United Way of Tarrant County (UWTC) has launched the Get United campaign to honor its 100th birthday and a century of service to local communities. Funds will be used to support progress and initiatives to create a more vibrant and stable community for all. County President and CEO Leah M. King issued a challenge to Tarrant County residents: Join United Way’s Get United campaign to support progress and initiatives that will create a more vibrant and stable community for all.
The campaign was announced during a community event held on the steps of Globe Life Field in Arlington. UWTC President and CEO Leah M. King led the occasion. Community leaders— including Ms. Opal Lee, the honorable Jeff Williams, Mayor Jim Ross of Arlington, President – Tarrant Region at Frost Bank, Hadley Woerner, and longtime Texas Rangers public address announcer Chuck Morgan — announced the vision, focus areas, and fundraising goals for the Get United campaign. The campaign aims to engage the public, businesses, and philanthropists in achieving a more prosperous and equitable future in Tarrant County.
Community members, staff, nonprofit organizations, and civic and corporate leaders gathered for the birthday party, which featured the reveal of a 30-foot mural painted by Texas artist Jon McKenzie who grew up in Arlington and attended Tarrant County College. The mural illustrates people from a community as diverse as Tarrant County coming together to get united. It will remain on display to the public at Globe Life Field — next to Arlington Backyard — through the holiday season. In 2023, United Way of Tarrant County will bring the mural and additional community celebrations to neighborhoods across the county.
United Way of Tarrant County’s centennial birthday was celebrated countywide by official proclamation of the Tarrant County Commissioners Court as well as in the cities of Arlington, Euless, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Hurst, Keller, Mansfield, and Saginaw that each formally recognized Nov. 17, 2022, as GET UNITED DAY. Also recognizing GET UNITED DAY were Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott and Gov. Greg Abbott, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, U.S. Rep. Jake Ellzey, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, Texas Sen. Brian Birdwell, Texas Sen. Jane Nelson, Texas Sen. Kelly Hancock, Texas Sen. Beverly Powell, the entire Texas House of Representatives, and the Mayors Council of Tarrant County.
“United Way is committed to providing leadership, harnessing public and private resources, and developing programs to address the toughest challenges and issues facing Tarrant County,” said King. “GET UNITED DAY is a celebration of the work still to be done and an invitation to community ambassadors, civic leaders, partner agencies, businesses, foundations, donors, and each and every individual here in Tarrant County to join us in making our communities stronger for generations to come.”
The Get United campaign identifies four focus areas for near- and long-term support:
· Community response — providing the basics for daily needs, disaster relief, and military and veteran families.
· Community health — ensuring a community where everyone can be safe and healthy, with a particular focus on underserved neighbors, women, children, older adults, and those with disabilities.
· Financial empowerment — equipping individuals with the tools for independence, from financial literacy to stable housing and transportation.
· Education and learning — preparing the current and future workforce to contribute to their own success and to their community.
At its GET UNITED DAY event, United Way of Tarrant County and campaign leaders challenged 100,000 residents to lend their voices and sign up to learn about the Get United campaign in the next 100 days. Individuals can learn about the issues facing Tarrant County and how to contribute or volunteer at getunitedtarrant.org.
Karen and Jeff Williams, former mayor of Arlington, will co-chair the Get United campaign, which United Way of Tarrant County anticipates will represent the organization’s largest fundraising effort in its 100-year history.
“We know the magic of United Way is twofold: identifying and understanding the needs of Tarrant County and building trust in programs to address tough problems facing our region, from food insecurity to youth gun violence to maternal health outcomes and more,” said Jeff Williams. “Through Get United, we can grow the role of a convener in bringing resources to the table and truly become 64 ZIP codes working to not only fix problems but also to tackle the reasons they exist in the first place.”
Early contributors to Get United, including GM Financial, BNSF Railway, and Rainwater Charitable Foundation, joined Williams, King, Woerner, and Lee onstage at the GET UNITED DAY event for a solemn moment of reflection as attendees pulled hundreds of magnets labeled with facts of need in Tarrant County.
“Get United is about drawing the public’s attention to what their neighbors need and sharing the vision with private and corporate contributors of what it will take to make positive, transformational change in Tarrant County,” said Woerner, who also serves as chair of the United Way board of directors.