By Jeffrey Scott—
You might think today’s pandemic is causing others to give less and keep more for themselves. But it’s just not true, best I can tell. And I’ve talked to a lot of local business leaders and community advocates these last several weeks as co-chair of the 2020 United Way fundraising campaign for Delaware, Henry and Randolph Counties.
You’ll have a chance this year to contribute to the annual Day of Action/Caring in ways that are limitless and so important to the message we send about our community and our collective resolve.
Normally, hundreds of us criss-cross our communities, volunteering in area nonprofits helping out with neighborhood clean-ups, reading books to children, or sorting donations. Typically, it means a big kick off meeting and hundreds of us gathering before scouring our communities and volunteering our time throughout the day or even over our lunch break. It’s a very visible show of force.
This year, on Friday, Sept. 11, the Day of Action/Caring happens with less fanfare but, I believe, will have even more impact. On our website, we have three primary areas of focus: Advocacy, a way to use your voice and make a difference. Giving, by purchasing items from an Amazon wish list that helps supply hygiene kits, dental kits, socks and gloves, and smoke detectors – items our Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed (ALICE) families often are desperate to have. And if you choose individual volunteering, please let us know what you did. Use social media to brag about it and tag us on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #DayofAction #DayofCaring. Whatever you can do in the month of September counts toward our Day of Action effort.
ALICE families need our help. These are families who are just one crisis away from financial catastrophe. We all know COVID-19 has only added to this burden. Research from the 2018 ALICE report presents a point-in-time snapshot of economic conditions across our tri-county footprint—and nearly half of all households are ALICE or live in poverty. Knowing how many households were struggling then helps us understand why the COVID-19 crisis is having such a devastating impact now.
ALICE families live in every county in Indiana, and they include people of all genders, ages, races/ethnicities, and household types. While United Way donors, advocates and volunteers have been working hard to strengthen our community, challenges are great for struggling, working families living on the edge. Those that have been working hard to get ahead are now fighting to survive through COVID-19’s health and economic crisis.
I hope you’ll give some of your time to stay connected when we are so often serving apart. Use this link to find out how to find out how you can help. Follow us on social media at @UnitedWayDHRC
COVID-19 has brought into focus, more than ever, the needs across our communities and the importance of giving our time, talent and treasure. Let’s not leave those who need us most even further behind. Join me, raise your voice, speak your mind, advocate for ALICE and United Way.
About United Way of Delaware, Henry and Randolph Counties
United Way of Delaware, Henry and Randolph Counties focuses resources on education, health and financial stability. The nonprofit fights to create lasting change in community conditions. With its bold goal to reach grade-level reading by 2024, United Way works to help children read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year. Learn more at invitedtoliveunited.org.
Ivy Tech Chancellor Jeffrey Scott is joined by Jeannie Hamblin-Fox, Site Director Henry County Campus and Alisa Wells, Director of Community Engagement & Wraparound Support as co-chairs of the 2020 fundraising campaign.