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Stories - Community Impact

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Michelle reached out to United Way of Long Island's Family Prosperity Center through a partner agency for assistance with financial responsibility. Her living situation was changing, and she was unsure about how to find new housing. After meeting with a financial counselor, Michelle was able to write down a monthly budget and break down her income vs. expenses. Her current rent was covered by the partner agency; however she would only be receiving this assistance for a specific period of time and wanted to make sure she would be able to pay her new rent when she it became her responsibility....
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Meet Mary - a 9 year old girl with a bubbly personality and a participant in Choice for All's Student Success Center, a program supported by United Way of Long Island. Mary's mother was referred to the program by a community member that had a child in the program with similar academic concerns. Mary’s mom is a single mother of two with Mary being the youngest. She expressed concerns about Mary's struggle with reading comprehension, decoding and spelling. She has to work two jobs because her eldest is on his way to college and she doesn't have the extra time for Mary as she did with her first...
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Josephine is many things – a woman, a mother, and a domestic violence survivor. One thing she is not, is a statistic. "I'm just happy to be alive, that I'm not a statistic, because I do know that a couple women in Nassau County lost their lives. I could have been one of them," she reflects. Born and raised in Nassau County, Josephine became involved with a man who was her best friend. He later turned into the father of her third child and consequently, her abuser. When her son was born, she made the heart-breaking choice to put him up for adoption for his own protection due to the constant...
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Daryl is a U.S. Army veteran and a single father raising his 14-year-old daughter in Freeport, doing the best he can to provide her with a happy life. He had been working as an MTA bus driver in Brooklyn for over 10 years, when in 2009 the bus he was driving rolled over a loose construction plate and was dropped into a hole in the street. His hip and back were injured, forcing him to leave work and undergo extensive physical therapy to alieve his pain. In 2013, he was involved in another accident less serious than the first but it aggravated his already sensitive lingering injuries. He...
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Below are two inspiring letters from young people who were helped by our partner agency Adelante of Suffolk County, Inc:  "My name is Estefani. I am a senior student at Central Islip Senior High School. I would have never imaged being in the positioned I am today. Six years ago, I migrated to the United States and came to live with my parents for the first time. The fact that I did not speak any English seemed an astronomical obstacle to overcome. However, my parents' sacrifice gave me the fuel to one day have a better future and be able to attend college. I love being part of the National...
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Before the first United Way ALICE report, ALICE was a population and a community issue without a name or face. The release of this study offered a new way to accurately quantify these households and to talk about the challenges that they face, just like Richelle of Long Island.  Richelle, a wife and mother of three was struggling to pay her bills on time and keep the house warm during the frigid winter months. She and her husband had both fallen on hard times, severely impacting their income and ability to keep up with household expenses. Despite Richelle and her husband both working full-...
Thursday, October 20, 2016
  My name is Nia and my life matters. I am the only child of a teenage mother who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. During my childhood I felt depressed, worthless, misunderstood and ashamed; I had thoughts of suicide. I thought that suicide would bring me peace and that my absence would take the burden off my family.  I didn't have many friends going up because my mother separated me from my peers. I saw my mother being mistreated because of her condition and constantly worried about a future for my mother and me. I knew what my dad looked like, however he was never a...
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
October 2-8 is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Week. Below is an example of the many Long Islanders our partner agencies in the mental health field are making an impact on every day.  "NG" is a 15-year-old boy referred to United Way of Long Island partner agency Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay (YFCA) by his school social worker at the age of 11. He had been acting out in school, had very few, if any, friends, and was frequently the subject of ridicule by his peers. He reportered that he felt bullied by other children. Upon admission, he exhibited signs and symptoms of...
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
  Steve, 18 years old“I grew up in a normal family. I really can’t blame circumstances or hardship or mistreatment for my actions and my situation. I wanted to be somebody. I saw that people who cheated and stole got things I wanted. The music I listen to promotes all that. So I did it. My dad is a pastor at a church, the church I grew up in. I robbed a store with another guy, and got caught. I shamed my family. Now that I’m at the Ranch, I’m proud to say that I am changing. I’m doing well here and regret what I did to get here. When I leave I will succeed and make my dad proud again. I’m...
Friday, August 12, 2016
Some might say she had an ideal life; with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from C.W. Post and a full-time position as a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) in the Plainedge School District’s Special Education Program - Janice was off to a fantastic start. When Janice’s grandmother died, however, Janice noticed a decline in her mental health. After being terminated from her TA job, a tale too upsetting for her to recount due to the connection she felt towards the children she mentored, Janice began to ricochet from in-patient stay to residential program.   Janice, who was subsequently diagnosed with...

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