It' was not too long ago we were here celebrating the 100'th Anniversary of the United Way and talking about the rich history that they have in making sure that the needs of community are met and that the resources available are used to make sure that even the places that you might not hear of all of the time, well, they get a hand too. After all, the United Way came together after the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic as a way to help focus resources in the charitable world, and like the headline says, history is repeating itself now and the United Way....stronger than ever and able to spring in to action and help in a moments notice.
In Muskegon, the United Way is especially endeared to most of us as it's friends and neighbors that make the agency what it is. It's also community members who make up their board, the volunteer groups, give through their work programs and also participate in the events that happen around the community to help raise a few bucks to sustain the organization, and more importantly, the organizations that they serve who directly touch the people in need. We have survived some absolutely historic times since March of 2020, the need for the most basic things like food for people, assistance with sustaining aid organizations, help with utilities, direction in where to give and why...most importantly, a bright spot, something to believe in and rally around. So many found it through the United Way's work even if they didn't know that directly, the United Way was behind the scenes making sure the needs were met and hope was maintained.
From a recent press release from the United Way of the Lakeshore - "United Way of the Lakeshore’s Board of Directors awarded $1,841,511 to non-profit programs in Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties aimed at helping working families meet their basic needs by 2025." The press release goes on to say, - "In Muskegon County, $906,629 was awarded to 36 programs from 28 agencies. In Oceana County, $55,460 in funding was awarded for 13 agency programs. In Newaygo County, 19 programs received a total of $85,976. Along with these awards, $253,401 in COVID Relief funding has gone out to support 48 programs through the pandemic with emergent needs like, food, shelter, child care, and personal protective equipment. $310,045 was directly designated by donors to specific non-profit agencies and another $230,000 was approved to support youth employment programs. A total of $1.8 million invested in direct assistance in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties. In addition, United Way of the Lakeshore provided programs and support in the areas of volunteerism, community collaboration, education and training." That's an awful lot of money and an immediate way to get right in and be a part of the solution in a crisis, and to carry it well beyond what will pass in a matter of time. This is the importance of the United Way.
There are all kind of things to catch up on about the United Way. Let's face it, everything you just read....took a lot of work, so Christie Robere and staff have had their hands full. We did manage to find a safe and socially distanced bench out in front of the place on Clay though to catch up, so take a listen and hear what's gone on, what's to come and how you can be a part!
Never fails to amaze. We're proud to work with the United Way to show you what they do and why. So much comes from their work you might not even know about, but it's the steady hand of community care and finding the best ways to make sure every dollar given goes to meet the needs, and there are so many needs, of all of us. Get involved. Hey, not every has the money to give, totally get that. You can volunteer. You can advocate. You can learn and share what you see going on from the United Way. It's an amazing hub for all of us on the Lakeshore and we're thankful Christine found a little time for us to catch up on all that's been going on. Our most humble and revered thanks to everyone at the United Way of the Lakeshore for all they do! Visit their website by clicking below.