Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanks for helping your neighbors facing emergencies

Even as the economy improves, many families are still struggling to meet their basic needs. Especially during the fall and winter, some families have to make a choice between eating and staying warm.

Because of your support, fewer have to face that choice. We’ve helped thousands of people with emergency needs including food, rent, utilities and prescriptions. That’s all thanks to generous gifts to our Community Relief Fund (CRF), and the work of our community partners.

When kids go to school with food in their stomachs, they learn more. When parents know their children have a safe place to sleep at night, they can support their family. And when older adults get the medicine they need, they stay healthy. Your support of the Community Relief Fund creates change in our community. Thank you!

Community Relief Fund Results

 As of October 2012, funds distributed to community action projects have helped 70,127 people in the four-county area (24,867 households). The average amount of assistance through the Community Relief Fund (CRF) with utilities was $245, while the average amount of rent assistance to each household was $727.
  • 1,176 people were able to stay healthy because they received assistance paying for prescriptions.
  • In total, 3,408 households (9,997 individuals) avoided eviction because they received rent or mortgage assistance.
  • Some 16,781 households (52,392 adults and kids) received food assistance.
  • About 1,372 families (4,159 individuals) kept the lights on because they received help paying their utility bills.

Why we fund basic needs

United Way’s Community Relief Fund provides basic, emergency assistance to families in need. We also fund projects that create long-term change in our community. Why do we invest in both types of projects?

Helping people with emergency needs is like a bandage on a child’s wound. It won’t prevent an injury in the future, but that bandage is so important, because in that moment, that’s what the child needs.

Equally important are medicines to help heal the child and safe behaviors that help the child stay healthy in the future. And perhaps someday the child will become an advocate to help her whole community become healthier.

In a nutshell—simplified, of course—that’s how United Way’s investment strategy works. We help people with their immediate needs, we give them support to change their lives and we provide ways for everyone to make a difference in their community.

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