Let’s End 2020 With Positives
2020 has been…interesting. Maddening. Empowering. While many other adjectives come to mind, everyone here at United Way of King County is looking to the positives.
And positives are aplenty. It doesn’t take a Pollyanna attitude to see that we have many things to be thankful for as we wave goodbye to this unique and challenging year.
Our Top Moments of 2020
Needless to say that these moments—some of them programs, some of them advocacy wins—wouldn’t be possible without the humbling, generous support of our community and our donors.
- Rental Assistance Program. The COVID-19 crisis brought unemployment and underemployment to a soaring high very quickly. Keeping people—people of color in particular, who’ve been disproportionately affected by the pandemic—in their homes to avoid the streets became our priority just as quickly.
- COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. People donated $18.4 million for the three areas United Way focuses on: rental assistance, food relief and where the need is greatest. In the face of unprecedented need, our community stepped up in equally unprecedented ways.
- Hunger relief efforts during COVID-19. Our new-this-year partnership with Door Dash and Safeway is an exciting use of existing technology, food resources and delivery system that’s reduced barriers and increased access to food.
- Improving education outcomes with Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account funding. Part of this large and historic funding decision is $30 million over 15 years for underserved K-12 students. This is slated to come to United Way of King County to fund the Love and Liberation positive cultural identity program serving BIPOC students.
- Census 2020. Events were planned. Outreach efforts underway. Then COVID-19 hit. But we pivoted. We rounded up volunteers to (safely) walk neighborhoods to distribute materials and advocate on social media for people to complete the census. Knowing how crucial this count would be for future funding decisions, particularly for groups that are historically hard to count—people experiencing homelessness, recent immigrants, African Americans, young children, and members of the LGBTQ community—we refused to give up on the census.
- Gordon McHenry, Jr., on the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Power 100 honoree list. We’re proud and thrilled our president and CEO, Gordon McHenry, Jr., was named to this list for his leadership and influence related to the above and so much more.
Thank YOU for being part of these positives, whether it was as a volunteer, donor, social media post share-er or word-of-mouth champion for United Way. Our community saw the benefits of an organization that was able and willing to switch gears, and switch gears continually, through a pandemic, racial injustice, political tension and more. And we did that together. Thanks for sticking with us through 2020.