Everyone Belongs
“Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves."
Princess Diana

Everyone should feel a sense of belonging in our community. Whether they’ve been here for decades or just a few weeks. Our community should be a place where everyone feels supported and that they have the same opportunities as everyone else. We are working on ensuring that everyone belongs by creating grant making decisions that best reflect community needs. In recent years, UWWMC switched to a competitive grant making model in which the applicants with the best plans to impact our community are chosen.  We want everyone, even the smallest organizations to be able to apply so we provide grant writers to assist and provide capacity building tools to allow those organizations to grow even if they do not receive a grant. 

Our core values have been central to our work over the years. We stand strong on the importance of equity, collaboration, inclusion, accountability, and impact. Equity continues to be a large focus of our work as we emphasize the importance of being anti-racist and taking down barriers that stand in the way of justice. We work hard to make sure our Board represents the diversity of our community and that the diverse perspective of our community guides our impact. This brings greater lived experience and new perspectives to the table as we look to lead our community in a forward direction of change by approaching old problems in new ways! 

We ensure everyone belongs and has access to programs they need by utilizing our Community Investment Councils (CIC’s). These groups collaborate to make recommendations on funding for organizations that are best equipped to serve the community need. They work closely with our Grants and Impact team to understand our community and make dollars raised locally, go the farthest. 29% of McLennan County children under 5 years of age are living in poverty and 35% of McLennan County residents have reported a high cost of housing burden. These are some of the most jarring statistics, but we must know where we are so that we can get to where we are going. We continue to make sure everyone has a place at the table and that every voice can be heard through our creation of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) and our Core Partner Team. These teams have worked tirelessly to create the Community Action Plan which represents the movement we have begun as we look to create actionable change in our community.  

“As a United Way CIC member, I’ve had the opportunity to champion the way forward at increasing the equity in grant-making. Collectively, we strive to move the dial in a direction whereby funded programs are representative of the communities they serve.”

Paula Solano, 2021 Community Investment Council Member

1227 N. Valley Mills Drive,
Suite 239,
Waco, TX 76710