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The Heart of the Community

The Heart of Florida United Way not only raises millions of charitable dollars, but oversees programs that help those who are in need of assistance in the Central Florida community. The focus is on four main areas: education, income, health and basic needs.

According to the organization’s website, for every dollar spent on prevention, a minimum of $7 is saved on intervention. That’s why the United Way’s work addresses the root cause of the issues that are affecting our neighbors. 

Through partnerships and collaborations with other businesses entities and organizations, the United Way oversees various programs that directly benefit those who need them. The following are just some of them. 

2-1-1 Information and Referral Helpline: The 2-1-1 service provides information and support in many areas, including financial assistance, health programs, crisis support and more. This service can be accessed by phone (dial 2-1-1), email, chat (on the United Way website) or text (send zip code to 898-211). Multilingual specialists then connect the individual to local organizations that provide the services they need. 

Mission United: This is the central contact for veterans to access community support, such as legal assistance, employment and educational services. 

Going2College: Designed to reduce barriers to information about higher education, this program not only improves college access but also streamlines the application process through text message updates. 

Financial Programs: From a free tax preparation service called the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to initiatives focused on helping families become financially stable, the United Way works to set individuals and families up for success. 

Help Me Grow: This program assists with early identification of developmental or behavioral concerns then connects children with local organizations that can provide support for them and their whole family

Community partnerships are the foundation for the work that Heart of Florida United Way does every single day. Examples of these efforts include the Orlando United Assistance Center, which was created to aid those affected by the Pulse tragedy, and the Week of Action event where residents are encouraged to make a difference in their neighborhoods. 

For more information about Heart of Florida United Way, visit www.HFUW.org.  

How to Help

  1. Volunteer: Numerous volunteering opportunities are posted on the organization’s Volunteer Resource Center website where volunteers are matched with more than 150 local nonprofits throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. 
  1. Donate: When making a donation to the United Way’s efforts you are investing in education, income, health and basic needs for people in need in your community. Donations can be made at www.HFUW.org. 
  1. Participate in an event: Show your support by attending one of the United Way’s signature fundraising events throughout the year, such as the Women United Luncheon on March 11 or the Chef’s Gala on May 16.

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Written by Megan Darrow

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