Coming Together: Communicating, Connecting, Coordinating

When COVID-19 struck, our community came together. In partnership with Central New York Community Foundation, Allyn Foundation, Reisman Foundation, County, City, and other donors, we successfully created one fund for people wishing to help those affected by the pandemic. Once again, our incredible community responded. As of today, over $1.7M has been raised.

Together, we have streamlined the process for non-profits to apply for funding and secured over $1M in aid for 81 non-profit projects specifically focused on giving increased or enhanced services to assist people directly impacted by the pandemic. We have funded food, basic needs, and technology to make it possible for our non-profit staff members to work remotely and continue connecting with the individuals they serve.

As a community, we support a robust network of human services, and it is that very network that was in place and instrumental in carrying out these emergency plans. County Executive McMahon, Mayor Ben Walsh, and the leaders of their staff teams did a fantastic job of bringing us all together to form work groups addressing specific types of issues and needs. Because we all worked together already, the transition was virtually seamless.

We were all UNITED in our response to the pandemic. As we continue to face uncertainty, we believe it is important to take a moment to celebrate the way people have given and the work that has been accomplished.

I hope you’ll join, too, in applauding the non-profit direct line workers who have also been heroes as we cared for those in need. Many of our direct line folks have been working throughout these challenging times, as have healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store employees, and so many more. How fortunate we are that so many people faced this with courage, professionalism, and commitment.

There is much work to be done and more challenges to address.  Our government will have no choice but to make cuts to programs, as they use sales tax revenue to cover those costs. Without that revenue, there simply are not enough funds to cover everything that is currently being funded.

We have demonstrated that we can think and act together to make the best possible decisions. Your United Way will be there as we review needs and opportunities to address them. We will keep you informed, and we hope you will join us as we focus on rebuilding, restoring, and revitalizing.

Let’s work together to create the community we want this to be, where every person truly has the opportunity to learn, grow, work, play, and thrive.