United Way Worldwide ranked number one in the list of America’s Favorite Charities recently published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The yearly list identifies the nonprofit organizations Americans are most willing to support and is based on total cash support. The list focuses extensively on cash and stock gifts received directly from individuals but also factors in gifts from corporations and foundations.

In the United States, there are nearly 1,200 United Way offices, which operate as a coalition to pool efforts in fundraising and support. The local affiliate for Hancock, Harrison, Pearl River and Stone counties is United Way of South Mississippi, which operates out of Gulfport.

As the local affiliate, UWSM rallies resources to improve the health, education and financial stability of all people within south Mississippi. The organization accomplishes its mission by awarding grants and operating programs that help meet critical community needs.

UWSM awards two-year grants and short-term emergency and emerging needs grants. In July, the organization awarded $650,000 in community impact grants to 11 area nonprofits, which help fund programs like Project Learn at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast, the mobile food pantry program at Feeding the Gulf Coast and the children’s program at the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence.

Additionally, UWSM operates PreK4Ward, which offers free preschool to 140 children; savings programs, including the FamilyWize prescription discount card and free tax preparation services; Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which delivers one book each month to children from birth to age 5; United Way Readers, which pairs adult volunteers with children to provide reading practice; and the Little Free Library program, which promotes neighborhood book exchanges through free public bookcases.

UWSM also leads annual school supply, diaper and coat drives.

“Our grants, programs and annual drives are made possible by generous donors, who believe in our mission and know the United Way name can be trusted,” said UWSM CEO Kathy Springer. “The number one rank shows that donors can give to United Way knowing their money will be used wisely.”

Ninety-nine cents of every dollar given to UWSM is reinvested in the community, and donors can give to the organization directly or through payroll contributions. Employers interested in running workplace campaigns are encouraged to contact LeAnna Saucier, resource development director, by clicking here.

To donate online or to learn more about the organization, click here.