ST. LOUIS — Our 'A Way Forward' series focuses on the organizations in our area and the impact they are making.
This week we highlight United Way of Greater St. Louis.
In 1922, United Way of Greater St. Louis formed as the Community Fund.
Volunteers raised money to operate 40 charities in an effort to support the community.
President and CEO Michelle Tucker says, "We're here to help people and that is our primary focus."
Almost a century later, its goal remains the same.
"Our mission is to help people live their best possible lives. Our focus is not only on the St. Louis side of the river, but on Illinois as well," Tucker shares.
Through the organization's nonprofit partnerships, folks can get assistance on a variety of issues from rental assistance to counseling services.
- United Way supports 164 nonprofit agencies across the area
- It helps over one million people on an annual basis
- That's 1 in 3 people across 16 counties
Tucker adds, "Under normal circumstances, 43% of families can't afford to meet their basic needs on a monthly basis, so with COVID it piled on top of that. We continue to see the need grow and grow, so it’s at a steady pace and our response is needed more than ever."
The call for help is higher than normal during the pandemic.
Its 24-hour 2-1-1 Call Center faces an influx.
"We received about 52% more calls in 2020 than 2019, so this talks about the degree of the need," Tucker explains.
That's why more help is needed.
"The biggest thing we need is the community's continued support," she emphasizes.
Currently, it's running a campaign to empower the organizations it supports.
More than 90% of the donations will do that.
She says, "No gift is ever too small, please consider donating to the United Way campaign, it runs through the end of November. This funding that we provide is consistent funding for organizations and right now it’s very difficult to get funds in the door. So these agencies really need United Way’s support."
If you'd like to donate, click here.
There are also several volunteer opportunities available.
United Way has a volunteer center connecting you to a variety of options to help.
If you'd like to learn more about volunteering, click here.