United Way Works for a healthier america
Whether it is a neighbor without health insurance, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling with mental illness or an addiction, United Ways are working to ensure everyone has access to affordable and quality care.
Since 2008, we’ve been working to achieve our bold, 10-year goal: to increase by one-third the number of youth and adults who are healthy and avoid risky behaviors by 2018. United Way is building healthier, more resilient communities by promoting healthy eating and physical activity, expanding access to quality health care and integrating health into early childhood development.
Achieving our goal requires us all to become more aware of health risks and the potential effects they have on ourselves and others, starting from before birth. Working to change policies and practices, such as extending health care coverage, will enable more people to live healthier lives. Good health is both a community responsibility and a community benefit: It goes beyond personal diet, exercise and the many other individual choices we make. The foundation for a healthy life is in the neighborhoods we build and environments we inhabit. When people have access to parks, bike paths, safe playgrounds, healthy foods, and good medical care, they are more likely to succeed in school, work and life.
How You Can Help
Volunteers make United Ways’ tax assistance and health programs possible. We need your help, even if you don’t have a health background.
- More than 33% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. That’s 25 million kids and teenagers.
- Children with health coverage are better prepared to learn in school and succeed in life.1
- The number of Americans without health insurance has increased steadily since the beginning of the century, now totaling about 47 million. More than 80% are working families.2
- 8.7 million children live without health insurance – more than the total number enrolled in the first and second grades in U.S. public schools.3
1Institute of Medicine. From Neurons to Neighborhood: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington DC: National Academies Press, 2000.)
2Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates from the March Current Population Survey, 2007 Supplement.
3Compiled by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), University of Minnesota School of Public Health, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey 2007.