Friday, June 19, 2020
In the shadow of the George Floyd murder, America’s long struggle for social justice and racial equity has reached a turning point. I am proud to tell you that United Way of Delaware is doing its part to seize this moment by collaborating with other community partners to help eliminate the barriers that prevent every Delawarean from achieving his or her true potential. As one small part of this work, we have decided that this year, United Way of Delaware will be closed today, June 19, 2020, in observation of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. 

I encourage you to learn more about Juneteenth, to reflect on the meaning and purpose of this commemoration, and to find ways in which you can become personally involved in advancing the cause of social justice and racial equity. A quick Google search will reveal dozens of ways to learn more about Juneteenth, but we have included some resources below as a starting point.

It is not an overstatement to say that we are living at a moment in history. I hope you will take this opportunity to find your place in this ongoing struggle, and to commit to doing your part to realizing a state and a country where every person is judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin.  

Michelle Taylor
HELPFUL RESOURCES
Read: History Channel's What Is Juneteenth?: J uneteenth commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States. Read more about the history here:
Join the State of Delaware's Juneteenth webinar: Governor Carney hosts a live discussion about Juneteenth with Dr. Reba Hollingsworth, Vice Chair of the Delaware Heritage Commission. Click here for more info: https://livestream.com/stateofdelaware/juneteenth2020
Register for Juneteenth Observance and Virtual Panel Discussion: This virtual event is hosted by the Delaware Juneteenth Associate and includes a panel discussion on “Juneteenth and the Legacy of African-American Trauma”. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/delaware-juneteenth-observance-panel-discussion-tickets-108884440292

OTHER ACTIONS TO TAKE TODAY
Complete your Census.  The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade:   https://2020census.gov/en.html
Register to vote. Every election helps determine the distribution of critical resources and political representation at the local, state and federal levels. The upcoming election is no different. Voting is not only your responsibility but it’s also your opportunity to show up for yourself, your family, your future and your community. Make a plan to vote today, share it with the people in your lives and then follow through! https://ivote.de.gov/voterview
Sign up to volunteer. Visit our U Volunteer portal to view opportunities to help your community. www.uwde.org/volunteer
Jewish Family Services Celebrates World Refugee Week with Stay-at-Home Care Packages
This week is World Refugee week and our great partner Jewish Family Services of Delaware (JFS) has been out in the community providing care packages and support for refugee families that have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The following is a testimonial from JFS on this great work:

During World Refugee Week, JFS Delaware is especially grateful to United Way of Delaware for providing critical relief funds to support our refugee clients. World Refugee Week is a global movement to celebrate the contributions and resilience of refugees, ending with World Refugee Day a day for celebration, awareness, and advocacy on Saturday, June 20th.

Thanks to United Way, the JFS team assembled Stay-at-Home Care Packages including food, hygiene products, games, and more, as well as much-needed financial support, to keep the families healthy, thriving, and enjoying time together. The current pandemic and recent racial injustices have been particularly difficult for these families to navigate and they have been so grateful for the support the support they continue to receive, not just from JFS but from community volunteers and partner agencies like United Way. Now, more than ever, we realize the challenges of being labeled an "other" and, as the only resettlement agency in Delaware, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve and support these incredible families, hear and share their inspiring stories, and advocate for the acceptance of ALL individuals in an inclusive, welcoming society.
June is National Homeownership Month
In recognition of National Homeownership Month, one of our Stand By Me coaches shared the following testimonial:

I began working with Ms. Tylen Bailey in September of 2016 at that time Ms. Bailey's had a mid-line credit score of 450, no savings, part-time employment and a deep desire to move her three children out of the unsafe neighborhood which she lived. Over the course of the next nearly four years Tylen had her vehicle repossessed; worked through several part-time jobs and struggled to make her monthly bills.

We worked on securing more stable employment for Tylen who is a registered CNA. She was able to gain full time employment, maintain a monthly budget and actively work at paying off her debts. About two years ago, her children were home when violence racked her neighborhood with gun shots. She came to my office and stated that she needed to find a safe and affordable home to buy for her family. 

Over the course of the last two years she secured an additional part-time job in addition to the full time job she already had and was able to negotiate a payoff amount for her repossessed vehicle, save the necessary dollars for closing costs and raise her credit score to 655! This March she closed on her first home in a safe and secure neighborhood in Wilmington in which her children are enjoying their new backyard!

To learn more about our Stand By Me program, click the button below: