At United Way, we strive to create a community where every child and family has the opportunity to succeed.
We tackle tough problems, addressing immediate needs and finding long-term solutions.
We do this by investing in programs, initiatives and services and by mobilizing volunteers. Because we know that United, we can do more than anyone can do alone.
One example is our investment in Stepping Stones, which provides quality early childhood education and addressing developmental delays. Our United Way brings people and resources together to find long-term solutions to challenging problems, such as making sure children get the best start towards education.
As an infant, Quinn’s parents noticed he wasn’t developing at the same pace as his peers. “He would be excelling in some respects, but was just so far behind in others,” said his mother, Susan Hilerio. “At one point, we didn’t know if he was going to be verbal.” Quinn’s primary care doctor recommended Stepping Stones, and after some consideration, Susan enrolled him.
While Harc staff worked with Quinn on motor skills and speech therapy, they also helped Susan learn how to care for his needs at home while her husband was deployed in the military.
“They would always be touching base with me and walking me through things,” said Susan. “There were times where I would be trying to get Quinn to bed, and I’d have them all on a group text and asking for help at nine o’clock at night. They’d all start texting me back saying ‘try this, try that’. They were literally there for me twenty-four hours a day.
I can’t say enough about them. They were there for me, and they loved Quinn just as much as we did.” Today, Quinn is five-years-old. He reads above grade level, excels at spelling and is doing simple math. His future is bright. “The staff at Stepping Stones unlocked something in Quinn,” said Susan.
“He’s brilliant. I can’t even wrap my head around the way his mind works. He’s going to accomplish amazing and wonderful things.” With support from United Way, Stepping Stones is one example of a program that helps children get a high-quality education.
In total, United Way supports more than 3,200 children in early childhood programs because the brain is developing most rapidly during those years, so youth like Quinn meet their developmental milestones and enter kindergarten better prepared for success.