United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County announced today that a growing community need inspired donors to generously give $46.2 million to the 2021 United Way Community Campaign.
David Bohne, CEO of Broadway Bank and 2021 United Way Campaign Chair, led the effort with local businesses, organizations and nonprofit agencies contributing $46,200,000 toward helping the community’s children, individuals and families gain strength and stability – including those hardest hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“There has been overwhelming support for the 2021 United Way Campaign despite the far-reaching effects of the Coronavirus,” said Bohne. “While our community faces this added challenge, donors came forward to help the growing population on the edge — those who never thought they would need food, or help with rent, a utility bill, or childcare because school attendance was effected.”
Bohne joined United Way President and CEO Chris Martin, Michael Kiolbassa, and Chris Yanas of Methodist Healthcare Ministries to share video addresses. “So many of us face futures that include uncertainty and anxiety, but San Antonians were unwavering in their support for friends, neighbors — and often — family and coworkers who need help,” said Martin.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for the annual community campaign this year, including a reduction in the workforce, economic uncertainty, an over-stressed healthcare industry, the blending of virtual and in-person communications and the rescheduling of events and fundraisers. Despite the pandemic’s effects, there has been strong community support.
“An outstanding group of people came together to make an impact: business leaders and donors, individual philanthropists, as well as nonprofit, government and community partners,” said Bohne. He added that that donor gifts provide a strong start for children, safe homes and nutritious food, new career paths, fresh starts for troubled students, access to physical and mental health care, and more.
The unexpected winter storm in February 2021 was responsible for many local people losing a week or two of income and/or experiencing plumbing and refrigerator repair bills, including the loss of food, utility and internet connectivity interruptions, and an increase in local home fires.
“We weathered an unpredictable year of uncertainty and critical need,” Bohne said. “I’m so proud of San Antonio’s donors who still gave back — and did so compassionately and generously.”
United Way works to harness the collective power of personal giving, corporate participation, expertise in human services, the energy of volunteers, and the work of like-minded community partners to serve others.
United Way programs provide workforce opportunities, quality early childcare, disaster care services as well as help with family violence, reading and math proficiency, prenatal care and much more.
“United Way is there in good times and bad. Through calm and crisis. The pandemic has found everyone making alterations; but we have, and always will, find a way through –together,” said Martin. “Our nonprofit partners provide assistance, care and understanding to those in need – even while struggling themselves this year to respond to the pandemic. They offer hope for those who are at crossroads in their lives,” he said.
United Way’s long-term mission is to support others, including children, students, individual and families, as they work to reach their full potential.
Here’s a snapshot of the organization’s impact last year:
- Overall lives impacted FY21 (7/1/2020-6/30/21): Ready Children 10,940, Successful Students 6,594, Strong Individuals and Families 16,604, Safety Net 748,693, totaling 782,831.
- United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline received 363,683 calls and website visitors last year. The pandemic continues to move people further into poverty with call volumes reacting to the pandemic’s surges. 2-1-1 and MISSION UNITED staff serve military and civilian callers 24/7/365.
- Expanded the Dual Generation Initiative, which has been improving lives on the Eastside for several years. Thanks to a $20 million gift from MacKenzie Scott December 2020, and a recent investment from the Corporate Partners for Racial Equity, United Way is making additional investments on the Eastside and launched services on the Westside on July 1, 2021.
- For the 2020 tax year, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program saved participants $5 million in tax preparation fees and brought $36,319,972 in refund dollars to the local economy, even though locations were consolidated and curbside services were utilized during the pandemic.
- Conducted the 7th Annual Shoebox Project distributing 10,500 boxes to 64 nonprofit partners for their clients in need, including children, veterans, elderly, homeless and vulnerable populations.
- Coordinated the Write Start Project that fills the gap by providing school supplies to teachers in 81 San Antonio Independent Schools, impacting over 3,200 area teachers; and 17 schools in Schertz-Cibolo ISD, supporting over 1,000 area teachers.
- Provided over 20 $10,000 grants to community partners who served clients with basic needs (food, housing, utility assistance, and plumbing repairs) during the February 2021 Winter Storm.
- Announced that companies, organizations, and nonprofit and community partners have pledged $46.2 million to the 2021 United Way Campaign so far this year toward helping Bexar County residents, including those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Began work as part of the Corporate Partners for Racial Equity coalition, which invested $1.5 million over three years of its community-wide investment to enhance United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County programs.
- Added to Women United’s signature cause, the Childcare Scholarship Program, now investing in 53 scholars representing 76 kids.
For information on United Way’s work, visit www.unitedwaysatx.org or call (210) 352-7000.