Our Impact


Since 1946, Lubbock Area United Way has worked to address the root issues of the most significant challenges facing our South Plains communities to create lasting, positive change. The key to our success is our long-term partnerships with our Community Partners and our involvement with various local coalitions.




Our goal is to ensure that all children are school-ready by kindergarten and grade-level readers by 3rd grade.


Children are born learning. Their early years are critical to their future success in school. Simple activities like parents reading to and with their children can make a huge difference and set children on the right path.

By third grade, children who have not learned the basics of reading will begin to fall behind in other subjects, making it more and more difficult to catch up as they progress through school. Third grade marks a critical shift where children move from learning to read to reading to learn.




Start Smart TexasIn 2019, Lubbock joined the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (CGLR) and became a Start Smart city. CGLR is a collaborative effort to improve reading proficiency and early school success for children from low-income families. In Lubbock, the local GLR campaign is supported by a partnership of Lubbock Area United Way, Lubbock ISD, Frenship ISD, and Lubbock-Cooper ISD.

The communities’ action plans address three underlying challenges that can keep young children, especially those from low-income families, from learning to read proficiently — school readiness, school attendance, and summer learning. Membership in the GLR Network gives Lubbock access to experts and policymakers focused on early school success; assistance in addressing the challenges that keep many children from learning to read; and access to the online Community Learning for Impact & Improvement Platform (CLIP), which is designed to lower the barriers and costs associated with spreading information about what’s working, why and under what conditions.


  • Pre-K and Preschool Round-Up: Helping students get the best start to their school careers and life through high-quality pre-k and preschool programming.
  • Summer Reading Calendar: Preventing "Summer Slide" by helping families connect with free and low-cost reading and learning opportunities throughout the summer months.

To learn more about Start Smart Click Here



Lubbock Area United Way hosted its first United We Read event in 2018. More than 500 volunteers read the book The Little Red Fort to 3,535 second-graders across the Lubbock, Frenship, Lubbock-Cooper, Shallowater, and New Deal Independent School Districts. Every child went home with a copy of the book and a craft, including 138 books in Spanish.

The purpose of the event was to highlight the value of students being grade-level readers by third grade. At this point, students who have not mastered basic reading skills will begin to fall behind in every area of study as classrooms shift from learning to read to reading to learn. The event also created a focus on the importance of parents reading with their children. 

We continue to build United We Read and strive for excellence in the coming years as this event reaches greater heights in Lubbock County. 

To learn more about United We Read Click Here.

Our goal is to eliminate child abuse and sex trafficking in our communities.

Every day three children are confirmed abused or neglected in Lubbock County, nearly double the state average. Sex trafficking continues to be a growing issue as our community grows. Both are underreported crimes.

Our Initiatives


In partnership with the South Plains Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention, we mark Child Abuse Prevention Month in April with the Go Blue Lubbock initiative. By asking people to wear blue on Fridays during the month, our goal is to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect on the South Plains and help connect families with resources to prevent abuse from ever starting.



Lubbock Area United Way is partnering with Voice of Hope to educate groups in the community about what sex trafficking is and how it affects the South Plains. For more information, please contact Devin McCain

Our goal is to advocate for local access to quality mental health services and supports.


Our Initiatives

We're working with the West Texas Mental Health Initiative to increase education on how individuals and families can access mental health services in our community. We want to reduce the stigma around mental health and make sure that everyone receives the support they need.

Learn more about mental health in Lubbock County in our Community Status Report, and access mental health support - including affordable resources - on our mental health page.