The collective heartbeat of United Way
By Dr. Michelle McCord, Frenship ISD Superintendent and 2021 United Way Board Chair
We recently ushered in the long-awaited New Year, 2021! I doubt any of us have been so excited to bid farewell to a year more than 2020. Yet, I find myself reflecting on the many lessons we have learned over the past twelve months. Loads of the lessons were painful and involved heart-wrenching, unimaginable losses. We discovered qualities in ourselves that were, perhaps, less than wonderful. But, I would also argue we learned that all of us have some extraordinary attributes as well. We are much stronger than we ever could have imagined. Yes, obstacles and problems stacked up last year but we have so much for which to be grateful.
I believe Lubbock Area United Way stood out as a beacon of light in the darkest days of 2020. How can an organization accomplish so much on such difficult days? Because the collective heartbeat of United Way is you and me, all of us. You selflessly donated your time, talent, and money to meet the needs of others. Together, we pushed past the problems and heartaches of the pandemic to give people hope. This is our mission here at United Way.
Here are a few examples:
- Through the joint efforts of United Way, the Community Foundation of West Texas, and donors like you, the South Plains COVID-19 Response Fund provided more than $1.3million in financial aid to tackle the effects of the pandemic locally.
- Our Community Partners served record numbers of clients, many of whom had never asked for help before and did not even know where to start.
- Thanks to the cooperation of local school districts and the support of amazing volunteers, we were still able to host our 3rd Annual United We Read, reading to more than 3,500 area second graders virtually and in-person.
- Our generous supporters gave more than $5.3million through the Annual Campaign to support the work of our Community Partners.
Yes, 2020 gave us a valuable perspective. In fact, the past 75 years have given United Way a unique and important perspective as we turn our eyes to the future. Did you catch that? Lubbock Area United Way is celebrating its 75th birthday in 2021!
We have much to celebrate but we also have much work ahead of us like ensuring a quality education for all students, eliminating child abuse and sex trafficking in our community, and increasing access to mental health services for all those in need.
United Way is a treasured gem that will continue to give people hope for generations to come because of you.