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Cumberland County Local Initiatives

At United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), we believe that everyone deserves a quality education from cradle to career, a job that pays a family-sustaining wage and good health. That’s why, through our Impact Fund, we invest in the building blocks of a good life - education, income and health – and provide community members with opportunities for better lives.

Education

Research shows that one of the greatest markers of academically “at-risk” students is the number of days they spend in school. In fact, by middle school, chronic absenteeism is one of the leading indicators of students who will likely drop out of high school – and by ninth grade, it’s a better predictor than test scores. That’s why, through investments from our Impact Fund, we’re partnering with local agencies and programs that address key early warning indicators – Attendance, Behavior and Course Completion. By focusing on these “ABCs” of academic success, we help our community’s youth thrive in middle school, transition successfully to high school, and achieve academically,  putting them on track to graduate from high school college- and career-ready.

Income

For those Cumberland County residents struggling to make ends meet, a few extra dollars back in their pockets can make all the difference. That’s where our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program comes in. Through VITA, volunteers provide free tax prep services to qualifying families, enabling local community members to access their full tax refunds and avoid paying costly fees at commercial preparation sites. During the 2012 tax season alone, our volunteers completed nearly 1,000 tax returns, directing more than $1 million in refunds back to local residents.