ORLANDO, Fla. — The United Way has focused on helping communities across the globe for more than 125 years. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause hardship both near and far, the organization has stepped up to try to get people in need back on their feet.
Channel 9 complied nine things you should know about the organization below:
- United Way is engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide. That includes 26 branches in Florida.
- The organization’s focus is on creating community-based and community-led solutions that strengthen the cornerstones for a good quality of life: education, financial stability and health.
- Many of those cornerstones have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus. To help those in need, United Way has launched a national response and recovery fund, as well as hundreds of local community support funds around the world.
- United Way connects people with the resources they need through its 211 hotline. For example, people who call 211 can get assistance in finding food, paying housing bills or being connected with other essential services.
- Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, United Way is reporting a 200-400% increase in the number of calls to 211 than normal, mostly for food, financial assistance and housing.
- The Heart of Florida United Way, which serves Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, has launched the ALICE Recovery Fund in light of the pandemic, which is aimed at serving the asset limited, income constrained, employed population experiencing hardship due to decreased hours or unpaid leave.
- In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way is connecting those who would like to help people in need with virtual volunteering opportunities. Click here for more information on how to get involved.
- United Way has launched the #UnitedWayChallenge on social media posting prompts to encourage people to volunteer virtually and learn something new to help the community come together and have a little fun while safely distancing from one another. Click here to participate.
- In 2018-19, the Heart of Florida United Way raised and managed more than $22.4 million in total resources, including $16.6 million raised for the Community Fund that invests in dozens of programs in the community throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
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