This has been a very somber few days for our community. Last week, as you know, we were shocked and horrified to learn of the shooting at Oxford High School that took the lives of four students and injured seven other students and staff.
While we grapple with the pain of this, United Way, like all of your organizations, remains committed to supporting our community through crisis, and we stand ready to help in whatever way necessary to support the Oxford community and all those impacted by this tragedy.
Recently, we joined with Oakland County to announce our new partnership investing $8.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars into mental health services throughout the county. While we certainly weren’t anticipating the horrific reality we’re grappling with this week, it was clear that too many individuals in our community are in dire need of mental health supports — from those recovering from substance abuse and addiction to those dealing with loss and caring for loved ones. This last week, our team began working with health and human services agencies in Oakland County to help connect them as they coordinated mental health supports for the Oxford community.
But beyond mental health, here’s what’s really weighing on my heart today. If we are serious about protecting our children and putting an end to these horrendous acts of violence, we need real progress on gun reform. Not conversation, but immediate action resulting in real progress. I don’t know if there’s a role for United Way to play in that, but if we’re truly committed to ensuring every child has the opportunity to thrive, it’s something we need to discuss. Because right now we are failing our children, our most precious resource, on this issue.
Please reach out to us if you have thoughts on how we can work together to better protect and support our region’s families and children. And thank you, as always, for your partnership and commitment to serving our community.