Monthly Impact Stories
Each month of 2023, United Way GBACC will be highlighting a story from one of our funded partner agencies. Read through these stories to get a better sense of the impact that is being created every day through the support of our community.
Communities in Schools
As February comes to an end, your United Way continues to celebrate programs and efforts to increase accessibility to higher education in honor of Financial Aid Awareness Month. While many people want to pursue higher education, school fees and costs can be overwhelming and the system hard to navigate.
United Way of Greater Baytown Area and Chambers County proudly partners with programs like Communities in Schools, who is supporting students in Goose Creek CISD as they journey towards graduation. Communities in Schools provides case management support to students of Goose Creek ISD secondary campuses to help prepare students to become college and career ready. They provide mentoring and interventions in the areas of academic, attendance, behavior and basic needs. They operate on high school campuses, where their site coordinators work to inform and help the students regarding financial aid information by posting on the informational boards or office doors, as well as school announcements and social media pages. Communities in Schools doesn’t just help students with academics, but surrounds them with a community of support, empowering them to achieve not only in school, but in life as well.
United Way has partnered with Communities in Schools through funding, programs like Clothing for Kids, which helps equip schools with new or gently used clothing for students in need, as well as training to help provide support to students and families. This helps Communities in Schools accomplish their mission of surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Ty, a senior at a local high school supported by Communities in Schools, had the opportunity to share what Communities in Schools meant to him.
Ty came to CIS when his family needed support and he was looking for ways to focus more in school. Ty’s family was given resources to access fresh groceries, and through the help of his CIS representative, Ty was able to focus on being the best student he could.
Ty said “If I was without the CIS program, I wouldn’t be at the school I’m still at. I believe I would either be dropped back to my home campus, or I would have already dropped out and went straight to working.”
Through the United Way network created through our funded partners, families are also supported and given a chance at a better life. Students like Ty are supported each and every day though Communities in Schools. Programs like this give students who, like Ty, would either be struggling to stay in school or be dropping out, a chance to further their education and invest in their future.
“People should know that the program is there to help you on the community side, but they can also be there to help you on the personal side with schooling. They are an all-around amazing program which will continue to push people’s lives in a positive direction.”
Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council
United Way of Greater Baytown Area and Chambers County proudly partners with programs like Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, who work to bring dreams to life and build a better world. Girls of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges. Girl Scouts leads the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them.
Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development experience for girls and the largest girl organization in the world. Girl Scouts' mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, and to make the world a better place. Since 1912, girls have explored new fields of knowledge, learned valuable skills, and developed strong core values through Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts is the organization best positioned to help girls develop important leadership skills they need to become successful adults.
Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council have been funded by United Way of Greater Baytown and Chambers County since 1997. This long-standing partnership has led to greater success at
home, school, and life, and is making a positive, long-lasting impact in the Baytown and Chambers County area. The partnership has been instrumental in delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls in the local community. Girls have been able to gain leadership skills, learn about STEM curriculum at a young age, and have discovered what interests them.
The support of United Way has allowed Girl Scouts to place staff resources in the community to extend the benefits of Girl Scouting to all girls. Support from United way has allowed GSSJC to provide financial scholarships to girls in Chambers County who would otherwise not be able to afford to participate. Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council believe that all girls, regardless of their financial status, should have the opportunity to be in Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council helps girls realize they can be the change they want to see in the world. A prime example of this is Layla Ansari.
Layla, a member of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, was disappointed in what she saw in her political leaders, so she decided to make a change by
inspiring girls to become more involved in politics. “I felt I was not represented.” Layla stated. “I saw that women are 51% of the population, but only 24% of the senate,
27% of the House and less than 30% of statewide representatives. There have been 0 female presidents. I wanted to inspire more girls to go into politics.”
Girl Scouts gave her the opportunity to connect with other girls and encouraged her to take action to make a difference.
Layla created a panel discussion for middle and high school girls, featuring past and current candidates for office, ranging from judges to congresswomen.
Some of the girls told her they had never heard some of these women before. Layla created a card game for the girls about historical female political trailblazers to help them learn more about important female figures. She held a launch party at an independent woman-owned bookstore, and Girl Scouts was able to help her
promote and bring recognition to the game.
We here at your United Way believe that by investing in the next generation of women, you empower girls like Layla on her journey as she strives to lead, thrive, and make the world a better place. By supporting United Way, you are helping us support tomorrow's courage-boosting, confidence-inspiring, character-building, and make-the-world-a-better-place experience.
Bay Area Turning Point
As May, recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month, brings attention to the importance of mental well-being, it becomes crucial to acknowledge organizations that actively contribute to this cause. Bay Area Turning Point (BATP), a community-based non-profit agency, stands out for their support for individuals impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault in the Greater Baytown and Chambers County area. Through their partnership with United Way since 2014, BATP receives the necessary resources to fulfill their mission and provide comprehensive services to those in need.
