Our Work








United Way of Kaw Valley serves the people of Shawnee, Douglas, Jackson and Jefferson counties in northeast Kansas. We pair individual and corporate donations with state and national grant dollars to create and cultivate an unbreakable network of support for strong, healthy and equitable communities.
Each year UWKV invests and manages millions of dollars to help ensure that regardless of their zip code every family and individual has access to the resources to live, learn and thrive. That can look like access to affordable:

  • High-quality childcare
  • High-quality preschool
  • Parenting education and support
  • Physical and mental health care
  • Financial literacy education
  • Job training
  • Family supports/basic needs in times of instability

We help families today while knowing that we must also change the systems that perpetuate inequity and generational disadvantage.
We think and act strategically about volunteering to increase the capacity of the local nonprofit community to serve our neighbors in need.
We convene conversations among donors, partners and stakeholders to create a common understanding of our greatest challenges and to generate better, more inclusive and achievable solutions. These conversations MUST include stakeholders who have used community services and understand the barriers because they have experienced them. That experience has value, and those stakeholders should be compensated for their contribution to the conversation.
We invest locally in partners whose work supports our aspirations. Investments are community-specific, supporting strategies guided by local volunteers in each county. Dollars raised in a community/county remain in that community unless a donor designates otherwise.
To best serve our community and effectively LIVE UNITED, UWKV commits to placing diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of our work, internally and externally. UWKV adds value to the nonprofit community by leading and encouraging collaboration, by sharing resources and capacity and by focusing many partners on problems that would overwhelm any single agency.
UWKV forges connections between and among partners and donors. UWKV shares its accumulated knowledge with its partners in the mutual pursuit of success of the Whole Family in all its forms. Succeeding in that pursuit also requires that UWKV listen to, learn from, and amplify the voices of those who are most in need and those who have been traditionally underrepresented or even silenced. UWKV recognizes that everyone in its United Way community brings value to its mission. It understands that each employee, donor, volunteer, partner and stakeholder brings different experiences perspectives and expectations on their United Way journey. UWKV respects and encourages insight and participation from all community members.
UWKV also invests in direct service programs like

  • Managing an online volunteer matching service and coordinating thousands of volunteer hours each year through ongoing board and committee opportunities, corporate volunteer engagement and special volunteer events.
  • Supporting the VITA program that helps people get their tax returns prepared for free. This program brings $10 million back into the community in the form of saved preparation fees tax refunds and earned income credits.
  • Christmas Bureau
  • Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
  • Nancy Perry Day of Caring, which annually supplies around 1,000 corporate and community volunteers for nonprofit projects.
  • The Junior Leader Reader Program, coordinated by UWKV’s Young Leaders Society, where every year volunteers read to thousands of preschool and kindergarten students, each of whom receive a free book.

UWKV takes pride in keeping internal costs as low as possible, so donor dollars are used efficiently and effectively to achieve its mission. In addition to direct service, donor dollars support grant management and fiscal oversight, strategic volunteer engagement and management, local and state advocacy, donor and partner communication, and continued community collaboration that leads us to new and better solutions.

Community Impact Goals

  • Childhood Success
    • Early Learning
    • Home Visitation
  • Family Success
    • K12 Supports
    • Workforce Readiness & Employment Success
    • Youth Financial Literacy
  • Family Supports
    • Food Security
    • Housing Supports
    • Access to Healthcare
    • Services for Relationship Violence and Trafficking Survivors

Success in these initiatives isn’t possible until someone’s basic needs, including shelter, rent and utilities, food, health assistance/prescriptions, and safety from domestic violence, are met. We provide some direct assistance in this area though Women United and have a number of partners committed to help people in need. 2-1-1 is a great resource for anyone looking to obtain assistance.

During the holidays, United Way’s Christmas Bureau connects thousands of individuals in need of a Christmas miracle with generous individuals and families willing to lend some Christmas cheer. LEARN MORE!