The Power of We
By: United Way 2020 Campaign Spokespersons: Dave Steward, founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, Kathy Osborn, president and CEO of the Regional Business Council, Penny Pennington, managing partner of Edward Jones, and Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation
The following blog post originally ran in the St. Louis Business Journal.
So far, 2020 has been a year like no other. We’re facing a pandemic health crisis, financial instability and the continued realities of injustice and inequality.
The needs we are facing due to the impacts of COVID-19 are incredible. From mid-March through August, United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline has received over 77,000 requests for help, a 57% increase over 2019. The top requests were for housing assistance, healthcare access, mental health support and food – basic needs that none of us should have to worry about.
The racial equity crisis is not new, but it has been amplified by the health and economic challenges we’re facing. It is a long-standing crisis that prevents children and families from reaching their potential and creates division where there should be unity.
At a time marked by such incredible challenges, it can be hard to know what to do. So many local people and businesses are searching for a way to help, a way to rebuild our community.
Recovery will be a long road, but the first step is clear: Recognize that we are all United.
The four of us believe that when we are working together, we can do so much more. That’s why we joined with United Way to make a real and substantial impact in our region.
For nearly 100 years, United Way has been there to respond to the needs of local people and communities, whether it’s a crisis that impacts one family or our entire region. And since COVID-19 started, United Way has mobilized its partners and the community to identify and address new and unexpected challenges.
We acknowledge that our region has a long way to go. As we look ahead to our future, the power of standing United means so much for our community.
Now more than ever, we are all connected. When one of us stands to help, we are all lifted.
This connection is why United Way supports programs and services designed to meet our region’s most pressing needs. Together, they form a safety net for the entire community.
Whether it’s immediate basic needs, such as food, shelter or transportation, or long-term support, such as daycare, education, job training, and counseling, each service provides another thread to the safety net.
We are incredibly proud to lead the 2020 United Way campaign. Year after year, we have seen our community step up through United Way to help its own.
We believe this is possible again this year.
It is now, in these unprecedented times, that we need an unprecedented approach. We are asking you to join us by supporting United Way. We are all United to help the St. Louis region and the people in it. United for health, stability, equity and security. United for a better tomorrow.
We are all United.