Our Impact

Cradle to Career and Beyond Image

"United Way of Lewis County: Transforming Communities, Empowering Lives"

United Way of Lewis County has undergone a remarkable transformation, shifting from its origins as a fundraising organization to become a vital force for community impact. We've rallied local partners, including businesses, community leaders, and residents, to join us in breaking the cycle of poverty and opening up new pathways for self-sufficiency.

Our mission is clear: unite community resources to implement solutions that uplift families from the clutches of poverty right here in our community. Our dedicated board, staff, donors, volunteers, and community partners are fully committed to crafting enduring, sustainable changes that not only transform lives but also foster a thriving community for all of us.

What sets our community impact approach apart is our focus on systemic change. We are dedicated to altering the very systems that hold individuals and families back, allowing them to surmount challenges and achieve lasting success. Our commitment extends to investing in both the present and the foundations for a brighter future.

In our view, a healthy community is one where learning, earning, and living coexist harmoniously. We firmly believe that every family deserves a fair shot at success. With your support, we can work together to rewrite the narrative for struggling families in Lewis County.

United Way of Lewis County's latest strategic direction, aptly named "Cradle to Career and Beyond," champions programs spanning early childhood education, elementary reading, middle and high school achievement, college and career readiness, and lifelong education. Our ultimate goal is to foster a culture of inclusive educational opportunities, promoting lifelong learning throughout Lewis County. Join us in this transformative journey.

UNITED to Reduce Poverty in Lewis County

Early experiences influence rapid brain development and set a foundation for lifelong success.

Children are constantly learning from the moment they are born. A young child's brain grows to 90% of its capacity by age five (80% by age three). 

A child’s earliest experiences – before they even enter school – can determine their ability to  succeed for the rest of their lives.

In Lewis County, only 56% of children enter Kindergarten ready to learn.

This is our greatest challenge AND our greatest opportunity.

United Way of Lewis County and our community partners are committed to ensuring every child in Lewis County has access to high-quality early learning experiences. 


The Data

A student not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade is 4 times more likely to drop out of high school. Add poverty into the mix and that same student is 6 times more likely not to finish high school.

Research shows that children whose parents have low skill levels have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading level themselves.

In Lewis County, the number of child care providers has dropped from 54 with capacity for 1,113 children in 2013, to 46 providers with capacity for 1,264 children in December 2017. (CLICK HERE for Child Care Aware of Washington report)

On average, the cost of child care for families in Lewis County represents 35% of their budget.*

To learn more about our Early Childhood Education partners and programs, click here to visit our Early Childhood Education page!

Studies show that if a child is not reading at grade level by 3rd grade, when they reach the stage where they need to “read to learn,” it greatly impacts their ability to graduate on time.

Reading BuddyThe Data

A student not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade is 4 times more likely to drop out of high school. Add poverty into the mix and that same student is 6 times more likely not to finish high school.

Research shows that children whose parents have low skill levels have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading level themselves.


To learn more about our Elementary Reading partners and programs, click here to visit our Elementary Reading page!


Middle and High School Teenagers

Middle school and high school students are faced with a number of challenges which can become barriers to their success.

"In the 2020-21 school year, at least 10.1 million students nationwide were chronically absent. We estimate chronic absence has more than doubled from the more than 8 million students, pre-Covid-19, who were missing so many days of school that they were academically at risk. Chronic absence — missing 10 percent or more of school days due to absence for any reason—excused, unexcused absences and suspensions—can translate into students having difficulty learning to read by the third-grade, achieving in middle school, and graduating from high school....Children living in poverty are two to three times more likely to be chronically absent—and face the most harm because their community lacks the resources to make up for the lost learning in school."  The Problem - Attendance Works

To learn more about our Middle and High School Success partners and programs, click here to visit our Middle and High School Success page!

No Formal Education HS or Equivalent Some College Post Secondary Associate's Bachelor's Master's Doctoral_Professional
Fast Food and Counter Workers Office Clerks

Teaching Assistants

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers Paralegals, Legal Assistants General and Operations Managers Education Administrators Lawyers
Retail Salespersons Secretaries, Admin Assts Bookkeeping, Accounting Nursing Assistants Preschool Teachers Registered Nurses Urban and Regional Planners Dentists, General
Cashiers Home Health, Personal Care Aides Computer User Support Specialists Automotive Service Technicians, Mechanics Dental Hygienists Elementary School Teachers Educational Counselors Pharmacists
Construction laborers Customer Service Rep Computer, Automated Teller, Office Machine Repairs Hairdressers, Hairstylists, Cosmetologists Radiologic Technologists Management Analysts Rehabilitation Counselors Physical Therapists
Janitors and Cleaners Stockers, Order Fillers News Analysts, Reporters, Journalists Medical Assistants Civil Engineering Technicians Software Developers Librarians, Media Collections Specialists Physicians, All Other

Data provided by WorkSource.  For the entire list of high demand jobs including average wages, visit www.worksourcewa.com or  click here.

Online Resources

Washington State Achievement Council (WSAC) - Online tools to help you plan for your future!

College funding resources

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - Fill it out now and see what funding you may qualify for!

Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) - If you are undocumented or do not qualify for federal financial aid because of immigration status, apply for WASFA, there may be funding available for you!

American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES) - Assists student with financial need who have lose social and cultural ties to an American Indian community in the state of Washington.

Washington Award for Vocational Excellence (WAVE) - Scholarship for graduating high school seniors and community & technical college students for outstanding performance in career and technical education programs.

Targeted Workforce Grants through WSAC - Grants available for specific industries with a high need for qualified employees.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workshops

United Way of Lewis County is offering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshops centered around exploring intercultural competency.  We provide coaching, consultation, & facilitation.  For additional information contact chastity.pennington@lewiscountyuw.com.  For more information on United Way of Lewis Counties DEI commitment visit our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion web page.

Stewards of Children® 

The Youth Advocacy Center of Lewis County (YAC) is a partner in prevention organization with Darkness to Light, a leader in child sexual abuse prevention education, research, and advocacy.  The Youth Advocacy Center of Lewis County, Twin City Rotary Club, and United Way of Lewis County are hosting Stewards of Children® trainings.  The trainings are FREE prevention trainings provided by the Youth Advocacy Center of Lewis County that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program is designed for organizations that serve youth and for individuals concerned about the safety of children. It is the only nationally distributed, evidence-informed program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes, and change child protective behaviors.  To learn more about the Stewards of Children® trainings provided by the Youth Advocacy Center of Lewis County, click here.

CIPQuarterly Community Impact Reports

 July - September 2022

October - December 2022

January - March 2023

April - June 2023