United Way’s summer impact roundup

 

This summer has been a busy one for our community. Even in the midst of continued challenges, we have come together as neighbors to provide help and hope. Here are five ways we’ve been helping here in the St. Louis region this summer.

 

1. Fighting summer hunger

This summer brought unique challenges to many local families. On top of financial strains from the COVID-19 crisis, the end of the school year meant additional burdens for those who rely on school meals during the academic year. As a result, local food pantries faced high demand.

 

To help fight summer hunger, volunteers from United Way’s Illinois Division hosted a food drive to stock the shelves at local food pantries. This was truly a community effort, with local partners like Schnucks, First National Bank of Waterloo, Red Bud IGA and the Sparta and Coulterville Dairy Queens partnering with hundreds of Illinois Division residents to collect 43 carts full of food and nonperishables to help neighbors in St. Clair, Clinton, Monroe and Randolph counties facing food insecurity.

 

2. Improving health for local families

In May, members of United Way’s newest young professionals group, United Young Leaders, came together to give our community’s youngest neighbors and their families a healthy start.

 

Together, they collected diapers, wipes, clothing, books and other supplies for United Way-supported nonprofit Nurses for Newborns. This incredible project will help about 800 local families stay safe and healthy.

 

3. Local companies raising their hands to help

Throughout the summer, local companies have been hard at work hosting volunteer projects to help local people. Volunteers from T-Mobile, Manna Pro and others worked together to assemble needed items for people in need, including dental health kits, pocket reading pals and more.

 

These Service2Go projects are not only a great way to address community needs, but they also bring coworkers together to connect with one another and their organization’s mission.

 

4. Getting a head start on holiday support

The Christmas in July fundraiser, a longtime Riverbend area tradition, broke another record this year in support of local families. Hosted by Freer Autobody, it raised more than $50,000 toward our Southwest Illinois Division’s Community Christmas drive.

 

These donations will be used to purchase gifts and essential items for local people in need this December. The community’s amazing support will go a long way in helping kids and families have a brighter holiday season this year.

 

5. Helping kids start the school year strong

Do you remember the excitement of having new school supplies each year? Members of United Way’s de Tocqueville Society came together to bring this same feeling to children impacted by foster care.

 

Members collected nearly 100 backpacks full of needed supplies for elementary and middle school students served by Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition. This effort will help set local kids up for success this school year, giving them the tools and confidence they need to thrive.

 

 

It takes all of us coming together to address our community’s most pressing issues. Together, we are paving a path to a brighter future for our entire region.

 

 

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Emily (Becherer) Gearhart

Emily (Becherer) Gearhart is a proud native St. Louisan, writer and lover of stories in all their forms. Faced with a captivating question, she will research her way down a rabbit hole and emerge with words that educate and inspire. You can probably find her taking in a musical, bingeing through a new podcast series, exploring the trails at local parks or curating her extensive library of Spotify playlists.