Like many of you, the new year brings forth a sense of renewed focus, energy, and excitement for me. As we gear up to celebrate United Way’s 100th anniversary, 2022 promises to be an even stronger year of service to our community.
Though 2021 was difficult for many reasons, we were able to accomplish great things. Together, we’ve worked to build momentum towards our shared mission of ending poverty and expanding opportunity for all. I hope you’re proud of all we’ve accomplished together.
Because of you, we were able to do so much in 2021. Some of my favorite highlights from this past year include:
Helping our most vulnerable neighbors get access to vaccines
Transportation has proven to be a key barrier for many individuals looking to obtain vaccines. In May, we launched the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign to provide anyone 65 years or older with access to free and discounted rides to vaccination sites.
Celebrating 10-years of Trauma-Informed Care
Trauma and adversity can build up over time and contribute to inequitable outcomes in every area of life. For 10 years, we’ve led the way in advocating and developing trauma-informed programs and partnerships across our region. Together, with our partners, we’ve trained over 20,000 professionals who work directly with people impacted by trauma.
Bridging the digital divide to prevent learning loss
Connecting to digital learning opportunities is essential for success. That’s why we serve as regional coordinator for PHLConnecED, a multi-year collaborative effort to ensure Philadelphia K-12 students can connect to digital learning opportunities at home, utilizing our free 24-7 HelpLine: 211 to connect people and students to the services they need.
Launching a financial management program to strengthen the nonprofit community
For the past year, nonprofit executives have been in overdrive caring for communities and staff. The Nonprofit Finance Accelerator Program was built to help local nonprofits get the resources and financial management needed to adapt and rebuild from the impacts of Covid-19. To date, 200 poverty-fighting nonprofits across our region have completed the program.
Identifying gaps and launching solutions to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color
Amid widespread calls for racial justice and the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked across sectors to release a groundbreaking report assessing the state of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) entrepreneurship in Philadelphia. In October, the first phase of work was launched through Built by Philly, a centralized learning hub to help business connect and grow.
These are just a few of the ways you have supported our community and neighbors in 2021. Thank you for standing #PhillySJUnited. On behalf of our United Way, we wish you a happy, healthy, joyful New Year.
Follow along with our year-long #StrongerTogetherSeries as we feature insights and personal stories of the very people and bodies of work that have made us 100-years strong.