Dear Supporters,When we thought about how best to capture our sentiment of this past fiscal year, we knew immediately what we wanted to say: Thank you. We’ve been through a lot together these past few months – as a city, as a community, and as an organization. United Way of Metro Chicago is so fortunate to have you right by our side. Thank you for coming together with support, humility, and courage. When our campaign started in July 2019, we knew that it was going to be an impactful year, but we never could have imagined all the opportunities and challenges we’d face together.
Since 2015, our partners at BMO Harris Bank have seen the remarkable impact that our Neighborhood Networks have made in our community. This past October they committed an additional $10 million, with a large portion of the gift supporting work in the Austin neighborhood. It’s the largest donation in the history of United Way of Metro Chicago but it wasn’t just the size of the donation that made headlines. This commitment stood out because it is a substantial investment in the potential of our region’s neighborhoods. We’re so grateful for the leadership of Austin Coming Together, BMO, and everyone in the United Way family. This is all thanks to your confidence in our Neighborhood Network Initiative. Thank you.
The second half of our year was unlike anything we could have anticipated. COVID-19 brought waves of sickness and loss, while amplifying the racial and income inequities across our region. Within days, we established the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund with The Chicago Community Trust and the City of Chicago and quickly put funds in the hands of agencies that were serving our neighbors, ensuring that their immediate food, housing, and basic needs were met. Altogether, more than 5,000 donors contributed more than $33 million. Thank you. More recently, when the protests calling for racial and social justice impacted the South and West side communities, our community partners quickly stepped up again. And we were right there supporting them through the Response Fund – allocating funds for community clean-up and rebuilding efforts, food access, resources for safe spaces, and assistance for peaceful protestors. Recovery efforts are just beginning and with you by our side, we’re confident this next year will be our time to help build an even better Chicago. Those of us at United Way and everyone who calls Chicago home are committing to lasting change. The hope and appreciation we feel is profound. Thank you for continuing to Live United.