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UNITED WAY COMMUNITY IMPACT CONTINUES AS DAY OF CARING BECOMES WEEK OF CARING

UNITED WAY COMMUNITY IMPACT CONTINUES AS DAY OF CARING BECOMES WEEK OF CARING

UNITED WAY COMMUNITY IMPACT CONTINUES AS DAY OF CARING BECOMES WEEK OF CARING

 

September 15, 2020 – On Thursday, September 17, Greater Ottawa County United Way will host a Virtual luncheon to celebrate the annual Day of Caring becoming a Week of Caring, and the next phase of fundraising and advocacy to support our community. Every September, United Way hosts a Day of Caring where local businesses send teams of Volunteers to help with needs all across the County. These volunteers usually gather together for lunch to celebrate. This year, the ongoing pandemic has caused some big changes. Many businesses are still working hard to get things back to normal, and gathering together in large groups just isn’t possible. This gave Shannon Behm, Vice President of Volunteer Engagement at United Way a great idea.  “We saw these challenges as an chance to open Day of Caring up to the entire community, and make it a week-long opportunity” says Behm. The new Week of Caring began Monday September 14, and goes through Friday September 18, and includes over 450 different volunteer slots. Many of the opportunities can be done from home and with your family. Anyone can view and register for these opportunities at https://bit.ly/2RsOUEZ, or at the ottawaunitedway.org website.


The Week of Caring also officially launches Phase 3 of United Way’s 3 phase response to the issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Phase 1, the Emergency Response Phase, United Way was part of the Care Ottawa County Collaborative that provided a one-stop help website for residents and nonprofit partner agencies, jointly raised over $900,000 for more than 100 emergency grants, and provided almost 400 volunteers to those affected. As the pandemic wore on, Phase 2 of the COVID Response saw a new $300,000 Community Recovery Challenge at United Way, provided by a group of generous donors to challenge the community to fill needs as the County tried to reboot.  Now, Phase 3, the Community Rebuilding Campaign is about to begin. Keith Van Beek, Holland’s City Manager is serving as Chair for this campaign. “The Community Rebuilding Campaign will help fill the gaps over the next year by creating and investing in the services most needed by our clients.  Prior to the crisis, our services touched more than 65,000 in our community, and we expect that the ripples of COVID will double the number that need ongoing support” said Van Beek, a long-time United Way supporter and Volunteer.


On Wednesday, Haworth Inc kicked off its annual Employee Campaign to support United Way’s Impact Agenda, at its world headquarters in Holland, setting the pace for nearly 200 other local businesses who give back to our community all year long.


Greater Ottawa County United Way President Patrick Moran said, “I am so proud of the way our community went above and beyond during the first two phases of our COVID response, and as we enter what I hope is the last phase, the rebuilding phase, we need to continue to support individuals and families for whom the struggles created before and during the pandemic, continue. When we all come together to Live United, we can transform lives and transform our local communities.” If you participate in a United Way workplace campaign, you will have the chance to Give, Advocate and Volunteer for the Community Rebuilding Campaign. If not, you have the same opportunity to LIVE UNITED at www.ottawaunitedway.org.

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