When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, we saw front and center the gaps of inequity widening for those who fall below poverty guidelines, those who were furloughed, those who lack adequate access to healthcare, communities of color and those with different abilities. When the news of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and the too many before them ignited a national protest against racism, the country’s eyes were opened to the urgency and necessity to change systemic inequities.
Your United Way has always sought to be the ear for the voices in our communities eager to be heard on education and financial disparities, food and medical insecurities, mental health, homelessness, and needs during times of crisis. We listen. We convene and collaborate with like-minded partners. We use our resources to be a catalyst for change.
One June 30,we completed our first five-year community commitment that tackled complex, interconnected issues like poor health, school graduation and poverty. We’re proud of the impact like providing 4.26 million meals to food-insecure students and families and putting nearly $81M back in the pockets of working families’ tax refunds through free tax preparation and financial coaching.
We took the successes and learnings and spent the last three years with our boots on the ground listening and in conversations with community members and leaders to hear first-hand what matters most to our community. We focused on data-driven research to identify the need for innovative and comprehensive solutions as critical to attain equity. The recent events of COVID-19 and civil unrest put a spotlight on the health care disparities and racial inequalities in our region and throughout the country and continues to confirm that we are on the right path for our next five-year strategic programmatic direction.
NOW is the time to stand for EQUITY and LIVE UNITED. JOIN THE MOVEMENT AND DONATE.