BATP's commitment to mental health awareness goes beyond their core services of crisis intervention and counseling. They actively engage in raising awareness and educating the community about the mental health needs of survivors. With a satellite office in Anahuac, Texas, they offer face-to-face and virtual services, encompassing crisis intervention, counseling, legal and medical accompaniments, advocacy, and resource connections for individuals and families. By fostering partnerships with other community organizations, BATP ensures survivors have access to the resources tailored to their individualized needs.
BATP's dedication to mental health awareness extends throughout the year. They organize in-person and virtual support groups, educational seminars, and activities that create safe spaces for individuals to share experiences, learn, and apply knowledge to support those in need. Their initiatives align with Mental Health Awareness Month, where BATP challenges clients, staff, donors, and community stakeholders to join them in activities that highlight the importance of mental health for all.
Bay Area Turning Point's partnership with United Way empowers them to provide immediate crisis intervention and comprehensive services to individuals affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Through their commitment to mental health awareness, BATP not only offers counseling services but also spreads educational information, conducts support groups, and engages the community in activities that promote mental well-being. Their efforts contribute significantly to supporting survivors and fostering a healthier and more supportive community.
Bay Area Homeless Services
Bay Area Homeless Services (BAHS) is an organization dedicated to addressing homelessness in the Baytown community. Their mission is to equip individuals with the necessary tools to attain sustainable employment and break the cycle of homelessness. BAHS has been partnered with United Way since 2005. This partnership with United Way enables BAHS to raise awareness about their services and be recognized as a resource for those in need. Funding from United Way supports transportation and educational assistance for residents, as well as the availability of knowledgeable staff for referrals and case management.
Through their comprehensive program, BAHS aims to make a lasting impact on the community. By providing shelter, food, and resources, they assist individuals experiencing homelessness in becoming self-sufficient and gainfully employed. Additionally, the organization offers support in areas such as childcare, emotional well-being, financial literacy, and nutrition. The focus on education is especially crucial, as it equips residents with the skills to increase their earning potential, break free from homelessness, and build a more secure future.
Mark, a resident who found out about the program through an internet search, highlights the tremendous impact BAHS has had on his family. The shelter not only provided them with shelter and meals but also ensured that his children could continue attending their original school, maintaining stability and structure. Mark's case manager played a vital role in assisting his family with emotional support, care for his wife, and goal planning.
Without the support of this program, Mark acknowledges that his family would be without a roof over their heads, emphasizing the dire circumstances they faced before finding help. He wants people to know that the program works, but it requires effort and dedication from individuals. The resources and support are available, but individuals must be committed and actively engage in the process to achieve positive outcomes.
Overall, the spotlight on Bay Area Homeless Services highlights their commitment to empowering individuals experiencing homelessness, providing vital resources, education, and support. Through partnerships, community engagement, and a comprehensive program, the shelter is making a significant difference in the lives of those in need, offering them hope, stability, and a path towards a brighter future.
Baytown Meals on Wheels
Baytown Meals on Wheels is a vital organization in our community committed to delivering hot meals to seniors in need. This organization plays a pivotal role in supporting homebound seniors who face physical or mental challenges that hinder their ability to cook.
For the past 45 years, Baytown Meals on Wheels has collaborated with United Way to serve the community. This partnership has been instrumental in alleviating hunger and malnutrition among seniors. Thanks to United Way's support, the organization has been able to expand its services, reaching an additional 62 clients. The agency's partnership with United Way has significantly amplified its impact, ensuring that even more seniors receive nourishing meals and essential companionship.
Baytown Meals on Wheels is dedicated to delivering hot, nutritious meals to Baytown's homebound seniors. These seniors often struggle with leaving their homes or preparing meals for themselves due to physical or mental challenges. The meals, prepared fresh daily by Trio Food, meet at least 1/3 of the recommended daily nutrient intake for senior adults. Beyond the nutritional aspect, the organization places strong emphasis on building connections. By providing daily meal deliveries, the organization forms bonds and friendships with seniors who may otherwise face isolation and loneliness. The program acts as the eyes and ears for many seniors and their families, helping them navigate necessary resources and support networks. This approach ensures that seniors receive holistic assistance that extends beyond just a meal.
Stanley, a recipient of Baytown Meals on Wheels, discovered the program while caring for his parents. Facing health challenges and potential homelessness due to financial difficulties, Stanley found solace in the consistent support provided by Meals on Wheels. The program has offered him not only nourishing meals but also a sense of security and companionship. Stanley emphasizes how Baytown Meals on Wheels has been instrumental in his life. During times when food was scarce, the organization stood as a reliable source of sustenance. Without this program, Stanley believes he would be in a far worse situation, emphasizing the profound importance of its services in his life. Stanley urges others in similar situations to seek help from Baytown Meals on Wheels without hesitation. He emphasizes that no one should go hungry, and the organization ensures that seniors receive the nourishment they deserve. He also suggests involving young children in the program to teach them gratitude and the importance of supporting the elderly in the community.