Our Programs

With nearly 400 partner nonprofits, as well as corporate and community partners, United Way of the National Capital Area is committed to creating a strong and vibrant community through our programs.

Low-Income & Underserved Community Assistance Programs

By investing in the most effective programs and services, we’re tackling the area’s most complex social challenges every day for underserved and low-income communities in the National Capital Area.

Each year we work directly in the 11 regions we serve: Alexandria, Arlington, District of Columbia, Fairfax/Falls Church, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Prince William County, Rappahannock County, Culpeper County and Fauquier County.

Our Impact Infographic presents the tremendous impact our programs have had from July 2021 to June 2022.

To find out more about our programs and how you can help, read below.


Community Health Programs

United Way NCA’s health programs increase equity in access to health resources that promote physical and mental well-being among students and families. We engage and empower at-risk youth by removing systemic barriers to food security, promoting physical exercise and healthy eating, providing mental health education and services, and reducing the stigma of using these services.

Our health programs include:

  • Weekend Hunger Backpack Program – Weekend backpack food programs help provide nutritious, non-perishable, and easy-to-prepare food to elementary and middle school students to help them avoid hunger over the weekend from food insecurity when they cannot depend on school cafeteria meals.
  • 2-1-1 – 2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline number that connects callers to essential health and human services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. United Way NCA refers thousands of callers in search of social services to 2-1-1 call centers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
  • SingleCare – The mission of SingleCare is to help improve people’s lives in the National Capital Area by providing access to affordable prescription medications. We understand that individuals and families living on the edge never struggle with just one issue; it’s the combination of several problems piling up that prevents our community from finding stability and truly thriving.
  • Thrive United 365 – The mission of Thrive United 365 is to provide equitable access to and distribution of health resources and improve people’s lives by addressing health conditions most affecting our communities.
  • Fun, Fly & Fit – Developed by United Way of the National Capital Area, Fun Fly & Fit has scored remarkable successes throughout the Washington, DC area. Its goal is simple yet powerful: to get kids so enthused about physical fitness and nutrition that their attitudes and behaviors soar. This program is not currently running. 

Community Education Programs

United Way of the National Capital Area is focused on the education pipeline from middle school to college and/or career success. We work in Title I schools in our area, addressing attendance, behavior and course performance through our Community Schools program.

Our education programs include: 

  • Middle School Success – The mission of the Middle School Success Program is to provide academic, social and health support to middle school students in need to prepare them to transition to high school performing at grade level and on track to succeed.
  • Character Playbook – The mission of Character Playbook is to provide an evidence-based solution for schools to begin conversations on why character education and positive relationships matter in middle school. Character Playbook’s self-guided, interactive lessons help students develop simple, actionable strategies. 


Economic Opportunity Programs

United Way NCA is committed to providing residents with economic opportunity by removing barriers to stable and affordable housing and instilling financial empowerment so that community members can feel in control of their financial situations and feel confident in navigating challenging financial decisions.

Our economic opportunity programs include: 

  • Project Community Connect – United Way NCA’s annual Project Community Connect focuses on achieving equity for all of our community members, regardless of race, gender, income and ability. Project Community Connect brings much-needed resources to individuals and families across the region through in-person and virtual workshops aimed toward the ALICE population, focusing on job opportunities, economic opportunity, health and more.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) D.C. – The mission of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is to provide free tax help to low- and moderate-income individuals and families, persons with disabilities and limited-English-speaking taxpayers in Washington, DC and neighboring counties in Maryland and Virginia who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. 
  • Financial Empowerment Centers – Individuals and families who have struggled to find solutions with traditional banks have a trusted resource in United Way NCA’s Financial Empowerment Centers to help them gain greater control over their personal finances. By providing a convenient pathway to these solutions, these centers are helping to achieve one of United Way NCA’s most critical objectives – enabling members of  the community to achieve greater economic opportunity for themselves and their households.


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