United Way kicks off #StandUnited campaign in Southwest Detroit

From promoting and supporting literacy programs, to helping families meet basic needs during difficult times, to preparing children to thrive, United Way of Southeastern Michigan has been the leader in the mobilization of people and resources to address immediate needs, and advocate for long-term change.

Drawing upon the power of Standing United — for our children, our families, and our community – the organization will launch its virtual 2020-21 #StandUnited for Our Future Campaign this week with a goal of raising $60 million and 43,000 volunteer hours to help families across Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties work toward a better future.

You can #StandUnited with United Way for Southeastern Michigan by taking part in the #StandUnited for Our Future Campaign Kickoff Week, September 14-18 — this year launched virtually — as well as during 2020-21 Campaign. A list of kick off week events are here, and include days focusing on Community, Students, Equity, Change and Family. Opportunities to volunteer and donate are also available through the website.

Support for the campaign will help individuals and families by supporting programs such as Discover Your Spark, which connects families with after-school and summer programs so kids can learn year-round. Or Connect 4 Care Kids, which helps families with children 5 and younger connect with certified and affordable childcare options. Helping families meet their basic needs, allowing them to bridge the digital divide, and healthcare aid are all integral to the work of United Way.

“Every day, children and families in more than 680,000 households across southeast Michigan struggle to meet their basic needs— food, housing, health care, childcare and transportation,” said Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Standing United, we will help them create a more secure future.”

When United Way for Southeastern Michigan closed out its 2019-20 fiscal year it achieved $69 million in total revenue, which includes funds contributed to the COVID-19 Response Fund. This year, Dr. Hudson, and Campaign Chair Gary Johnson, of Ford Motor Company hope to continue helping families most in need during the COVID pandemic and throughout the recovery. The total revenue goal for this fiscal year is $60 million, a slight decrease from last year due to the anticipated full year impact of the pandemic.

“We know the challenges our region, our companies, and our communities are facing right now and that these goals won’t be easy to reach. But I am confident that if we work collectively and focus our efforts, we can reach these numbers and beyond, because the need in the community continues to be significant,”  added Hudson.

Via the virtual launch of the #StandUnited Campaign, donors, volunteers, advocates and partners will also gain insight into how their support makes a difference in the lives of tri-county individuals and families.  Activities include:

While the COVID pandemic presents a new challenge for Campaigns , Hudson is optimistic that communities can come together in new and exciting ways.

“During our previous campaign, we set aggressive financial goals – anticipating the new charitable giving laws and other factors impacting the nonprofit sector across the country,” says Dr. Hudson. “This year, our goals are more conservative, while making sure the needs of people in our communities and their families are met.”

United Way’s tri-county volunteer and investment strategy is focused on serving the 44 percent of households who struggle to meet their basic needs. This effort is also fueled by funding from corporations, individuals, and foundations.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 2020/21 campaign runs through July 2021. To take part by giving or advocating, visit UnitedWaySEM.org. To make impact by volunteering, sign up via United Way’s volunteer portal at UnitedWaySEM.org/volunteer.

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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways, in partnership with more than 700 agency partners. United Way is a leader in convening entities including business, labor, and government toward achieving positive outcomes for individuals and families around its Basic Needs & Health; Education; and Economic Prosperity strategies. The organization engages the community in its work via volunteerism and advocacy efforts, and its annual campaign. For more information visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.