2024 Women United 


The Women United affinity group is set to relaunch in Summer of 2024. For more information or to join the group, please reach out to Marina Hudgens at mhudgens@unitedwaysb.org or 805-882-0505. 


As an integral part of United Way, the mission of Women United is to mobilize a powerful leadership network of women to strengthen the Santa Barbara community through a focused investment of talent, compassion, and philanthropy. Led by United Way and Women United supporters we advocate, support and expand the ongoing educational initiatives of United Way of Santa Barbara County.

Click Here to view the Information Sheet



Our focus is on expanding United Way’s early educational opportunities for local children. Our major efforts support United Way's suite of academic programs, including: 

  1. Fun in the Sun: Fun in the Sun is a national award-winning summer learning and enrichment program that now provides an expanded spectrum of services to local students, from TK – 6th Grade, and their families. These services include individualized academic instruction and literacy remediation, field trips and enrichment activities, community engagement and volunteering opportunities, and a robust social-emotional learning curriculum. Fun in the Sun operates each summer at six campuses across Santa Barbara County.

  2. Bridge the Break: Built on United Way's data-driven and award-winning academic model established for out-of-school time programs like Fun in the Sun, the Bridge the Break program was created in 2023 at the request of participating school districts to offer daily literacy and math practice, STEAM and enrichment activities, social-emotional learning, outdoor recreation, and community exploration and engagement for students in TK–5th grade during the one-week winter and spring breaks.

  3. United Learning Center: The United Learning Center is a free literacy tutoring program for local kindergarten through sixth-grade students. Each child receives individualized, tailored instruction with certified tutors trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach, which incorporates multisensory teaching methods and systematic, explicit lessons to build reading mastery. In recent cohorts, participants demonstrated an average increase of two reading grade levels.

Case For Action

Local children and families need the support and efforts of women like you through Women United to build better futures for all in our community. Due to limited funding, hundreds of children and families are on waiting lists for United Way’s educational programs. Your involvement and membership gift will ensure that more underserved children and families succeed during crucial early elementary school years and well beyond.

FITS 2021

+ 56% of students in grades 3-11 in Santa Barbara County tested below proficiency according to the California Assessment of Student Performance.

78% of economically disadvantaged 3rd-grade students in Santa Barbara County did not meet standards in English Language Arts. 

+ Local Santa Barbara County students are experiencing learning loss our community has never seen before. 68% of 3rd-grade students did not meet their education standards. 

+ On average, United Learning Center participants have demonstrated a 10.2% increase in their phonics skills and an improvement of 2 reading levels.

+ Young students and their families will make life-long positive improvements that will significantly expand their life opportunities.


Become a Member

Become a member by filling out the online membership form and a Women United representative will contact you shortly to discuss and complete your membership. Members make an annual gift of $1,500 or more in support of United Way of Santa Barbara County educational programs.