2019 Annual Report

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“Our strength is in our interconnectedness and commitment to facing community challenges together.”
THIS IS…United Way’s Response to the COVID-19 Crisis:

United Way created and managed the Berks COVID-19 Response Fund which raised nearly $1.1 million to support local nonprofits on the front lines serving the most vulnerable in our community. As of July 2020, United Way awarded 41 COVID-19 related grants totaling $700,000. An experienced panel of volunteers reviewed and recommended grants supporting needs around food, shelter, emergency supplies and more. To stay up-to-date on the Response Fund, click here.

THESE ARE…The People Helped by the Berks COVID-19 Response Fund:

Meeting Food Needs in the Boyertown Area

While Ruth’s husband’s death was unrelated to the virus, she finds herself in need as furloughs and layoffs sweep through communities and create a surged demand on food and essential items. More and more families and seniors rely on local food pantries and distribution sites.

“Our food pantry is now serving three times the amount of people it usually does,” said Lydia Messinger, executive director of the multi-service. “We have distributed about double the amount of food as normal just during the four weeks after the shutdown.”   Read Ruth’s story

Serving Women and Children with Help from United Way

COVID unleashed a health and economic crisis, like many others, Maria lost her job during the pandemic.

Losing her job would have been devastating if she did not have the support of Hannah’s Hope Ministries. “Without Hannah’s Hope I would be homeless,” Maria, 19, said. “Previously coming to Hannah’s Hope I was in foster care. The agency has helped me tremendously.” Maria and her eight-month-year-old daughter live in Hannah’s Hope’ transitional housing. They share the home with five other women and nine other children.   Read Maria’s Story

THIS IS…United Way’s Response to Needs in the Areas of Education, Health, Financial Stability and Safety Net Services:

Thanks to YOUR support, funds are invested in 80+ local programs to help more than 150,000 local people. 70 volunteers — people like you — devote hours of their time and expertise to identify the best possible community investments. The volunteers evaluate each funded program’s performance on an annual basis.

  THESE ARE…The People Helped by United Way in 2019:

Meet Stephen Werner

Stephen knows first-hand how the programs provided by Friend, Inc. help people live stronger lives. While facing health, employment and mental health issues, Friend, Inc., a United Way agency partner, provided support as he tackled these challenges. Now, he helps others. Read Stephen’s story

Quality, Affordable Care Helps Families Thrive

Ashley Sweitzer’s life changed drastically when she went from being a stay-at-home mom to being a single mom to Dustyn, Kaylee and her baby, Ariya. To provide for her family she needed to work which meant she needed to find safe and affordable care for her kids.

A United Way funded program through Berks County Intermediate Unit provided the solution. Read Ashley’s story

Key Highlights by the Numbers:
11 million raised in 2019
Four Focus Areas
290K Berks Countians helped by COVID response
1.1 million raise for COVID response
37K Kids helped by RSR