An event on Thursday will mark the start of a process that’s taken much time and effort. A study last year showed that 30% of Shasta County families are struggling to make ends meet. To address that, the United Way of Northern California is about to launch “The Prosperity Initiative”, a 3-year effort to improve lives in Shasta County through increased financial stability, job production and youth mentoring. The initiative was developed by committees made up of more than 100 local non-profit, government and business leaders. The initiative kicks off with a “Rally for Youth and Families” at the Market Street Promenade on Thursday from 4PM to 6PM. Mayor Missy McArthur will emcee and leaders of non-profits and youth groups will speak about the prosperity programs. There will also be a performance by the South Shasta County Children’s Chorus. To make the prosperity initiative work, the United Way has a fundraising goal of 300,000 Dollars a year.