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, San Diego County 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.
Here are some of the ways UWSD has been supporting the community:
- Raised $1,941,205 for COVID-19 relief with the Worker Assistance Initiative (WAI), for mortgage/rent and utilities payments to support low-wage workers who lost their jobs or income
- Helped 25,250 households with free tax preparation assistance through our EITC Coalition
- Collaborated with our Advancing San Diego partners to place 40 students into internships at 20 different small businesses across the region
- Engaged 11,701 students and families in attendance awareness efforts
But there is so much more to do. Thousands in our community still struggle with unemployment, food insecurity, and housing challenges. Many 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.
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.
- 11.1 million Americans are unemployed
- More than 1 in 10 Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from
- At least 30 million people are estimated to be at risk of eviction
- In 2019, 80% of White and Asian third grade students in San Diego Unified School District were reading at 3rd grade proficiency; while only 51% of Black and 56% of Hispanic students were at basic reading proficiency.
These are our neighbors. And they cannot wait any longer for relief, for support, for equality, for the opportunity to live a thriving life.
This year has taught that we don’t live in the equal society we’ve always cherished. But we can make it so.
At UWSD, 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
- 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.