The United Way of the Greater Los Angeles Area is a voluntary organization dedicated to helping people by uniting individuals and institutions -- government, private and voluntary -- in a community-wide effort to plan, support, deliver and evaluate effective human-service programs that are responsive to changing community needs. Each year, United Way of Greater Los Angeles touches the lives of 4 million people right here in Southern California, maintaining a commitment to unsurpassed quality demonstrated through: - 78 years of experience and expertise - leadership of key volunteers, stellar members of our community - demonstrated effectiveness for meeting current and future community needs - an accomplished network of charities and programs that focus on creating measurable outcomes in the areas of education, economic empowerment and basic needs, and health and safety. Throughout the decades, we have been there to not only catch people who are at risk of falling through the cracks, but to proactively help them find ways to better their lives through education, training, and a multitude of rich and varied programs. Today, we accomplish these things and more through our Bridging the Gap Fund. Los Angeles County is a place of great promise and grave peril to millions of citizens. While some are fortunate enough to find success, many face a constant struggle to obtain their own piece of the American dream. Through the support of our donors, the United Way is investing in programs that bring learning, empowering, and caring to those who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Children are learning to read, adults are improving parenting skills and moving toward greater self-sufficiency, and a critical safety net of services are being provided to those who need food, shelter, clothing, and medical attention.