In addition to our annual Community Impact Fund grants and programs in education, income and health, United Way of SLO County is pleased to offer the following ongoing programs, supporting nonprofits, youth, families, donors and volunteers.
Annual Recognition Event – At our annual reception and awards held June 6, 2012, United Way honored several individuals and businesses who have worked with us the previous year and were vital to making 2011-12 a success. Special presentations were made to the 2012 Innovation Award recipient, SLO Noor Foundation Free Clinic, and the twenty two 2012-13 Community Impact Fund grant recipients. Also honored were local business partners and service groups including Accessories Marketing (Slime), Aera Energy, County of San Luis Obispo, the Flavor of SLO Team, Kiwanis Clubs of Division 24, Verdin and Zurn Wilkins. Special recognition was given to Scolari's Food & Drug Company, and Mel Caldwell who was an avid volunteer and donor with our KidSpree program. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 12, 2013.
Coats for Christmas Day - For the past 15 years, The Jewish Community, along with local volunteers and businesses, has generously provided our County's homeless with a wonderful home-cooked Christmas Day dinner, live entertainment and much needed care packages of new goods. This annual event was initiated in order to be able to help those without shelter to stay warm and protected from the elements during the winter months. 500 hooded sweatshirts, 300 sleeping bags, 500 pairs of socks, 220 jackets, 200 packages of underwear and 300 toiletry bags were distributed in 2012. Monetary donations for this event can be sent to United Way, or contact volunteer organizer, Sheri Eibschutz..
Flavor of SLO – On Sunday, May 5, 2013 we hosted an afternoon of tasting, sipping, and mingling at our fifth annual tasting event showcasing the very best food, wine and beer that the San Luis Obispo region has to offer. This year's event was again be at the beautiful and historic Jack House & Gardens in downtown San Luis Obispo. United way would like to thank our event sponsors, First Solar, Sesloc, The Krush 92.5 and UGS, and the 2013 Cal Poly Team, Blair Buckley, Miles Fairchild, Kelly Kempsell, Hillary Mason and Jessica Volmer for making our event possible. Check out www.FlavorOfSLO.com for photos of 2013 and information about next year.
KidSpree – One of United Way of San Luis Obispo County's key areas of focus is on education – helping children and youth achieve their potential and increasing high school graduation rates. In our county, many families face economic struggles and cannot afford new clothes for their school-aged children, which can hinder both attendance and successful learning. At KidSpree, K-12 students are provided with a $100 gift card and go shopping with a volunteer at Kohl's in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, followed by a breakfast provided by local Kiwanis Club members. Nearly 200 children are supplied with much needed back-to-school clothes via generous donations from the community. Signature sponsors in 2012 included the Kiwanis Club of San Luis Obispo Morning, Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo Daybreak, Running Warehouse, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Tennis Warehouse and Zurn Wilkins. The next KidSpree event will take place July 28, 2013.
Make a Difference Day – Make a Difference Day is a national day of service, organized locally by the Center for Community Engagement at Cal Poly and United Way of San Luis Obispo County. Every year, hundreds of volunteers come out to support our local nonprofits by helping with hands-on projects such as painting, gardening, light maintenance and cleaning. The day begins with a free breakfast and kickoff at Chumash Auditorium on the Cal Poly campus, and the service projects are completed from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. All volunteers receive a complimentary event t-shirt. Make a Difference Day is on the fourth Saturday of every October; the next day of service will be held October 26, 2013. Go to Volunteer SLO to learn about other upcoming community service events in our county all year round.
Remnants of the Past - We're proud to announce a brand new partnership with Remnants of the Past, an antique and vintage show that brings the best treasures in the nation to the Central Coast. United Way of San Luis Obispo County has been selected as the new charity partner for the weekend long event which occurs in the fall and early summer. Volunteers help to make this event possible so we can raise funds for our Imagination Library program. Volunteers receive free entrance to all three days of the show if they volunteer for 4 or more hours and act as porters for vendors and customers. The next show is scheduled for June 1 & 2, 2013. Email email@example.com to sign up! Visit http://remnantsofthepast.com/ to learn more about the show.
Share A Tree – Each December, United Way works with our local Target store, community groups, volunteers and donors to bring some extra seasonal cheer to families in need. Participating families receive an artificial, pre-decorated holiday tree, presents and gift cards to enjoy, while volunteers receive the joy, smiles and warm hugs from families when the goodies are delivered. For questions or to donate or volunteer, please contact the United Way office.
Stuff the Bus - This is an annual donation drive for new school supplies which are then distributed throughout eleven local school districts, in cooperation with the County Office of Education. Every summer, just before school starts, the community is invited to literally stuff a big yellow bus with supplies. Volunteers manage the busses and collect school supplies outside of all three SLO County Office Max locations. San Luis Paper Company donates sturdy boxes to hold the supplies and Lucia Mar Unified, Paso Robles Joint Unified and San Luis Coastal Unified School Districts donate the use of the school busses and drivers volunteer their time. In 2012, several local businesses hosted donation sites and made major donations: Coast Hills Federal Credit Union, Coast BMW/Nissan, Dignity Health, Kennedy Club Fitness, Lindamood-Bell, Rosetta, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, and Walgreens Atascadero. Over $12,000 worth of school supplies was collected, which included more than 450 boxes of crayons, 1,200 notebooks, and 7,200 pencils! Many thanks to all of our volunteers and donors, San Luis Paper Company, and signature event partners, KSBY and Office Max. Our 5th annual event will take place in August, 2013.
For photos of these events and other United Way activities, please click here.