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Inside the Icon: United Way of San Diego County

A closer look at the community leader that’s been an agent of change for 95 years




Photo by Gary Rohman

Leaders from the Community

United Way’s current president and CEO, Kevin Crawford, was Carlsbad’s former fire chief. Former Mayor Jerry Sanders, now president and CEO of the chamber of commerce, was a past CEO as well.

Go Chargers

Nationally, United Way and the NFL have been partners for 42 years. Locally, special teams captain and Pro Bowl safety Darrell Stuckey is this year’s United Way rep.

Empowering Literacy

United Way’s “Day of Action,” held every June, distributes more than 125,000 books to San Diego youth.

Global Reach

There are 1,800 United Ways in 40 countries, with 2.6 million volunteers impacting 50 million lives around the world.

Early Language Learning

San Diego is among the first cities to host the LENA Start program, implemented by United Way, which gives toddlers in low-income families recorders to wear that track the number of words they hear and conversational interactions they have.

Union Yes

The partnership between the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and the United Way of San Diego County serves 130 member unions and 200,000 union members. In 2014, the partnership provided emergency assistance for 3,687 San Diego families.

Out of One, Many

The San Diego Foundation, Volunteer San Diego, LEAD San Diego, 2-1-1 San Diego, The Children’s Initiative, Regional Task Force on the Homeless San Diego, and San Diego Grantmakers all began as offshoots of United Way.

Savvy About At-Risk Youth

In City Heights, United Way is working on identifying at-risk students as early as kindergarten and helping their families with resource issues—like transportation, clothing, and food—that are preventing their kids from attending school.

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