United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: Transformative $5 million gift to propel community impact goals

Story by Whitney Carter. Photos provided by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a multi-purpose nonprofit that has helped countless families throughout its nearly 100-year history in North Texas. Yesterday, the organization announced a generous gift of $5 million from community supporters Tom and Karen Falk that will help them continue their efforts leading up to its centennial celebration in 2025.
Karen and Tom Falk, former CEO of Kimberly-Clark and current Federal Reserve Board of Governors Chair, smile alongside Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

The donation aims to expedite positive change alongside non-profit community partners that are aligned with the Aspire United 2030 Goals. These partners encompass established impact providers and grassroots organizations introducing innovative approaches to address prevalent challenges in our community.

Always focused on the building blocks of life, United Way will ensure that the gift supports outcomes in education, income, and health. Specifically, they aim to see an increase in high school graduation rates, setting students on a trajectory for success in either college or their chosen careers. Additionally, it will contribute to more families attaining financial stability, and ensure that more North Texans have the access and resources necessary for longer, healthier lives.

Getting closer to these goals for the community is made possible through gifts like that from the Falks.

“We believe it’s important to give back to the community in a very thoughtful and purposeful way,” Tom says. “An investment in the community must deliver measurable impact, and over the years, we have seen firsthand how United Way of Metropolitan Dallas has worked with its trusted network of community impact partners to shape programs that create meaningful impact and truly change lives for the better.”

Karen Falk echoes these sentiments. She says they are honored to be able to make a significant investment in future generations of North Texans.

Karen Falk volunteers on United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Reading Day.

“The importance of an investment in United Way of Metropolitan Dallas lies in the return it delivers, and we’re confident our investment will go a long way toward helping lift our North Texas neighbors and support a positive change in their opportunity to thrive,” Karen says.

Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, shares her excitement for the future.

“The Falks have been longtime supporters of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, believing in the power of working united to deliver measurable impact through targeted programs across North
Texas,” Jennifer says.

There are several examples of United Way’s work over its tenure, including providing $3.8 million in rent and utilities assistance to North Texas families.

The organization’s involvement also includes STEM education through programs like STEMFest, where students can get excited about learning while also helping build tomorrow’s workforce. United Way also has a partnership with schools like Blair Elementary in Southern Dallas.

Jennifer says that partnership enables United Way supporters to bring different programs to students and beyond, helping with their overall well-being. She says that they partner with over 200 North Texas community organizations aligned with our Aspire United 2030 goals.

“Our impact partners include established nonprofits like the 123-year-old ChildCareGroup, emerging entrepreneurial ventures like Empowering the Masses, and strong grassroots organizations like Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute,” Jennifer says. “These new financial resources will help these organizations and other UWMD Impact Partner organizations prepare young children for school success, provide access to healthy food, and provide job training and employment opportunities for hundreds of neighbors.”

According to Jennifer, United Way has a full slate of events that will build on the organization’s mission to create positive, lasting change in North Texas and spotlight ways that will impact the region’s future.

“In March, we will launch a BIG centennial community-wide volunteer engagement series sponsored by Texas Instruments and begin with United Day Reading Day on March 1, 2024, by EY [Ernst and Young]– a community-wide volunteer event to instill the love of reading in thousands of students across our region.”

If you would like to learn more about United Way or how you can get involved with uplifting North Texans, you can visit their website.