Leah is a single mom living in Everett with her nine year old daughter. Leah started working and paying taxes at the age of 18, and every year she would struggle to file them herself or have to pay someone upwards of $200 dollars to file for her. In 2008, Leah went to a tax company to file her taxes.
“Since coming to United Way’s tax site in 2009, I have always received my maxium refund. I love coming to United Way, their services are fast and accurate.”
Meagen had big dreams for the future when her life took a detour. Even with limited options and a baby on the way, she was determined to make it on her own.
Meagen found a program that enabled her to earn a degree in business administration while she received public support so she could make ends meet. And while Meagen had dreamed of owning her own business, she needed help getting it off the ground. Through United Way’s partnership with Ventures, she found United Way’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program.
Learning how to read can transform your life, regardless of your age. Last year, 54-year-old Wade approached the Stanwood Camano Community Resource Center looking for help with his reading skills. He was paired up with Jim, a volunteer tutor at the center.
During their very first meeting, Jim was absolutely shocked when he saw that Wade’s reading skills were nearly nonexistent. Living with developmental disabilities, Wade had been told his entire life that he’d never be able to read.
When Sharon and Andrew Ryder welcomed their son James into the world, they were shocked when they learned he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. “It’s a diagnosis you’re never prepared to hear,” says Sharon.
As James grew they began searching for support, and the Arc of Snohomish County was a perfect fit. The Arc supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families at all stages of life.
Imagine for a moment that every family in Snohomish County has a roof over their head, fresh, healthy food on the table and are able to pay their bills. Several years ago, this was only a dream for Zsofia and her family, who were living in poverty and could barely afford their basic needs.
Zsofia’s life changed dramatically when she was accepted into a United Way initiative that provided classes on money management, saving, and how to create an effective business plan.
Do you remember being a teenager and trying to find your place in this world? Now imagine doing that as a brand new member of this country. This is Beth’s story.
Beth emigrated from Ethiopia with her family several years ago, and wanted so badly to fit in and give back to her new community.
“I felt so out of place, but I didn’t know where to start,” Beth recalls.
When Beth learned about Youth United, she knew she was headed in the right direction.
If you’ve ever made a big change in your life, you know that old habits can be hard to break. This is Dominick’s story.
At 17, Dominick had dropped out of school, and became involved in drugs and a gang. Dominick knew his life was headed in the wrong direction, and when he reached rock bottom, he knew it was time to make a lasting change.
Slowly, Dominick separated himself from the negative influences in his life, but was often tempted to fall back into a life of drugs and violence. Then, he was introduced Cocoon House’s U-Turn program, a drop-in center for at-risk teens and a United Way funded program.