EDITORIAL: Karl Neumaier – Creating opportunities in the Tulsa Area United Way region

By Karl Neumaier 

During the State of the City address, Mayor GT Bynum shared his commitment for Tulsa as a safe city of opportunity, a world-class globally competitive destination that attracts and retains the next generation. As he outlined programs and ongoing work which address public safety, housing, mental health support, and more, the mayor specifically highlighted the City’s work with Tulsa Area United Way and no fewer than seven of our funded nonprofit partners. 

That engaged collaborative focus to meet immediate needs while addressing root causes of challenging issues is why I’m partnering with Kathy Taylor to co-chair Tulsa Area United Way’s fundraising drive to raise $25.8 million for our community. We are still on our way to our goal to fund life-saving work across 160 programs that expand education, strengthen financial stability, and improve health and safety in our community. I know we can reach that goal and continue this important work. We need your help: donate today at give.tauw.org/giving

Elevating Health as a Community Asset 

Food insecurity and limited access to health services and health education can significantly undermine our community’s ability to reach its full potential. The fact is food insecurity among families with children tripled across the nation during the pandemic, and nearly 50,000 children in the Tulsa area live with food insecurity, according to TAUW’s new Community Insights report, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Children and Youth in the Tulsa Area United Way Region.”  

By supporting TAUW, we help build communities where all of our neighbors are not just surviving but also contributing effectively to their own well-being. When people are healthy, they can work, volunteer, and actively participate in the community.

Unlocking Future Success through Education 

Education is also a cornerstone for personal and societal development. TAUW partners with early childhood programs such as CAP Tulsa’s Early Childhood Program, which offered 2,489 low-income children high-quality early childhood education in 2022. What this means for families is simple yet powerful: kids who read well early on have a better chance of succeeding in school and life. 

Economic Mobility: A Generational Investment 

TAUW is also focusing on improving livelihoods for adults in our community, particularly through job skills and financial education. Through Goodwill’s TulsaWORKS & Job Connection program, graduates filled 309 jobs in the community, earning wages of more than $3.5 million, and generating an economic and fiscal impact of more than $20.5 million to the economy.  

TAUW’s Living Wage research and simulations are also helping employers and municipal leaders make informed policy and compensation decisions, grounded in an understanding of what it takes to earn a living and provide for a family in our area.  

How Can You Help?

For 99 years, TAUW has faced challenges head on and invested in programs that are having real success, and we need your help before November 16! Donate now at give.tauw.org/giving to support the proven work that creates opportunities so that everyone in our community can thrive. 

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