United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and our member United Ways are proud to participate in Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade. This annual event gives time for a lot of fun and celebration as we come together to commemorate a year of challenges and successes. It allows us to remind ourselves of our sense of community by gathering as one. Even better, you might recognize that those who attend and walk in the parade are no longer just LGBT but also our families, friends and allies.This greater and expanding sense of community is what United Way believes in as we LIVE UNITED. Our efforts to reach out to connect over 200,000 people with available, preventative health services, to help advance economic stability for 100,000 households and our (my favorite) goal of helping 50,000 underperforming middle school kids enter high school ready to succeed also reach the 3-5% of the population that identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That means at least 6,000 LGBT people are finding less challenge accessing healthcare, and quite possibly, based on the 2010 census, that 3,000 LGBT households are becoming more economically stable and even more exciting, 1,500 LGBT kids are receiving the tools they need to graduate from high school.Of course, there’s still more work to do and United Way will continue our goal to improve lives by mobilizing caring people to invest in communities where resources are needed most. We have pride in all the communities we touch and that includes the LGBT population in each. So look for us in our LIVE UNITED shirts on Sunday and happy pride!