by advocating for changes in public policy and law. Racial and ethnic disparities are a direct result of systemic racism today as well as past, unremedied discrimination that was often imposed or sanctioned by the government. Addressing these disparities requires our active engagement to change law, policy, and practice. We are committed to achieving a more comprehensive approach to justice and safety that invests needed resources in schools, child care, mental and behavioral health, affordable housing, job training, and other supportive programs and services that contribute to healthy, strong, safe, and vibrant communities. Societal goals of racial justice and public safety are best achieved when communities have the resources to match crisis situations with an appropriate response, whether that be mental and behavioral health, social service, police, or other interventions. As we work to strengthen communities, we must listen to and lift up the voices and experiences of impacted people and communities, particularly the voices of young people in those communities who will lead future generations. Intentionally engaging impacted communities strengthens policies, strategies, and decision-making. When we center and address the needs of the most marginalized, we recognize their humanity and advance equity and opportunity for all. As we evaluate our programmatic work, we will specifically examine the extent to which they decrease racial disparities and oppression, particularly in systems and settings known to disproportionately and negatively impact people of color and other marginalized groups; advance solutions that have been developed in collaboration with and have the support of impacted communities; incorporate an intersectional and multi-sector approach to community challenges; and include the investments needed to fully implement and achieve racial equity outcomes. With this statement, we reaffirm our commitment to serving all who call San Luis Obispo County home.

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OUR STAFF Chief Executive Officer Rick London

Director of Equity and Resource Development Dr. Leola Dublin-Macmillan

Chief Operations Officer Linda Wingert

Database Management Specialist Riley Smith

Finance and Accounting Specialist Mohini Smith

CONTACT OUR STAFF

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THANK YOU FOR READING! Donate Today to Support our Programs

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