We accomplished a lot in 2018-19, and you made it all possible. More than 91,000 donors and funders combined to give $60.9 million to United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Advocates sent 1,549 messages to legislators, pushing for food assistance, increased tax credits and earned paid sick time. Also, 11,810 volunteers gave 36,028 hours of service, making an immediate impact throughout the region.
Together, in 2018-19 we helped households reach stability and children thrive.
According to our ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, 44 percent of households in Southeastern Michigan struggle to meet their basic needs like food, housing and health care. Thank you for making a difference for these families.
We’ve given children access to nutritious meals during the summer and at school before the bell rings. In our schools, we’ve supported educators, raised graduation rates and connected students with experiences to expand their minds and their career options. We’ve equipped parents with the tools to prepare their kids for kindergarten, and helped child care providers grow their skills and credentials to better serve families. We’ve helped people increase their earnings and savings through financial coaching and job training, and keep more of what they earn during tax season.
And we’ve done it all in partnership with hundreds of community, government and corporate partners, as well as donors like you. Though the specific needs of our community have shifted over time, our focus has not. We help families meet their basic needs and stay out of crisis. We ensure children have health and educational support starting the day they’re born. None of this would be possible without our dedicated donors, advocates and volunteers.
The past year was a transformational one for United Way for Southeastern Michigan. We moved into a new home in the Fisher Building in Detroit’s New Center area, launched a new philanthropic group for retirees and expanded our community footprint for our 2-1-1 helpline and utility assistance program. We also galvanized our volunteers to give 36,000 hours of service.
We’ve spent the past year planning what’s next for United Way for Southeastern Michigan. How can we best serve the needs of our changing community? How can we help the nearly half of households — our neighbors, family and friends — who are struggling to make ends meet? What can we do to make our community a better place for generations to come?
At its core, United Way exists to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. That means giving households access to programs and services that help them meet their basic needs; and connecting families with tools and supports to ensure their children are ready to learn and prepared for success in life.
In the months to come, we’ll share more about our vision for the future of Southeastern Michigan. It’s a vision we can’t make a reality without you. We are excited about what’s to come, and we’re eager to inspire thousands of donors, advocates and volunteers to roll up their sleeves and make a difference. We hope you’ll join us in this next chapter of our journey.