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Philanthropy Thought Leadership

United Way of Greater Atlanta in Gwinnett County has reason to celebrate, but there’s much more work to be done

By Denise Townsend, Regional Director, United Way of Greater Atlanta

When an organization receives the “D.” Scott Hudgens Award it is an honor, but what does that mean for Gwinnett County? The award is given only to those organizations whose accomplishments, projects, and community involvement embody selfless service to the community. United Way of Greater Atlanta in Gwinnett County is honored to receive this award for the work we’ve done, but we have so much more to do.

Hudgens Foundation investments are meant to address evolving needs of Gwinnett County, which has become one of the most diverse in the nation.  United Way in Gwinnett County launched the Racial Equity and Healing Initiative in 2020 to shift ideology, build community will for change, and to reduce structural inequities.  These imperatives are part our Child Well-Being Mission which is to ensure every child and family has equitable opportunities and access to resources to reach their full potential regardless of zip code or race.

Recognized as an ongoing and purposeful equity journey, United Way in Gwinnett County creates awareness, provides informational grounding, cooperative learning & leadership opportunities. The outcome of this journey is to connect and empower citizens, institutions, and systems.  These ideas are embodied in the planned Center for Equity, Inclusion, and

Belonging – a future public-private partnership for a community equity plan aiming to reduce and prevent inequities across systems that impact child well-being in Gwinnett. To join the Gwinnett Equity Journey text UWGAGwinnett to 22828 or contact Denise Townsend dtownsend@unitedwayatlanta.org.

 These strides have been developed while United Way in Gwinnett makes data-driven investments, raises funds, and connect stakeholders and resources to tackle important issues. Just in the last few years, United Way in Gwinnett’s community immersion resulted in $8M in grants to 260 partners with COVID-19 funds, supported 1.7M interventions, and regional investments serving over 86,000 people.

Great care has been taken to establish and maintain public-private partnerships. These partnerships provide coordinated planning, funding, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of equity initiatives like HomeFirst Gwinnett which provided 18,000 persons with shelter, eviction prevention and diversion services, as well as our signature event, SPARK which has awarded $226K to 27 organizations since 2016.  United Way humbly acknowledges the strength and power of these successful partnerships as it accepts the 2023 Hudgen’s award. 

For more information on how to get involved with United Way of Greater Atlanta in Gwinnett County, contact Denise Townsend, Regional Director dtownsend@unitedwayatlanta.org.


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