Thanks for Helping Improve the Space We Live In

By United Way of King County, on December 28, 2021 | In Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Fighting Homelessness, Helping Students Graduate, Racial Equity

One of the most intriguing facts about living in 2021 is that we’ve surpassed many fiction writers’ idea of the future. We left George Orwell’s 1984 in the dust a long time ago. We’re 20 years ahead of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and we recently eclipsed the last Mad Max series installment (2018), Blade Runner (2019) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2020).

Judging by many science-fiction writer’s view of the future, however, we appear to be way behind in many areas. We’re only begun to make space travel available (though not affordable) for everyday people; we’re years away from setting up neighborhoods there. And that’s a good thing, because given all the problems we still haven’t solved on earth — from homelessness, to inequality, to systemic racism to poverty — it’d be a shame to go elsewhere.

But there’s one trait we still possess that, apparently, fiction writers believed got lost in time: an attitude for gratitude.

We’ve never lost our compassion for those whose everyday lives are a struggle, nor have we forsaken our desire to help. Even in King County, where the income chasm is so astounding that the number of millionaires (68,390, according to TNS Financial Services) is more than six times the homeless population, people are still willing to put their dollars, their time and their hopes around programs, services and initiatives that could yield lasting solutions.

United Way’s initiatives, services and programs would likely be neither possible nor sustainable without donor generosity. From individuals to families to corporations to government, your attitude for gratitude is what enables us to reach so many of our neighbors in need.

As we tackle problems often as compelling as any science fiction plot, we employ the attitude of the Yoda adage, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” And with your help, here’s what we’ve done recently:

  • Through our Home Base program, we have connected 17,000 households to over $77 million in public and private funds for rental assistance. A big shout out to Seattle-based technology company F5 Networks and Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie for their support of our rental assistance work.
  • Through our partnership with DoorDash, local food banks, Cascadia Produce and Safeway, we have provided weekly deliveries of food to over 5,400 households— resulting in more than 224,700 deliveries.
  • Through programs like our Benefits Hubs, we have connected more than 6,000 students to 27,000 financial interventions. More than 70% of the students we served were students of color and 42% were student parents.

As we near the close of another rotation around the sun, and 2022 will bring a plethora of unknowns, allow us at United Way to say thanks for all we’ve accomplished in 2021. Thanks for your partnership in our work. Thanks for caring about your neighbor, your community and our future.

If the present day has taught us anything, it’s that Star Trek’s Captain Kirk got it wrong: Improving the space we live in for everyone is the real final frontier. Thanks to you, we may someday make that reality – hopefully, in the near future.


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