Press Releases

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New United Way Literacy Program has Local Kids Reaching for the STARS

SACRAMENTO (April 9, 2021) – United Way California Capital Region is launching a new literacy effort called STARS that pairs volunteers online with local kids learning to read. With the recent launch of the program, United Way California Capital Region will be raising funds for STARS on May 6, Big Day of Giving. Local residents are invited to participate by donating at various giving levels and sharing photos of themselves reading on social media.

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Virtual Free Tax Prep Program Shifts Due to Rise in Demand, Extended Deadline

SACRAMENTO (3/29/21) – United Way California Capital Region is shifting its free tax help program from virtual one-on-one assistance to virtual group assistance and a do-it-yourself option, due to a rise in demand and the new filing deadline of May 17. Eligible households can now visit YourFreeTaxPrep.org to file their taxes online for free by themselves or to sign up for a free April 10 Zoom webinar where United Way’s IRS-certified volunteers will assist the group in filing their taxes online.

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Local United Way CEO to Step Down for Position at Seattle Foundation

SACRAMENTO (3/26/21) – Stephanie McLemore Bray, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region, will leave her position in mid-April as she transitions to her new role as chief engagement officer for Seattle Foundation in May. Amber Lovett, chief resource development and marketing officer at United Way California Capital Region, will transition to interim president and CEO on April 1 while the organization undergoes a nationwide search.

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3-Day Virtual Event Brings Women Together

SACRAMENTO (3/9/21) – United Way California Capital Region’s Women United action group is inviting community members to its three-day virtual event during Women’s History Month to raise awareness of the needs of local foster youth and to celebrate the local women who are making a difference for foster youth in the community.

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First Wave of Community Funding from Mackenzie Scott Donation Announced

SACRAMENTO (2/9/21) – United Way California Capital Region has approved a first wave of funding totaling $500,000 from the $10 million gift received in December from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The first wave of funding will help individuals and families in the region gain social and financial capital, support United Way’s digital equity work across the capital region, empower Sacramento residents to have a voice in a local redevelopment project and provide COVID-19 relief funding in Yolo County.

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Free Tax Help Available Virtually Across Sacramento Region

SACRAMENTO (1/25/21) – Households throughout the Sacramento region are eligible for free virtual help preparing taxes and claiming credits this year, saving an average of $200 in preparer fees and earning up to $8,000 in credits. More households are eligible to participate in United Way California Capital Region’s Free Tax Prep program this year, including those earning $65,000 or less in 2020.

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Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott Donates $10M to United Way California Capital Region

SACRAMENTO (12/15/20) – MacKenzie Scott announced today that she has made a donation to United Way California Capital Region. The philanthropist chose the local United Way chapter to receive a $10 million gift because of the group’s work to fill basic needs while also addressing long-term systemic inequities that have deepened during the pandemic.

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Shine Your Light: United Way Asks Capital Region To Brighten Communities This Holiday Season Through Giving And Volunteering

SACRAMENTO (11/18/20) – At the end of a year that has been dark for many communities across the country, United Way California Capital Region is asking residents across the region to join its Shine Your Light holiday campaign, which includes opportunities for community giving and volunteering during the holiday season. Visit YourLocalUnitedWay.org/Holiday-Giving.

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Woodland Resident Elected to Board of Directors

SACRAMENTO (10/15/20) – Mark Ullrich of Woodland has been elected to United Way California Capital Region’s board of directors. Ullrich runs accounting firm Ullrich Delevati, CPAs, in Woodland and West Sacramento and served on United Way’s Woodland Merger Committee as Woodland United Way and United Way California Capital Region explored and completed their merger last year. He currently serves on United Way’s Woodland Community Advisory Committee.

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Two Placer Residents Elected to Board of Directors

SACRAMENTO (10/15/20) – Michael Simonds of Granite Bay and Brad Freeburg of Rocklin have been elected to United Way California Capital Region’s board of directors. Simonds is middle market business development director at Nationwide. Freeburg is director of package operations for UPS North California district.

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Asian American woman smiling outdoors with flowers behind her.

United Way’s Young Leaders Society Launches Remix Virtual Speaker Series

SACRAMENTO (9/29/20) – United Way’s Young Leaders Society is hosting a virtual speaker series this fall to meet the most pressing work-related and mental health needs of young professionals during the pandemic. The REMIX speaker series will launch on Oct. 6 with a free virtual presentation by Celeste Sekigahama of the Yoga Seed and will be followed by a free virtual presentation on Oct. 27 by Nihal Satyadev, MPH, founder of The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s. The series will culminate on Nov.

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Black/White Photo of a somber young girl holding a photo album. Young girl smiling with a tablet

Free Broadband, Computers and Digital Literacy Training Available to Sacramento Households in Need During Pandemic

SACRAMENTO (9/28/20) – Up to 10,000 Sacramento households affected by the pandemic, particularly low-income households with children and seniors, will receive free broadband access this fall through a new pilot program launched by the City of Sacramento and United Way California Capital Region. Funded through the federal CARES Act, the Digital Equity program also will provide free computers to up to 1,000 households as well as digital literacy training on how to use the technology.

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Photo of three women at a United Way booth, holding materials smiling.

One Year After Local United Way Merger

SACRAMENTO (9/22/20)  – United Way California Capital Region is calling its merger with Woodland United Way a success after its first year, citing expanded programming and a larger presence in the area. The merger took place after a year of exploration, community meetings and preparation, with both groups’ boards of directors unanimously approving the merger in June 2019.

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United Way volunteers prepare Kinder Kits filled with literacy supplies for Woodland kindergarteners this summer.

Yolo County Children Receive More Than 12,000 Books Through United Way During Pandemic

SACRAMENTO (9/2/20) – Yolo County children stuck at home during the pandemic had reading activities through the summer thanks to United Way California Capital Region, which adapted its literacy programs for the pandemic. From distributing books and educational materials to holding a virtual version of the Woodland Kids Read and Dream literacy event, United Way worked to help Yolo County children avoid the summer learning gap known as the summer slide.

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United Way COVID-19 Local Relief Fund Helps 1,145 Families Across Sacramento Region

SACRAMENTO (7/31/20) – In a span of three months, United Way California Capital Region’s COVID-19 Local Relief Fund raised $572,000 to provide 1,145 families in need across the region with a one-time $500 distribution to help offset costs of rent, bills and other basic needs. United Way worked with 11 nonprofit partners in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties to identify low-income families whose lives were disrupted by the pandemic and ensure they received the help they needed.

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Oyango Snell Elected Vice Chair of Board of Directors

SACRAMENTO (7/15/20) – Oyango Snell of West Sacramento has been elected vice chair of United Way California Capital Region’s board of directors. Snell serves as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for the Western States Petroleum Association. Prior to that position, he served as chief legislative and regulatory counsel in multiple states representing the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and worked in state government relations in the public and private sectors in Columbus, Ohio.

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Three Granit Bay Residents Elected to Board of Directors

SACRAMENTO (7/15/20) – Granite Bay residents Dave Bowen, Dave Cable and Steve Lins have been elected as officers on United Way California Capital Region’s board of directors. Lins, SMUD chief assistant general counsel, will serve as board chair. Bowen, who is retired from Deloitte, will serve as treasurer. Cable, a senior vice president at Bank of America, will serve as immediate past board chair. The board also elected West Sacramento resident Oyango Snell of Western States Petroleum Association as board vice chair.