One year ago, our lives dramatically changed when COVID-19 was first reported in the Chicago area. We’ve lost loved ones and friends who were taken too soon. We’ve missed celebrations of life and love, and we’ve dealt with great stress. For many in our region, the coronavirus pandemic has also disrupted our jobs, education, budgets, and access to healthcare. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a United Way of Illinois ALICE report indicated that 1 in 3 households in the Chicago region were unable to afford basic necessities or handle an unexpected expense. According to a report by the Urban Institute, an estimated 67% of Black households and 71% of Latinx households did not have enough savings to live above the poverty level for three months.

The ongoing inequities and challenges are real, and now is the time to stay United to help our neighbors. Learn more about United Way’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, read stories of individuals who have received critical support over the past year, and make your gift today to ensure nonprofit organizations on the front line can continue to meet our neighbors’ basic needs.

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A Year of Essential Support

Through it all, United Way has harnessed the region’s generosity to provide relief to nonprofits, workers, and families. Just days before the state shutdown was issued last March, United Way of Metro Chicago and The Chicago Community Trust launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. More than 6,000 donors raised $35 million to support organizations on the front lines of the pandemic. Each and every investment helped provide food, rental assistance, and other critical resources to help our neighbors weather this difficult time.

Thank you for your generous support.

50+ Million meals served to our neighbors across the region

Nearly 40,000 households received direct financial assistance

290,000 households received primary care and/or mental health services

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OUR NEIGHBORS STILL NEED OUR HELP

Vaccine distribution keeps us hopeful, but the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t left us as quickly as we’d wished. And the challenges the pandemic exacerbated, like homelessness and hunger, are still top priority.

• More than 1 Million People across the Chicago region are food insecure

47% of adults across the Chicago region have experienced unemployment since March 2020, including 65% of Latinx adults and 54% of Black adults

Almost half of all Chicago area residents have experienced symptoms of either anxiety or depression disorder

We face many hurdles as we work to reverse the economic impact of the pandemic, but with your support, we can move the Chicago region from pandemic response to recovery. Your donation will help United Way deliver critical resources to nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the crisis so that our neighbors can easily access food, housing, and healthcare.


YOUR GIFT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Donations to United Way impact youth, workers, families, and entire neighborhoods. Read how your gift—no matter how big or small—will make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.

To help workers in Chicago weather this crisis, the COVID-19 Response Fund helped nonprofits and community organizations provide food, housing, and financial assistance.

“[The assistance] helps with food and bills while waiting for unemployment. It’s truly, truly a blessing,”

-- CLARENCE JACKSON, FORMER BAR PORTER AT THE DRAKE HOTEL

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Food pantries and food banks are even more important as residents across the region grapple with the coronavirus crisis.

“Blue Cap [Pantry] is more than just a food pantry. They’re going outside of themselves to meet people’s needs.”

-- HOWARD BROWN, ACTIVIST AND EVANGELIST FROM ROBBINS

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The COVID-19 Response Fund supported youth programs that provided physical and mental health supports for students impacted by the pandemic

“Interacting with the other students at Blackstone has been my main source of talking to other people aside from my mom. It has helped me cope with the pandemic”

-- AFAM, 12-YEAR-OLD STUDENT FROM BRONZEVILLE

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