Happy New Year!

If you are like me, New Year’s Day is a day of reflection and a day to make big plans for the coming year. At our United Way we celebrate New Year’s Day twice a year: on January 1st, the official New Year’s Day, and on July 1st when our new fiscal year begins.

As I reflect on our work over this past year, I am thankful to you– our donors, volunteers, advocates and ambassadors—for your steadfast and generous support. Thanks to you, more than 690 kids in our STAR Readers project are on the path to reading at grade level. Thanks to you, 3,371 kids are learning how to be Fit Kids by adopting a healthy lifestyle and reducing their risk of childhood obesity. Thanks to you, 495 families were able to complete their tax returns this year at no cost and receive refunds that will help them on their path to financial stability. Thanks to you, 90% of foster youth in our $en$e-Ability project have better money management skills and a safety net as they emancipate out of the system into adulthood and independence. Thanks to you, the Toilet Paper drive received more than 161,000 rolls of toilet paper to be distributed to our nonprofit partners, which will represent real savings that they can invest in programs and services.

Now I will admit that like most folks, I have a tough time keeping those New Year’s resolutions. At our United Way, we resolve that over this next year, we will continue creating pathways to success for individuals and families in this region to realize their potential through education, financial stability and healthy lifestyles. With your support, that is one resolution we will keep. Who’s with me?

Stephanie McLemore Bray is the President & CEO of United Way California Capital Region.