It’s been a tough few years. Too many people are struggling – paying the weekly grocery store bill, making up for the learning lost during pandemic school interruptions, recovering from disasters. Columbia County has been fractured by partisan politics and pandemic fueled isolation. But we know individuals can change the world. They don’t need to be powerful CEOs or elected officials. They don’t even need to be adults! Just think about Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg, and the change they’ve made in the world through their advocacy for education for girls, and for climate change. That’s United Way’s sweet spot. Our superpower is bringing people together to make positive, lasting change. For example, United Way of Columbia County this year stepped up to serve nearly 1 in 5 Columbia County residents access healthy food, engage in learning, or take steps toward financial self-sufficiency.
With our partners, experts, community leaders and residents, United Way looks at the toughest problems, and is thoughtful about local solutions that work best in our community. United Way of Columbia County makes it easy for you to take meaningful action that makes a difference. That can be volunteering for a program that helps struggling kids shift the odds, like the Senior Volunteer Program-Book Nook. Or speaking up for more support for single parents who struggle to make ends meet, despite being employed full-time. Or investing in solutions that are showing results, such as the summer activity program—connecting families to resources such as food, educational supports, and affordable health care in the summer months. And we *are* seeing positive results. Here in Columbia County, over the last year, United Way and the donors, volunteers and advocates who’ve joined us have made a difference. Consider:
- 1,350 Columbia County children received high-quality, age-appropriate, monthly books, through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program.
- 163 Columbia County Seniors (age 55+) have logged more than 3,700 volunteer hours at local social service sites including local schools, food pantries, the Columbia County Courthouse, and senior centers in 2022.
- 32 households obtained or maintained permanent, safe shelter, through Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding.
Positive change is happening. But it doesn’t “just happen.” Change is created together. And we’re in it together. We want Columbia County to be a resilient, equitable community that offers opportunities for *everyone* to thrive. We can make it happen, together. People like you are the ones who make change happen. Start today. Join us. Donate at www.unitedwayofcolumbiacounty.com.