United Way July Newsletter – Discover.  Connect.  See your impact



Dear [NAME]:

When I think of summer, I think of days spent with family, enjoying time in the mountains or with friends. For me and my family it’s a time to relax and slow down a bit, but for many families in need, summer means a time of scrambling, making up for meals lost at school, finding safe places for their kids to spend time, and hoping unsupervised children stay out of trouble.

This is where you come in. Your support of United Way helps our more than 100 community organizations offer affordable, enriching, high-quality summer programming for children and youth. These programs fill critical needs over the summer months for families who are struggling – including providing breakfast and lunch for their children, a safe, fun environment, and activities to help kids return to school prepared to learn. They also provide summer employment opportunities for youth, which keep kids out of trouble and lay the foundation for successful career-building in the future.

In addition to the programs you will read about this month, our Summer Learning Collaborative is in full swing at 27 program sites in 14 cities and towns. Last year, 82% of the 3,000 elementary-age students participating in this program avoided summer learning loss.

Read on to learn more about the challenges these families face each summer and ways to keep your own children or grandchildren engaged and energized during the dog days of summer. Thank you for helping to ensure all children enjoy a summer of opportunity.

mike durkin signature

Mike Durkin
President & CEO

involve kids in safe summer opportunities 

Keeping kids involved in safe, fulfilling summer activities is critical.

“Summer is a time when lack of affordable child care, food insecurity, plus learning loss and achievement gap all join forces to create a very stressful situation for the low-income families and children we serve,” says Lindsay Smythe, Executive Director of the Medford Boys & Girls Club. “So many youth have limited or no options for a safe, positive and fun experience.”

According to the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership, Massachusetts families who pay for summer learning programs spend an average $475 per week – a cost that is prohibitive for most of these families. This makes affordable summer opportunities invaluable. Why it matters >>



Arrange a tour of a Summer Learning Collaborative site
September 29: Save the Date for Tocqueville Celebration

rewarding summer opportunities

Summer offers plenty of opportunity for families to plug into fun and rewarding activities.

"When you don’t eat right, especially in the summer, it’s tougher to get everything you’ve learned to stay," says Sally Thayer, the Nutrition Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell. "Nutritious food fuels these kids, fuels their brains. They have energy to keep going and going."

So the next question: what to do with these fully-fueled brains? Here are three suggestions to turn the dog days of July and August into a summer of opportunity. Take a look >>


summer opportunity video

For thousands of youth in the Merrimack Valley, United Way helps make summer safe and rewarding.

Every year, the United Way-supported Summer Experiences in Greater Lowell (SEGL) provides a variety of enriching summer activities. From job training experiences to day camps, these adventures ensure that the school off-season is packed with skill-building and social development for kids of all ages.
Watch the video >>



Looking for a chance to get outside, get your hands dirty and give back to the community in a big way? Backyard Growers of Gloucester is seeking volunteers to help build community gardens, a perfect family volunteer experience!
Sign up today>>

tocqueville opportunities 




United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley| 51 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210| Tel: 617-624-8000 | unitedwaymassbay.org