Over the last year, we watched the world change before our eyes. We watched the needs of our community shift, intensify, and evolve. We saw what it means to be the heart and soul of a Community United reflected in every family and individual we helped, in every call we answered, in every story we told. Today, we want to share with you 10 ways we remained a Community United throughout it all and what we were able to accomplish together.
10. Turned our building into an overflow warming shelter in partnership with the St. Francis Center
Because of your support, we transformed our PCL Conference Center into an overflow day shelter, staffed by St. Francis Center, in order to serve more individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness.
9. Launched the first ever mobile preschool in the City and County of Denver
In partnership with Right on Mobile Education, the mobile preschool serves families in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea, increasing access to quality early learning opportunities so kids can enter kindergarten ready to thrive.
8. Established a Social Justice Fund to support communities of color
Through this fund, we are investing in impact-focused and collaborative community efforts focused on equity and social justice as well as education and awareness of issues affecting BIPOC communities.
7. Stabilized small, local businesses during the pandemic
Over the past year, our United for Business program supported 26 local businesses that were 71% women- and 100% minority-owned. The program helps owners, like LeDay Grant, stabilize and develop new business strategies. Recently, LeDay appeared on the Kelly Clarkson Show to share her story of starting MyKings Ice Cream in the middle of a global pandemic.
6. Provided wraparound support to hundreds of families to better focus on school engagement
When COVID-19 hit, the focus of our United for Schools program shifted from in-school engagement to stabilizing families, because without a stable household where basic needs are met, it’s nearly impossible for parents to prioritize their child’s learning. We are also strengthening school-community partnerships and bridging the digital divide for low-income families.
5. Launched the tenth Home Instructions for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) site in Colorado
HIPPY is an internationally-recognized program that supports parents and their young children’s school readiness. Catalina Gonsales, our Community Advocate Supervisor and HIPPY Coordinator, was recently interviewed by CBS Denver about the HIPPY program.
4. Delivered over $400,000 in critical supplies and operational support to childcare providers across the state
Through our Keep the Lights On initiative, under our United for Families initiative, we supported 1,200 childcare providers across the state to ensure that providers continue to have a healthy, safe, and enriching environment for young children. Recently, we received a Building Healthy Futures Award from Healthy Child Care Colorado for our work on this initiative.
3. Completed 31,587 hours of volunteer service
We took many of our volunteer opportunities virtual this year, and kept in-person opportunities safe and socially-distant. After successfully moving our National Volunteer Week virtual, we brought together 7,373 volunteers through Denver Day of Service, Day of Caring, and our signature events to bring more than $880,000 in economic impact to our community. You made this possible with your generous investment of time.
2. Elevated women and girls at our Women United Luncheon
During our first ever *Virtual* Women United Luncheon, we heard from inspirational leaders, including our keynote speaker, Gayle King, who shared what it means to come together as a #CommunityUnited to celebrate the power of women and girls in our community. Thank you to everyone who attended and invested in our Women United Initiative.
1. Connected over 100,000 individuals and families to critical resources during the pandemic
Since the pandemic started, our 2-1-1 Help Center has received over 100,929 requests for support, including over 7,000 requests childcare assistance alone. Because of you, we were able to answer the call for help and provide access to critical resources, like food, shelter, and more. We were also able to provide information and assistance to those impacted by the wildfires this year.
And as you all may know, we recently received a transformational gift from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott. You can read MacKenzie’s inspiring message here. This gift is a testament to all of you; our Board, donors, volunteers, partners and staff who so firmly believe in our mission. We are honored that Ms. Scott, too, believes in our work. Thank you for joining us as we continue to serve the children, individuals, and families of Colorado. See our statement here.
YOU made each of these moments possible.
Every time you invested in Mile High United Way with your time or finances, you defined the power of a Community United. We can’t thank you enough for the difference you made, the lives you saved, and the futures you supported this year.
– The Mile High United Way Team
P.S. While we look forward to 2021 with hope, we know that our work is still needed now more than ever. We know that we cannot do the work that’s needed without your support. Help us provide what our under-resourced neighborhoods need now as we recover from this pandemic, together.
Make a year-end gift today.