As we reflect on 2022, we are immensely proud of everything we’ve been able to do for the Central Florida community and incredibly grateful to all of our donors, volunteers, and supporters who have made this possible.
Here’s a list of 10 achievements we accomplished together:
We Launched Our Emerging Leaders Impact Group
Modeled after our Women United impact group, this year we launched Emerging Leaders. Composed of up-and-coming professionals passionate about making an impact in Central Florida, Emerging Leaders provides the platform for advocates to become purposeful leaders and help solve critical issues facing our community. Learn more about Emerging Leaders.
We Hosted A Sold-Out Women United Luncheon
Women+ flocked to a sold-out Women United Luncheon, held in April at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. The luncheon featured Ginger Zee, who authored a New York Times best-selling memoir, Natural Disaster: I Cover Them, I am One. The event raised more than $200,000 and left audiences feeling renewed and empowered. Learn more about the event.
We Invested $1 Million in The New Live United Village
This summer, we announced a transformational $1 million investment to enhance social services in Seminole County through a partnership with The Sharing Center. This investment is helping members of the community struggling financially to achieve financial stability by supporting job searching, job training, and finding a stable place to live. View this video to learn more.
We Transitioned to 988 — The New Three-Digital Number for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Care
We have proudly answered local calls to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline for years. This July, we transitioned that hotline to a new three-digit 988 dialing code. Similar to 911 and 211, this lifeline is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365, connecting those experiencing mental health, substance use, or suicidal crisis with trained crisis counselors.
The new 988 dialing code has made getting help easier than ever. As of December 28, we have already answered 5,255 988 calls. Read more about this change.
We Celebrated Change Makers in our Community Via Our 5th Annual Change Maker Impact Award Ceremony
We returned to an in-person event format for this year’s Change Maker Impact Awards and celebrated an impressive lineup of change makers right here in Central Florida! Categories of awards included Publicly-Nominated Honorees, Live United Impact Award Honorees, Legacy Award Honorees, and the Change Maker of the Year. View a recap video of this year’s event.
We Hosted Our Inaugural State of Our Veterans Event — Presented by Lockheed Martin
On October 26, we partnered with Lockheed Martin to host our very first State of our Veterans event. The purpose of the event was to bring to attention the pressing issues facing Central Florida’s Veterans, especially as it pertains to mental health, and how we can help individually and as a community. Speakers included HFUW President and CEO Jeff Hayward, Director of Infrared Search and Track for Lockheed Martin Paul Hey, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs Major General James Hartsell, and more. Watch this video recap of the event.
We Helped Our Community After Hurricane Ian Through our Hurricane Recovery Fund
When Hurricane Ian struck Central Florida, so many of our neighbors were left suffering in aftermath of the storm. The flooding and harsh winds damaged homes, and so many people who were already struggling were left feeling helpless. Then, our community showed up — in a big way — by donating to our Heart of Florida United Way Hurricane Recovery Fund. With the donations to Hurricane Recovery Fund, we were able to provide much-needed support to 17,911 residents in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties. Learn more about how our community came together for those in need.
We Invested $1 Million in Valencia College’s Northwest Center for Accelerated Training
In November 2022, we unveiled our $1 million investment to support students in ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families who are enrolled at the recently renamed Valencia College Heart of Florida United Way Center for Accelerated Training. The investment will fund a new Live United Scholarship, which will provide eligible students with a weekly living stipend while they are working to complete their certification at the center. View this video recap of the unveiling.
We Distributed 4,000 Thanksgiving Meal Kits During our Thanksgiving Project
This Thanksgiving, we came together to help Central Florida families in need by assembling and distributing 4,000 Thanksgiving meal kits throughout Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. (That’s more than double what we distributed last year!) View a video recap of this year’s Thanksgiving Project.
We Celebrated 25 Years of Partnership with SeaWorld Orlando
For the 25th year, we partnered with SeaWorld to gift our Leadership Donors with tickets to SeaWorld Orlando as a token of our appreciation for them. We are so grateful to SeaWorld Orlando for their partnership and to our Leadership Donors for everything they do to stand up for the health, financial stability, and education of every person in Central Florida. Watch this video thanking our Leadership Donors.
We look forward to accomplishing much more together in 2023! We thank you for your support and contributions to Heart of Florida United Way. None of what we do would be possible without our generous donors and volunteers.