Well, I think it’s safe to say 2020 didn’t go as any of us planned. I moved to South Hampton Roads and joined the United Way team just as COVID-19 began to spread. While it might sound strange, I can’t think of a better time to have gotten to know the 757. You see what a community is made of in times of crisis and I quickly learned ours is truly inspiring.
Our donors, volunteers and partners have stepped up in remarkable ways to sustain our mission this year and we are profoundly grateful. The pandemic also gave us the opportunity to forge new collaborations, deepen relationships with long-time supporters, and garner national attention for our approach and results.
My favorite story of the year was a woman who called our COVID hotline not knowing of the connection to our organization. When she learned it was a United Way effort, she exclaimed she had been giving to us for years. Her case manager responded without pause, “Isn’t that the beauty of it? Sometimes it’s your time to give, and sometimes it’s your time to receive. I’m so glad we could be there when you needed us.”
In 2021, we know our work will be more critical than ever as we continue to help others in our community who need us. Here’s where we’re planning to make an impact:
- Creating safe spaces for socially distanced learning and helping our kids beat COVID learning loss
- Championing social equity and the changes needed to create a community where all can thrive
- Diving deeper into issues of hunger and food security, particularly in local food deserts
- Working with partners to build lasting solutions to homelessness
- Helping families create a path toward self-sufficiency to ultimately break the cycle of poverty
- Ensuring our veterans have access to the services and resources they deserve
We can’t do it without you. As we prepare to start a new year with big goals and responsibilities, I invite you to join us. If you haven’t yet made a gift this year, please click here to make one today.
This is the year to dig deep for our community. Together, we will continue to create a brighter future for the 757 in the new year and beyond.
Vice President, Resource Development
United Way of South Hampton Roads
P.S. One of the good things that came out of this year… the CARES Act provides increased tax incentives for charitable giving in 2020 including the ability to deduct up to $300 for cash donations without itemizing! As always, we recommend consulting your tax professional for further guidance.