It's a situation no one really ever imagined we'd see ourselves in, but it's not the first time. 2018 was a celebratory year for the United Way of the Lakeshore being that it was their 100th Anniversary, but 1918 was also the year that the "Spanish Flu" or H1N1 Pandemic swept the world along with WW1 coming to a conclusion in November of that year. The United Way of the Lakeshore first came in to service in 1918 and yes, the memories of what was going on in that first, vital year, are still alive with Christine Robere who is now the Executive Director of the organization and knew some of the original donors who she met when she began her time with the United Way 27 years ago,
Today, the work that goes on through the United Way in the Muskegon Area is extensive. The United Way works to support the organizations in the area that serve human need. From your call to 2-1-1 to someone needing to rely on a food pantry or some assistance in making sure rent or utilities are met, chances are, the extensions of the United Way help those agencies with the work they do to help those in need. It's a very deep and wide reach in a community that is already understood as what the United Way has been working on for a few years now, A.L.I.C.E. ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained Employed. Meaning that a lot of our population in the Muskegon area lives paycheck to paycheck and things like help with food and utilities are a real worry for them week to week. The need is always there for so many people in our area and the United Way has a pretty deep understanding of this if there is an emergency or not.
Today, more than ever even those who never expected that they would need to ask where to find help are doing just that. Thankfully, the United Way has the structure in place with their partner agencies to help. From that initial call to 2-1-1 to find out some of over the 4000 resources available to assist anyone to their website which can lead you to news and information, family resources, information on unemployment benefits and so much more. News for your business, a COVID 19 response grant, prevention information and if you look a little, you can even find the link on the United Way's website to get your children signed up for free books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to help them with their time away from school.
Christine took a few minutes today from her "home office" to talk about the work going on right now, and always by the United Way of the Lakeshore. Take a listen. This is important
It's amazing work going on out front and behind the scenes by The United Way. If you'd like to know more, please click on the photo below to visit their website. You can also find the link for that Dolly Parton Imagination Library there for your kids. Get them started on a lifetime of reading now, when you have the chance. If you can help the United Way, please, do...and if you need the help of the United Way, know...you are not alone and this is exactly why they are here and how our community is built around them.