United Way of Central Massachusetts

About Our Work

United Way of Central Massachusetts (UWCM) wants all children and youth to succeed to improve the community. United Way realizes that there are many barriers to achieving this vision for all children and youth, including the overwhelming impacts of poverty, societal injustices and missed opportunities for optimum engagement. To address these challenges, UWCM strives for all children to receive a 21st century education that encompasses learning and supports at home, in school and within the community; in order to be ready for college, career and life; have the best possible physical health and wellness; and for all families to be economically stable and resilient.

Building Blocks for a Healthy Community

Our work will be organized around Education, Family Stability and Health, which are considered essential building blocks for a successful life. By 2020 United Way aspires to see a 10% change in the following factors in Central Massachusetts:

Our Strategic Plan

To affect the systemic causes of our community's most pressing issues.

Download the Strategic Plan Summary

Community Collaborations

Collaboration among providers is the most effective way to improve outcomes. Therefore, United Way seeks to promote holistic service delivery systems and to support organizations that have or intend to create formal, intentional collaborations with counterpart agencies or programs. UWCM knows that any community change will take the commitment of multiple stakeholders. We are poised to lead initiatives that focus on the intersection of schools, families, and community assets. Learn more

Community Investments

In addition to grants awarded to programs in the areas of "Community Safety Net" and "Creating Community Change," last year United Way invested nearly $5.4 million into the community through direct community service, donor designations, The Women's Initiative and other community grants. For a visual representation and description of these areas link to our Pie Chart.

Labor Services AFL-CIO United Way Partnership

The AFL/CIO is dedicated to providing the best services available to its membership. With this in mind, they formed a partnership with the United Way of Central Massachusetts over 40 years ago. The partnership has provided solutions in creating a stronger community that provides a great place for union members to live, work, raise children and retire.
The partnership is an essential part of the solutions needed to continue strengthening the community. 
Working together, the AFL/CIO United Way partnership provides members with the opportunity to shape their community through volunteer services and a direct link to information on health, and human services. Learn more>>

Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships

Creating Community Change through Collaborations

Through the following strategic initiatives, coalitions, and community programs, United Way is working to convene partners throughout our community to create lasting change in the most pressing issues of Central Massachusetts.

Women’s Initiative

An initiative that engages the time, talent and treasure of women to make a positive impact on the lives of women and children. The current focus on middle school girls has women mobilizing and educating the community on the rising occurrence of violence in the lives of girls. Two new dynamic programs are currently funded by the generosity of members of the Women’s Initiative. Learn more


UWCM is part of the Worcester EITC Coalition, which is working to create awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and engage volunteers to help prepare taxes for free. The Coalition recruits volunteers to serve at VITA sites and helps people claim eligible tax credits. We are also working to build awareness about financial issues such as predatory lending practices, pay day loans, and predatory tax preparation services that further hinder an individual’s ability to save and build assets. Learn more


Just as you would call 9-1-1 in an emergency, United Way of Central Massachusetts has partnered with other United Way’s across the state, to establish Mass 2-1-1 to help with non-life threatening needs. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, non-profit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources. Visit Mass 2-1-1's website to Learn more.

Main South Promise Neighborhood Partnership

Together with Clark University, Worcester Education Collaborative, Worcester Public Schools and Main South CDC, United Way of Central Massachusetts was awarded a national grant for more than $456,000 to create an action plan for the children of the Main South based on the successful “Harlem Children’s Zone”--a model that combines education and wrap-around human services so all children can succeed, in turn creating a new vibrancy for the neighborhood. Learn more

Investing In Girls Alliance

The Investing in Girls Alliance is an outcome of the Mayor's Task Force on Youth at Risk in the City of Worcester. The group was brought together to address the recent rise in violence among adolescent girls in the local community. Learn more

Hunger-Free & Healthy

Increasing public and government support for programs to reduce hunger and increase access to more nutritious foods. Learn more


by advocating for youth on issues of education, jobs, and healthy lifestyles.”

- Hilda Ramirez, Worcester Youth Center

Hilda Ramirez