Dear United Way Friends,
COVID-19 changed the world and created a sense of urgency at the United Way. We no longer play by the same playbook.
That extends to our annual campaign. While the community kickoff normally takes place in August, you will see campaign action this month, with an official kickoff slated for later in May. We must act now. United Way has never been more needed. Our COVID-19 relief campaign will blend into our annual campaign. The two will be intertwined for the next two years – this is a long-term response, recovery and revitalization effort.
We are fortunate to have David Taylor and P&G leading our campaign during this extremely challenging time. The timing could not be better. P&G infused a lot of manpower, and leveraged several creative partners, to make this successful. “The Way” to success will be prevalent as the campaign rolls out over the next few weeks.
COVID-19 will disproportionately devastate those United Way serves: low-income families throughout Greater Cincinnati. With more than 100 years of experience developing systemic solutions, this is our time to lead. United Way is uniquely positioned to bring together social service agencies, governments, businesses, donors and more to tackle a persistent, community-wide problem in a coordinated, comprehensive way. This is why we exist.
We have already accomplished much:
- Allowed United Way agency partners to access early allocations for help with emergency relief.
- Established the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund with Greater Cincinnati Foundation, raising more than $7.5 million and already pushing more than $6 million into the community, supporting 200+ nonprofits.
- Set up communication groups so social service agencies or CEOs can chat about their needs and concerns.
- Established 211 as a one-stop shop for COVID-19 relief.
- Reached out to non-traditional partners (faith-based and community-based organizations) to ensure our relief work hits all communities.
- Delivered iPads to help isolated seniors connect with their families.
- Established partnership with Hamilton County Job & Family Services and delivered tens of thousands of dollars of gift cards directly into the hands of food assistance applicants to fill the void between application submittal and approval.
- Connected United Way 211 and Meals on Wheels to proactively reach out to seniors living alone and inquire if they need social services.
- Delivered masks and hand sanitizer to organizations throughout our community. We will ultimately deliver nearly 1 million masks and thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer!
Our fully coordinated response will ultimately help hundreds of thousands across our region.
But our work is not over. This is a long-term effort. You can play a part in that success. United is The Way to respond, recover and revitalize.
I hope you join us in this effort.
United Way of Greater Cincinnati