January 2021 Newsletter
"Working together in unity and solidarity, we will make 2021 a year of healing."
Last year was tough, perhaps one of the hardest for many of our communities in Southeast Alaska. Full of trials and tears, 2020 tested our resolve and pushed some to the brink – and beyond – of personal crisis. Not only are families struggling and businesses fighting to hang on, but both our health-care system and our social services net are bending under the weight of a surge in illnesses and need.

But as we enter 2021, we see hope on the horizon. At United Way of Southeast Alaska, we always marvel at the commitment to caring for others by our partner agencies, within their volunteers, and among our donors. With your support, United Way and our 34 partner agencies were able to address the needs of our neighbors most affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic, such as individuals without access to sick days, service industry workers placed on unpaid furlough, or families left without quality childcare due to school or facility closures.

  • More specifically, your generosity has been used to address the short-term emergencies and long-term response and recovery efforts in our communities, including, but not limited to: 
  • Food distribution to students affected by school closures and other vulnerable populations that are isolated or lack access.
  • Availability of shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness who do not have the resources needed to stay safe.
  • Operational funding gaps for health and human service agencies.
  • Loss of income and access to services for vulnerable populations.

In short, investing in United Way of Southeast's work is the best way to maximize the impact of your donations. We support and build capacity within the agencies that have the greatest impact, the broadest reach, and answer the deepest needs.

From our family at United Way of Southeast Alaska to you and yours, thank you for all that you do for others to make our communities across Southeast Alaska a more loving, inclusive, and kind place for all. Working together in unity and solidarity, we will make 2021 a year of healing. UNITED WE WIN.
 
Sincerely,
Jennifer Treadway, Board Chair
United Way of Southeast Alaska

Juneau C.A.R.E.S. Food Program Update
Four months into the program and at years end, we have seen the demand for meals hold steady. Our current daily request is 445 and is holding due to few or no people quarantining at Housing First, Centennial Hall and the Driftwood Motel.
December did bring historic rains and the opportunity to be of service to Haines, Ak, with the crisis brought on by devastating landslides and flooding. In partnership with Alaska Seaplanes and The Salvation Army, we airlifted 600 meals over several days and sent an additional 200 meals via the AMHS ferry due to weather. We also delivered supplies by ferry for local Haines restaurants to make another 250 meals for relief aid and help stimulate the local economy in a small but meaningful way.

  1. To date, 41 restaurants contacted with 19 participating at this time
  2. Daily meal count demand has held steady at 445 
  3. 54,052 plus meals have been served by end of 2020 with coordination from The United Way
  4. 7,235 additional meals currently scheduled through January 31,2021 
  5. With current funding, meals would stop by middle of February at the latest. Please note due to funding estimates, the decision has been made to reduce meals to 160 a day, which includes eliminating breakfast all together and no meals being delivered to The Aware Shelter starting this weekend.
  6. An estimated 62,887 total meals would be prepared by end of grant

December showed us that a need for meals is not just a Juneau issue, but throughout SE Alaska, and that COVID-19 complicates life in ways beyond compare with the landslide and flooding in Haines. The restaurants in Haines that made meals were excited and grateful for the opportunity to help and make some revenue at the same time. Restaurants that have participated are anxious about the future economy of Juneau and hope that they will possibly be able to make future meals for the program. I have had several conversations with restaurant owners about their ability to continue into 2021 and to say there is a lack of optimism would be putting it mildly. All things considered, according to Mike the driver, meal recipients and the participating restaurants have been happy as a whole with the program and hope that it can continue well past the middle of February.
This year donating has been made easy. Just click the link below.
Help Your Community Come Together in a UNITED WAY!
A Message from Desiree Smith, Campaign Co-Chair 2020
It is an honor and privilege to serve as Co-chair with Emil Mackey for the 2020 United Way of Southeast Alaska Campaign.

It is my belief that everyone would like to do whatever they can to help those in need. My broadcast career has blessed me with the opportunity to practice my craft primarily across the Deep South, but never have I seen the comradery, sense of community, or the generous nature that is the true essence of Southeast Alaska. It is a huge reason why we have made our home here and why I am so happy to work with United Way of Southeast Alaska (UWSEAK).

The Mission is Clear: United Way of Southeast has a vision where all people have the God given right to achieve their human potential through education, a stable income, and a healthy wellbeing mentally and physically. This is so important while we also help to instill self-reliance, a sense of community pride, and respect for others.

UWSEAK serves as an umbrella to ensure the mission, vision, and core values of volunteerism, integrity, diversity, and commitment to community are a success.

Beneath this giant umbrella is hope, assistance, guidance , and rolled up sleeves for 30+ community nonprofit organizations. Each once of these important nonprofits is making a difference in the lives of so many. For instance, United Way of Southeast Alaska CARES Meal Program supplied meals through three different locations to those in need this year. Local restaurants cooked an additional 450 meals for the community. Salvation Army annual event went mobile with help from The Hangar on the Wharf, T. K Maguire's and In Bocca al Lupo. Without the combined efforts of so many, families would have gone without food on Thanksgiving. 

Raising funds for partner organizations is very important, but UWSEAK also recognizes and supports funding for specific immediate needs.
Its true. There are many ways to give. How do you choose the right way for you or your organization?

Why should you choose United Way? Please allow me to share some of my reasons. I hope it will help you in your decision.
  • It's Local - your donation will stay in Southeast and help those here who need it most.
  • Choice - You can choose one or several agencies where your dollars are directed or your contribution can be spread across the community. You Decide!
  • Confidence - United Way has a proven track record so you know your contribution will get to where you want it to go.
  • Impact - $1 per week provides meals to 5 people in a shelter. $5 per week provides a safe place for someone going through a domestic violence situation. Donating small amounts makes a big impact on those in need!
  • So Easy to Give! - Giving through payroll deduction is easy and it only needs to be set up once a year. If your company does not have that option, you can donate online at unitedwayseak.org/AKGIVES
  • Volunteer - there are many ways to help! Your time is one of the most precious ways to give.