Over the summer and throughout this fall semester, United Way of Northern New York has partnered with 33 of 36 public school districts in Northern New York with our ALICE Program.  Our schools – and our local communities – see and hear about family problems long before “the system”. The school’s relationships with their students, students’ families and residents allows us to recognize and solve problems well before they become harder to handle.

Only United Way of Northern New York is doing these things in your hometown…

Here are a handful of cases that we’ve handled just so far this school year:

  • The High School Student. A high school student hadn’t shown up for school by the third day of the school year.  The school district’s social worker reaches out, and discovers that the teen had grown over the summer, and the family didn’t have the money to purchase new clothes or appropriate PE gear.  The family also did not qualify for any type of government assistance. The teen was too afraid to go to school.  After spending an hour on the phone with the student, the social worker sent United Way’s ALICE a link to an Amazon.com shopping cart, and in two days, the student had everything needed (including mental health and self-esteem) to go to school.


  • The Infestation. Multiple children living with their grandparents suffered a bout of bed bugs in their house. After a deep cleaning, the school’s counselor worked with the family to identify needed beds, mattresses, blankets, linens and pillows.  That same day, a link to Walmart.com was sent to the United Way’s ALICE Program. The family received the order two days later and the children returned to school.


  •  The Car Purchase. An employed woman’s 17-year old automobile needed repair. After an estimate was completed, it was determined that the cost of the repair was greater than the value of the vehicle. Leveraging her employment, ALICE teamed with a local credit union to qualify the woman for a loan, and the ALICE Program assisted with a down payment to keep her monthly payment reasonable.


  • The Fingerprints. A woman applied for a job at a local school.  After passing her interview, she was required to get her fingerprints recorded, which cost $102. She was unable to afford the fingerprinting, which would mean she would not be able to take the job.  United Way’s ALICE Program paid for the fingerprinting, and the woman is now fully employed.


  • The New Set of Tires. A long-time, hardworking childcare worker making $15/hour was enduring a divorce and had moved back home with parents. Her automobile was her only way to get back and forth to work; however, the four tires were completely worn out. United Way’s ALICE Program purchased a new set of tires for her, and she’s now in a safe vehicle and prepared for winter weather.