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United We Improve Lives

What is the impact of my donation?

Giving to the United Way Community Fund is the most powerful way to give.  Your gift is combined with others to:

  • Support critical programs and services at high-performing nonprofit organizations through an extensive grant-making process
  • Deliver services directly to people in need through our 211 Call Center, County Service Centers, and volunteers efforts
  • Bring the community together to help provide a social services safety net and advance strategic efforts to encourage upward mobility for all

In 2021, your contributions to the Community Fund improved the lives of 206,873 people throughout Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties.

This year, the Herschel V. Jenkins Trust and other income cover nearly all of the organization’s operating expenses, allowing donor dollars to go where they’re most needed in service to the community.

How we serve our community


Nonprofit Programs

United Way of the Coastal Empire supports over 80 programs across more than 50 local agencies throughout our four-county region doing everything from making sure seniors have hot meals to providing transformative after-school and summer programs for children.

211 Call Center

211 is a free, confidential service provided by United Way of the Coastal Empire to ensure every person in the community has access to the best resources available. The Community Fund allows United Way to provide direct assistance to people through our 211 Call Center and County Service Centers in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties.

County Service Centers

United Way operates County Service Centers in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties, providing direct social services. Beyond basic emergency relief services, they also provide backpacks for weekend food distribution to children in need, mobile food pantries, and volunteer opportunities for agencies supported by United Way.

United Way Volunteers

United Way Volunteers connects volunteers to causes that strengthen our community. In 2021, 3,367 individual volunteers donated their time and expertise to projects supported by United Way of the Coastal Empire.

In 2021, programs and services funded by United Way improved the lives of:


with Community Fund Grants

with Community Fund Direct Services


of people in our region received support through the United Way Community Fund.

Supporting Nonprofit
Programs That Make an Impact

United Way of the Coastal Empire was created by the community for the community.  It is the one way we all come together – year after, decade after decade – to support each other with a safety net of programs, services, and pathways for upward mobility to help everyone thrive.

An Investment that Matters

United Way of the Coastal Empire supports over 80 programs across more than 50 local agencies throughout our four-county region doing everything from making sure seniors have hot meals to providing transformative after-school and summer programs for children.

In 2021, United Way funded improved the lives of people in our region in many powerful ways, including but not limited to those listed below. These are some of the ways YOUR MONEY HELPS!

Safety Net


medical and dental care visits were provided to low-income, uninsured, or under-insured individuals.


worth of free or discounted prescriptions were provided to those needing medicinal care.


meals were delivered to home-bound seniors.


pounds of food were distributed by local food pantries.


balanced and healthy meals were provided to 4,706 children.


children received critical counseling following abuse.


nights of safe shelter were provided for 2,576 children, youth, and adults experiencing homelessness, abuse, or neglect.


meals were served in emergency shelters.


home visits were conducted when child abuse or neglect was suspected or reported.

Upward Mobility


children aged five years old and younger demonstrated measurable improvement in social, emotional, language, and other essential skills to prepare them to enter school ready to learn.


people received free tax return preparation services or filed taxes using free software.


youth in career exploration or enrichment programs demonstrated increased job-related or soft skills to prepare them for successful employment.


disaster victims and people experiencing homelessness moved from emergency shelters to transitional or permanent housing.


was spent on home repairs and restoration.


children and youth demonstrated improved academic performance over the school year.


community service hours beyond school requirements were volunteered by 730 children and youth.


people completed a job training program, and 359 people obtained employment.


parents demonstrated improved anger management, stress relief, and parenting skills.

From Hello to Help,
211 is here for you.


211 is a free, confidential service provided by United Way of the Coastal Empire which connects individuals in our community to resources that they need when they need them. Below are some of the greatest needs in our four-county area.

Safe Housing

8,112 Calls

Utility Assistance

4,485 Calls

Special Ed Services

344 Calls

Food / Meals

239 Calls

Health Care

137 Calls


129 Calls

Crisis Response

We were built for this.

Founded in 1938 after the Great Depression, United Way was created to respond to crises. When the pandemic began, United Way mobilized the community to help those most severely impacted before federal relief funds were eventually made available. Whether it’s an economic collapse, a hurricane, a fire, or COVID-19, United Way is here, and we can’t do it without you.

Pandemic Response

Throughout 2020 and 2021, United Way of the Coastal Empire worked to assist our community through the pandemic.

First, the community came together to support United Way’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund with $675,000 before any federal dollars were made available. These funds helped nearly 2,000 people in our region remain safely housed after their incomes were severely impacted by COVID-19.

Next, due to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, Chatham County and the City of Savannah asked United Way to help distribute Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds. While other communities and states struggled to find ways to distribute these dollars, United Way partnered with other nonprofit agencies to process $3.8 million in assistance to help more than 4,000 people with mortgage, utility, and rental payments made directly to landlords and utility companies.

Our United Way also managed $5 million of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funds on behalf of Chatham County throughout 2021 and 2022. This helped thousands more of our neighbors at risk of eviction and utility disruption and those in need of internet access for remote work, education, and jobs.

Altogether, United Way helped process nearly $10 million in two years to help those who needed it most.

To do this, our 211 Call Center hired eight additional Information and Referral Specialists and caseworkers to answer the increased number of calls and connected people to housing and utility assistance, educational services, food distribution, health care information, and more.

Empowering the community to serve

United Way is a volunteer-driven organization, connecting people to causes that strengthen our community through United Way Volunteers.

United Way Volunteers

United Way Volunteers harnesses the time and talents of others to create positive change in our community.







(based on the Georgia State value of a volunteer estimated by


United Way is powered by volunteers.  Thank you to our Board of Directors, committee members, and community partners for your leadership.

Providing services in each of our communities

Our County Service Centers provide services to those in need across the Coastal Empire. Our goal is to reach every person close to where they live.

Bryan County (North)

40 S. Industrial Boulevard
Pembroke, GA 31321

(912) 651-7750

Bryan County (South)

9611 Ford Avenue
Richmond Hill, GA 31324

(912) 651-7750


711 Zitterour Drive
Rincon, GA 31326

(912) 826-5300


301 Olive Street
Hinesville, GA 31313

(912) 368-4282

Working toward a brighter future

In 2020, the United Way Board of Directors approved a new Strategic Plan.  It was the result of months of hard work, involving more than 400 stakeholders.

Year after year, thousands of individuals demonstrate community spirit by investing in this place we all love through United Way.

Giving societies like the Alexis De Tocqueville Society and the Beacon Society anchor the traditional fall giving campaign. United Way thanks these individuals for investing in the well-being of our community and inspiring others with their leadership giving.


Tocqueville Society

Our Alexis de Tocqueville Society leaders set both an example and standard in giving, helping to improve lives throughout our four-country region.


Beacon Society

Beacon Society members demonstrate their deep commitment to making our community a better place by giving at this leadership level.

Thank You to our Media Partners

These partners give their time and talent to share the United Way message across the region.

Dick Broadcasting
Savannah Business Journal

Financial Reports

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