Tomorrow is full of questions. But the answers are up to us.
Our new normal is a world of uncertainty and change. That will take some getting used to. But we need to do more than adapt to a post-pandemic world. We need to build a better one. Thousands of people in our community devastated by the events of 2020 need your support to rebuild their lives.
At the beginning of the year, none of us were prepared for what we would confront. And no one knew how many in our community would need our help. Faced with a once-in-a-generation challenge, Central Florida stepped up. United Way staff, donors, volunteers and our entire community came together in an unprecedented way. We helped our neighbors who were most impacted by the global pandemic and economic downturn get the relief and support they needed.
- Raised over $610,000 through the United Community Relief Fund
- Supported 2,377 homeless individuals
- Helped 425 navigate unemployment benefits
- Provided job training to 356 individuals
- Offered mental health care services to the community
- Prepared 1,328 tax returns for free
But there is so much more to do. Many in our community still struggle with unemployment, food insecurity, housing and health challenges. They don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or how they will pay the rent or the bills. Even more are teetering on the edge without back-up savings. Kids are struggling with an unconventional school year. Adults are facing mental health challenges like anxiety and depression.
Many of the Americans who were already struggling before the pandemic—like low-wage workers, people of color, LGBTQA+ individuals, and those with disabilities—were hit harder than the rest.
- 51 million Americans are unemployed
- More than 1 in 10 don’t know where their next meal is coming from
- At least 30 million people are at risk of eviction
- Almost three in 10 adults have no emergency savings
- Two out of three children don’t read proficiency for their grade level
- 15% of students don’t graduate high school
- 18% of kids struggle with childhood obesity
- Nearly 1 in 5 adults live with a mental illness
These are our neighbors. And they cannot wait any longer for relief, for support, for equality, for the opportunity to live a healthy, thriving life.
This year has taught us that we don’t live in the equal society we’ve always cherished. But we can make it so.
At United Way of Central Florida, we are working toward a new tomorrow for our community, one that offers:
- Strong starts for children
- Safe homes and warm meals
- Greater equity
- New career paths
- Fresh starts
- Opportunities for physical activity
- Access to health care
- Thriving families
We must build a better future for our community, one where every person has an equal opportunity to thrive.
Let’s not put off until tomorrow the work that we can start today. Respond to the new year with hope, with possibility, with action.
Together, we can build a tomorrow that is better than yesterday. For every single one of us.
All we need to do is Start Today United.