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Kinder Foundation Makes Fifth Consecutive $1 Million Gift to United Way of Greater Houston Annual Campaign

HOUSTON (April 23, 2024) – United Way of Greater Houston has announced a $1 million gift from Kinder Foundation to support United Way’s work in helping families go from surviving to thriving. As the cost of basic needs such as gas, food, and utilities continue to rise, many working households in the region struggle to make ends meet. This is the fifth consecutive year for the Foundation to make a $1 million campaign gift at the Luminary Giving level.

The Luminary Giving level was established to serve as a catalyst to inspire our community’s most generous donors to make an impact on the community. It also illuminates the example of philanthropic organizations who are investing funds to support United Way’s role in providing financial stability services that transform lives over time, supported by a foundation of basic needs assistance.

“Helping our hardworking neighbors achieve a more sustainable financial future is an important part of building a better Houston for all of us,” said Rich Kinder, chairman of Kinder Foundation. “We believe in the work of United Way of Greater Houston and have seen the impact of their efforts to remove barriers to a better future for many in our community.”

“We are grateful to Kinder Foundation for their unwavering commitment to United Way and our work to help people not only land on their feet, but also stay there,” said Amanda McMillian, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston. "Luminary donors like Kinder Foundation champion our financial stability work, paving the way for a brighter, more resilient future for our entire community.”

The generous gift from Kinder Foundation will support United Way of Greater Houston’s work helping families and individuals achieve a more sustainable financial future. This work is driven by data from the United Way ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, which shows that 31% of working households don’t earn enough to afford the basic necessities of life, with another 14% of households living below the federal poverty threshold. United Way’s work helps people prosper through programs focused on financial stability, early childhood and youth development, and physical and behavioral health care, all supported by a foundation of basic needs assistance and help for those escaping violence. Families and individuals who are ready to work on their long-term financial stability have access to United Way of Greater Houston’s comprehensive resource network as part of the Integrated Client Journey program, which enables each client to create a customized pathway based on their goals and needs. A trained Navigator helps individuals access the tools and services they need to support success on their financial journey. Generous support from donors like Kinder Foundation has enabled United Way to establish 20 teams of Navigators and a network of 96 nonprofits across its four-county service area to support individuals undertaking the journey.

Supporting United Way helps neighbors like Linda build sustainable futures. Linda knew that if she didn’t get a better job, she would never be able to support her family. But she didn’t have a formal education, or the training needed to get a higher-paying job. She connected with a United Way partner and enrolled in a training program that would prepare her for a position in the health care field. Linda completed the training and secured a position as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a hospital but was laid off during the pandemic. She worked with her coach to adjust her plan and got into another training program that helped her secure a new position earning nearly $23 an hour. Linda continues to receive financial coaching and support to help her budget, save, and continue to build a better future for her family.

United Way also recently announced the addition of the R B & R Adams Family Foundation to the Luminary community. Amanda McMillan, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston, noted, “With this additional Luminary gift, United Way is off to a powerful start in our new strategy to help families and individuals, like Linda, achieve lasting financial stability. But our journey is far from over, and we invite other Luminaries to stand with us and be part of this life-changing movement.”

For more information on leadership giving at United Way of Greater Houston, visit https://unitedwayhouston.org/for-donors/.

About United Way of Greater Houston United Way of Greater Houston connects people to possibility. We unite donors, volunteers and community partners in support of a focused plan to remove barriers on the path to financial stability for families and individuals. Programs focused on financial stability, early childhood and youth development, and physical and behavioral health care help our neighbors land on their feet and stay there. These programs are supported by a foundation of basic needs assistance and help for those escaping violence. For families and individuals who are ready, our individualized approach includes Navigators who personally guide them as they access multiple services on their unique journey to financial stability. United Way also connects our neighbors with help, hope and critical resources 24/7/365 through the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. A focus on equity is integral to United Way’s work and program investments are evaluated on how diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is incorporated into policies, practices and service delivery. Our community investments are backed by research, ensured by good stewardship and deliver results. For more information, visit www.unitedwayhouston.org.

About the Kinder Foundation Kinder Foundation, a family foundation established in 1997 by Rich and Nancy Kinder of Houston, Texas, provides transformational grants that impact urban green space, education, and quality of life. More at www.kinderfoundation.org.

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