United Way seeks to “reinvent our future”, fall fundraiser kicks off
The Monroe County United Way welcomed community members outside the mill on Thursday to kick off its annual fundraiser. Several speakers argued that United Way’s fundraising efforts are more valuable than ever during the pandemic.
Donna ColÃ³n, executive director of the Southeast Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross, praised the work of the United Way when the community’s needs were dire.
âUnited Way agencies in Monroe County have worked more closely than ever during the pandemic,â ColÃ³n said. “Despite the obstacles, United Way’s continued support obtained through their annual campaign was essential.”
After the pandemic stalled efforts to host the same in-person event last year, the importance of the âReimagine Our Futureâ rally has not escaped the notice of United Way chief executive Efrat Feferman. “We didn’t do it in person last year, and it just didn’t look the same.”
âAnd the weather cooperatedâ for the outdoor event, added Feferman with a laugh.
Feferman said there is still a need for face-to-face community interactions like this in the digital age. âI feel like digital platforms really allow us to extend our reach to people and engage them in new ways and engage new people in new ways. Yet being able to come together in as a community for something like that – it was just missing. “
For Feferman, a big part of the event was simply to educate supporters in the community about the great work being done by the organization and its affiliates. âI really wanted to point out to the public how hard everyone has worked, not just Centraide, but all of our partners. The network, the great effort it takes to put all of this together for the community to play this role. ‘make sure the safety net is strong and resilient. It takes so many people to catch up with it. “
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Feferman urged everyone to contribute to the cause in whatever way they can.
“Each of us has to do what we can. For some people we have donors who give a dollar a month, and people in the five figures, but it all adds up to the funds we hope to raise. … Anything that people can do is appreciated so much right now. You know, if you can’t give but want to volunteer, become an advocate, that’s necessary too. “
Mary Morgan, who works as the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, explained to the crowd the importance of the Monroe County United Way mission to the success of the local business community .
In an interview with The Herald-Times, Morgan noted, âUnited Way is one of the largest and most crucial organizations that raises funds to support all agencies that do good work that makes our community a great place to be. better.
âI think it’s generally important for the business community to support the work of Centraide. Like I said (in my remarks), companies here need a strong community overall for a strong workforce. We want individuals and families to be successful, and that helps everyone, âMorgan said. âIt is the central element of Centraide’s work.
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Morgan praised United Way’s rapid adaptation to meet the needs of the community when COVID-19 hit in the spring of 2020. âI think they were able to pivot very quickly and effectively when the pandemic struck for provide the kind of support needed. The people who are the most vulnerable in our community were those who needed the support of Centraide and the agencies that Centraide supports even more. “
The event also featured the ALL Abilities choir performing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Stand by Me”.
For more information and to donate to the United Way of Monroe County, visit https://www.monroeunitedway.org/.
Contact Patrick McGerr at [email protected], 812-345-7559, or follow @patrickmcgerr on Twitter.