Make Your Moment


Engaging in public policy advocacy is a powerful way to make a difference in people’s lives.

For a community to thrive, we need to understand the complex issues that face our communities, our state, and our nation, and do our part in advocating for policies that help bring positive change. United Way of 1000 Lakes works with individuals and coalitions to ensure childhood success, individuals live healthy lives, and everyone has the opportunity to achieve financial well-being.

Be Informed and Be Vocal


Effective change requires increased awareness. You can help activate change in our community by making your voice heard for the causes and issues that matter most to you.

Help make your community strong


Ways You Can Take Action

To achieve real change it takes all of us - business, labor, nonprofits, and advocates raising our voices and working together to advance the common good.

Contact elected officials to tell them how you feel about upcoming bills or policies.

Learn who represents you. Find Out →

Participate in public meetings on education, basic needs, and health-related issues. Share stories and discuss policy with your local legislators at community meetings on social issues.

Share your opinion with us through our Community Needs Assessment Survey and help us learn how we can best support our region. Take Survey →

Write a letter to the editor on an issue affecting your community that you feel passionately about. United Way needs people who are passionate about early learning, financial stability, and health to make some noise.

Make Your Voice Heard

Throughout the year, United Ways of Minnesota and other coalitions hold advocacy events open to public participation. Join together with others to make a larger impact.

HUNGER & HOMELESS AWARENESS WEEK
November 12th – 20th, 2022

Homeless Awareness Day
November 13th
At Sunday’s kick-off, participating churches will call attention to the issue of homelessness. Supporters can also participate by taking the at-home challenge: take a moment to read a relevant poem or educational article or conduct a random act of kindness.

Soup on the Streets & Hat-Mitten Drive
November 16th
3 – 5 p.m.
Old Central School grounds (10 NW 5th St, Grand Rapids)
The event will include the reading of a proclamation and an awareness stand along the sidewalk. Bring a new winter hat, pair of mittens, or scarf to donate to the hat & mitten drive. Soup and water will be provided to attendees. Register

Hunger & Housing Education Panel
November 17th
9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
KOOTASCA Conference Room, Central Square Mall (201 NW 4th St, Grand Rapids)

Itasca County Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week partners include GRACE House, KOOTASCA Community Action, Inc. Northland Counseling Center, Coordinated Entry (Homeless Response System), CLI (Community Living Infrastructure), AEOA Youth Services, Second Harvest Food Bank, North Homes Children & Family Services, and Itasca County Housing Redevelopment Authority.

Call Gail at 218-999-0833 or Haley at 218-999-0832 with questions.


HUNGER DAY ON THE HILL
March 8th – 9th, 2022
Virtual
Speaking up and sharing your story to a legislator puts a human face to the issue of hunger. Join hunger advocates in March to learn about hunger-fighting efforts at the state level. Register


HOMELESS DAY ON THE HILL
March 9th – 11th, 2022
Virtual
Join more than 200 organizations and nearly 800 individuals in March to advocate for housing stability for all Minnesotans. Coordinated by the Minnesota Coalition for Homeless, attendees connect with legislators to raise awareness and advocate for state investments that focus on preventing and ending homelessness. Learn more


ADVOCACY FOR CHILDREN DAY
March 16th, 2022
Virtual
Each March, hundreds of early childhood learning advocates, parents, childcare providers, and children from across the state gather to stand up and encourage legislators to support Minnesota’s youngest and most vulnerable children at Advocacy for Children Day. Learn more

How We Advocate

LOCAL

United Way of 1000 Lakes is a member of the Itasca Network for Youth coalition working to strengthen afterschool programming for youth and families across Itasca County. We also work with our homelessness prevention partners through the Itasca County Housing Issues Advisory Committee, contributing to helping people find housing.

STATE

United Way of 1000 Lakes is a member of and holds a seat of the United Ways of Minnesota Board of Directors. Working with other United Ways around the state, we work to address and strengthen 2-1-1 Information and Referral and advance Early Child Learning. During the legislative session, as a network, we testify and send letters to members of the legislature on issues that will improve the lives of Minnesota citizens, including the importance of early learning, financial stability, and healthy lives.

FEDERAL

On federal policy issues, United Way of 1000 Lakes follows the lead and recommendations of United Way Worldwide. When a federal issue impacts the Greater Itasca area, we work with them to find an appropriate method of advocacy. We also engage our representatives locally with initiatives in the community whenever possible.