ARCHS' Funder Spotlight: United Way

Wray Clay, Vice-President of United Way of Greater St. Louis Community Investment Initiatives. United Way of Greater St. Louis' theme of "Helping People" is an understatement when looking at the impact the organization has on the region. United Way brings the area together to help raise funding to support health and human services for 16 counties, which includes annual support for its member agencies that provide quality services to everyone from the elderly to children. With the community's support, over $67 million was raised in 2009 to support services and initiatives throughout Missouri and Illinois.

To achieve this, United Way has worked closely with ARCHS and other area organizations over the years to collaborate on important regional issues.

"We partner with ARCHS whenever we find the opportunity," said Wray Clay, Vice-President of United Way of Greater St. Louis Community Investment Initiatives. "It is called 'working smart' when we can leverage our resources with ARCHS' many resources, and ARCHS understands the need for the St. Louis area and community."


Recently, United Way and ARCHS have been collaborating on ways to increase services to area families with a focus on after school programming and access to health care services. United Way has entrusted ARCHS with funding to support the After School for All Partnership (ASAP) and social work services at midtown's Health and Dental Care for Kids clinic. Through their funding, United Way has assured after school services for more than 4,000 area children and health care services to more than 40,000 children through the clinic.

"Like any other American municipality, here in St. Louis it makes tremendous sense for ARCHS to partner with The United Way," said ARCHS' Chief Executive Officer Wendell E. Kimbrough. "We know the outcome expectations match ours and ultimately result in the betterment of this mutual community we serve."

Clay said United Way of Greater St. Louis is active with so many organizations, in addition to its partnership with ARCHS, because they care deeply about the people in the community, the quality of life and the economic vitality of the region.

"What we do with our partnerships, such as the one with ARCHS, is directly and positively affect the economic health of our region. When people are taken care of, such as when kids are in school or when resources are provided to make a small business dream come true - good things come from that," Clay said. "That is the kind of smart work our partnership with ARCHS does and the kind we are interested in that enhance our member agencies."

Because United Way of Greater St. Louis and ARCHS share many of the same philosophies regarding the betterment of the region, the two often find themselves at the same table, Clay said.

"We have a unique relationship because both of our organizations do not deliver direct services to the public - the quality organizations we fund and partner with do that. It's important for organizations to collaborate and leverage each other's resources and expertise," Clay said. "United Way can always count on ARCHS to help foster this spirit of cooperation. We look forward to many exciting new partnerships with ARCHS in the future. There are a lot of needs in our community, and a lot of creative ways to help."