United Way Initiatives

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United Way of the Mohawk Valley is a leader in creating innovative solutions to meet our community's needs.

Each initiative works to fills a gap in services in the Mohawk Valley. Our initiatives make an impact that goes far beyond today. They are intended to create lasting change in our community and the lives of those who live and work here.

We lead several initiatives including Ready for Kindergarten (R4K)Free Tax Prep, 211, and ESPRI (Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative.)

R4K (Ready For Kindergarten) is a partnership between United Way of the Mohawk Valley, local schools, parents, and community organizations. R4K Family School Navigators engage local resources ensuring children start school ready to learn and continue their education fully engaged, paving the way for career and life success. Studies show that when a child enters kindergarten ready to learn, they are more successful in life and career.


Through this project, United Way launched the region's first licensed extended-day childcare center, Academics First. Incubating a new business bringing 30 new jobs and more than 100 childcare spots for families in the Mohawk Valley is an outstanding feat for our organization and community. This childcare center is one way we have created innovative solutions to meet the needs of the Mohawk Valley's residents. 


211 serves as a 24/7/365 outlet for individuals to get connected to help. As the most comprehensive listing of services in our community, 211 is a vital resource.

Many times people don't know where to turn first for help. 211 navigates through the many available services to connect our community members with the necessary services.

With the power of technology and innovation, this database goes a step further - providing important information about our community's unique needs. This data helps drive our work in the Mohawk Valley.


United Way's Free Tax Prep offers free tax help and filing to people living in Oneida or Herkimer County who make approximately $60,000 or less. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing for taxpayers from eligible households. Free Tax Prep sites accommodate people with disabilities and interpreting for limited English speakers is available.