Life as a military spouse is hard. It gets even harder when you receive word that you will soon be referred to as a former military spouse, because your soldier will not be coming home. Next comes the folded flag, and the Gold Star. The refrigerator full of casseroles from well-meaning family members. And the unanswerable questions from the children that will always bear a resemblance to the love that you have lost.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
Lurenda Avery, a resident of Shelby County, Alabama, is used to seeing mountains in her backyard. But nothing could have prepared her for the uphill battle she faced in her household.
In May of 2006, Lurenda and her husband, Ben, were preparing for their first child, Olivia. Things were going well until 24 weeks into her pregnancy when she unexpectedly gave birth. Although little Olivia fought to stay alive for a week, she ultimately didn’t make it.
In mid-June, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shook things up – again.
I’m not talking about Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, although in many places that is a big deal.
The moment Tiffany Cross drops off her one-year-old daughter, Leah, at Tiny Tots Learning Center on Milwaukee’s north side, she feels confident her child is in the right place.
“It’s a comfort knowing she’s in a safe environment and also learning at the same time,” Tiffany said.
Nearly one third of Florida's third graders attending public school can’t read at minimally proficient levels. And, unless they improve their skills, these kids are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
That’s where United Way's ReadingPals comes in. We know research shows that reading aloud to kids can help them develop into strong readers – a building block for a lifetime of academic success. ReadingPals connects passionate, committed volunteers with preschoolers who need a little extra help getting ready for kindergarten.
Middle school kids go through profound physical, emotional and social changes, and it can be a rough time for them, their parents and caregivers, and teachers, too. Research shows that strengthening the middle grades experience is critical for improving high school graduation rates.
Amanda had tried a few different careers, but what she really wanted was to be in construction. She loved being out in the field, wielding tools and building things, but didn’t have the skills to get hired.
And then she discovered United Way of Greater Houston.
Sometimes our challenges are so big, it’s hard to ask for help. Sometimes our problems seem impossible to conquer, making it difficult to find solutions.
Sometimes a conversation can change a life.
Most kids are ecstatic when the last day of school rolls around—and for good reason.
No more homework.
No more tests.
And no more stressing about grades.
For the next few months, they can kick back and relax—sort of.
When school’s out, educators worry that kids will fall behind and lose what they learned, experiencing what’s called the “summer slide.”