United Way launches effort to provide personal protective equipment to child care workers and families of essential workers

United Way for Southeastern Michigan has launched an effort to get much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to child care workers and families of those working on the frontlines of COVID-19. The Protect Our Protectors initiative will provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other support to nonprofit organizations, targeted workers, and schools across Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. 

The spread of COVID-19 has affected everyone locally and around the world. People are balancing work, families, and safety simultaneously. In line with its mission, United Way is supporting families in southeastern Michigan as they continue to deal with this crisis. The need for these safety supports has risen for everyone, particularly those working in child care facilities, shelters, food pantries and essential services. The Protect Our Protectors effort will make sure those who care for our most vulnerable community members have the protection they need to continue to help.

“You can make a difference with as little as the cost of what you would normally spend on your daily cup of coffee, a tank of gas, or lunch out with coworkers,” says Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “At a time when we are all thinking of our own families, and neighbors, it’s important to remember those who continue to work directly with the community every day.” 

Every $5 given provides one high-quality cloth face mask to an individual in need. Every $25 covers the cost of a box of latex gloves. And every $50 provides five gallons of hand sanitizer.

One hundred percent of donations to the Protect Our Protectors effort will directly help ensure child care facilities, shelters for housing homeless and at-risk populations, food pantries and other essential services can continue their important work without putting their employees or the people they serve at risk.

Last month, United Way started the COVID-19 Community Response Fund in partnership with more than 20 corporate, nonprofit and foundation partners. To date, the fund has raised more than $8 million to support more than 120 local non-profit organizations and child care facilities so they can continue their important work helping families during this crisis.

Additionally, thanks to the passage of the coronavirus stimulus package, any donation made to charity can be deducted from your 2020 taxes, up to $300. If donations toward this effort are made by April 13, gifts will be matched dollar for dollar by the DTE Foundation.

To donate to United Way’s Protect Our Protectors effort, people can text “Protect” to 50503. To learn more about the effort, visit UnitedWaySEM.org/ProtectOurProtectors. 


About United Way for Southeastern Michigan

United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to help households become stable and ensure children have the support they need to thrive. For more than 100 years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable and sustainable change in communities throughout southeast Michigan. United Way works in partnership with donors, agencies, corporate and municipal partners to help families meet their basic needs of housing, food, health care and family finances, and ensure children start school ready to learn and graduate ready for life. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.

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