community Impact Report
Working with our loyal partners, Lowe’s and DoorDash, we were able to give decorated
trees to local families to help brighten their holidays.
300 Christmas trees delivered
Generous volunteers signed up to provide local families experiencing tough times with clothing, toys, and household goods from their wish lists of gifts that they would otherwise not receive this holiday.
210 families got their wish
Our online registries and toy drives held at area businesses and drop-off sites provided
toys for children of families in United Way programs, as well as to area hospitals, schools, and nonprofits.
To receive more frequent impact updates, check our emails and follow us on social media.
As always, thank you for your gifts, which allow us to create meaningful, impactful change.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Evictions are increasing at a staggering pace, with more people out of work or working fewer hours because of the pandemic. Our Home for the Holidays initiative, which kicked off on Giving Tuesday (December 1), raised more than $21,000 for our housing assistance programs and housing needs—and volunteers contributed more than 2,200 hours to provide holiday cheer for area families.
Driving measurable change during the pandemic
As we marked a year of helping our neighbors and neighborhoods impacted by the pandemic, we amplified our outreach to the communities we serve—and the voices of our local leaders.
Wi-Fi hotspots installed in South Baltimore that will provide free internet access to
stress relief and info kits
packed for local children
and families to support
tuned in for our
Realities of Inequity presentations
Baltimore County households received help with back rent
through our STEP
(Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention) program
United Way and community partners team up to bring free Wi-Fi to underserved communities
children’s books donated to
area kids through almost
50 book drives.
2 of 11
Local media are always interested in covering how we provide what’s needed, where it’s
needed. This quarter, United Way was featured in more than 740 stories and mentions in
broadcast, online, and print media. For a full list of coverage, visit our news page.
click here to donate
million raised to date
from donations to our
calls to our
211 Maryland United Way
new volunteers registered
for 25+ activities
Inspiring our supporters to break down barriers to equity
Installing free Wi-Fi hotspots to bridge the digital divide
Delivering thousands of children’s books in honor of Read Across America Day
Free Wi-Fi for Underserved Neighborhoods
United Way and RowdyOrb.it are working to close the digital divide in South Baltimore by installing Wi-Fi hotspots in 11 locations that will provide free internet access to more than 15,000 people. So far, Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed at City of Refuge and Transformation Center, which provide an array of services in their neighborhoods. Co-created by community members, this project also localizes the workforce and strengthens the local economy. Residents are trained as installers and build the skills necessary to maintain them.
In February, we launched our Barrier Breakers podcast that tackles everything from breaking news to breaking barriers to opportunity and equity. Topics this quarter included real-life calls and behind-the-scenes conversations with our 211 Maryland United Way Helpline team, a conversation with a United Way staff member who grew up in the segregated South, and an interview with our President and CEO, Franklyn Baker, on what inspires him in his life and in his work. Catch all of our episodes here!
The Way Home 2.0
Our 2017 Way Home Project, which provided essential home goods for those moving into permanent housing, was such a tremendous success that our Leaders United membership group launched this life-changing initiative again this year. Leaders United members and other supporters definitely provided what’s needed, where it’s needed, raising funds for dishes, rugs, sheets and towels, cleaning products and more to fill new apartments for 20 people who had experienced chronic homelessness. Read more about this project and look for a video about the shopping and move-in events in our next report!
Five-Day Equity Challenge
We work every day to promote equity, create opportunity, and improve lives. To help others understand the many challenges that too many of our neighbors and neighborhoods face, we asked people to take part in our Understanding the Realities of Inequity Journey, a self-guided learning experience to examine the inequities that permeate our community on individual, institutional, and systemic levels.
Working with other Maryland United Ways, we launched a statewide COVID-19 survey to help us better understand the needs in our communities one year since the pandemic started. The confidential survey, which concluded in April, will help us pinpoint increased and new needs to most effectively and efficiently bring relief to our neighbors and neighborhoods.
Our events and activities this quarter generated financial support and built awareness of critical needs in our key focus areas: housing, health, employment, and education.
The Realities of Inequity
Hundreds logged on to hear from local leaders and experts about obstacles to economic and personal well-being in our ongoing Realities of Inequity panel discussions. “Strengthening State Policies for Working Families" focused on the need for public policy and regulation changes to help make working families—and our local economy—stronger. During “Ongoing and New Needs in Mental Health,” local champions for mental health talked about barriers to seeking and receiving support, the myth that Black people are more resilient to crises, and how to support those who are struggling. Watch these and all of our Realties of Inequity sessions here (scroll down for videos).
The Latest on our Neighborhood Zone in Poppleton
Donors and supporters attended an online Insiders’ Briefing on the powerful partnership with University of Maryland, Baltimore and our second Neighborhood Zone (a third is underway in Columbia). UMB President Dr. Bruce Jerrell and other partners talked about the opportunities and challenges facing this West Baltimore community, and viewers got a behind-the-scenes tour of what our new Family Center there will look like. Collaboration is key to the success of this project—and you can help, too!
Women’s Day of Action
In honor of Women’s History Month (March), our Office of Volunteer Engagement and our Women United membership group organized nine different ways to volunteer and give back, including drives to collect and distribute food, baby supplies, children’s books, and personal items. Events and activities benefited our partner schools across Greater Baltimore and other nonprofits.
150+ people racked up more points toward their certification in doing good this quarter. United Way’s Community Impact Leadership Institute, a partnership with Notre Dame of Maryland University, offers eye-opening webinars, immersive activities, and events led by top changemakers in our region. The goal? To learn how to reimagine and redefine your world. Participants earn points for a formal Community Impact Leader certification—and it’s all free! Recent sessions included Factuality, a powerful crash course on structural inequality; and a presentation by racial justice consultant Adar Ayira on fueling positive change at work and in the community.
WJZ TV Online
Franklyn Baker on surge in calls to the 211 Maryland United Way Helpline:
Our work to prevent evictions, including the STEP (Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention) program, a partnership with Baltimore County Government:
WYPR’s Daily Dose (starts at 5:35)
The Sun (front page)
Data above as of 03/31/21
ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report findings and the American Rescue Plan:
Dan Rodricks, The Sun
United Way launches COVID survey to respond to new needs:
Baltimore Business Journal on the fiscal strength and relevancy of United Way of Central Maryland
Baltimore Business Journal
Engaging hundreds in enlightening online events