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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Unite Way Responds to need in Baltimore

     The past 10 days has placed Baltimore in the national spotlight and has begun discussions on what actions are needed to address the issues raised by the demonstrations.   While it is still early to know how to address the needs of our inner cities there are a couple of actions that are being spearheaded by the Central Maryland United Way which are directed at providing some immediate resources.   Here are two ways to respond from information provided by the United Way.

     "United Way of Central Maryland’s fund, Maryland Unites, has raised more than $300,000 to date through both corporate donations and more than 600 individuals via its mobile and digital giving platforms. Partners CareFirst, Comcast, CVS, University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine are among those generous United Way donors committed to restoring the neighborhoods affected in last week’s unrest. “The outpouring of concern and commitment to our city has been overwhelming and we are so grateful for the support we have witnessed in such a short period of time” said Mark Furst, president & chief executive officer, United Way of Central Maryland. “Every day, we are on the ground working with our partners to ensure everyone has access to a quality education, financial stability and good health. We have made tremendous progress, but it is evident that there is still much work to be done. And we can’t do it without the support of our donors.”
     United Way of Central Maryland has established the emergency fund as a vehicle to get
resources quickly to neighborhoods in need. Working closely with volunteer leaders from United Way’s Baltimore City partnership board and influential community members, the organization has convened a steering committee to assess both short- and long-term needs in the communities and develop a formal process for nonprofits and churches to apply for funds in an expedited manner. No fees are being taken from the funds raised.
      Due to the destruction of local convenience stores as a result of last week’s unrest, United Way of Central Maryland also has partnered with UPS in a campaign named Delivering Hope, to collect needed items from companies across central Maryland for delivery to community centers and faith-based organizations throughout the city. Items needed include non-perishable foods, baby formula, Ensure, toiletries, laundry soap and cleaning supplies. A full list of items can be found here. Interested companies can sign up to contribute by registering here. UPS has arranged for two pick up days to collect and deliver items, including this Friday, May 8 and a second pick up on Monday, May 18. 
      “United Way of Central Maryland was a logical partner for us as we look to help the communities we serve every day,” said Joy Howard, UPS Chesapeake District South Package Operations Manager. “We know Baltimore’s neighborhoods inside and out, and are happy that we are able to serve them in their time of need and always.”
      “We recognize that the issues that exist in our communities cannot be solely defined by what occurred last week. United Way of Central Maryland is committed, now more than ever, to changing the odds for families and communities,” said Furst. “We continue to press forward with our work to improve community conditions together with our many partners - ensuring that everyone has access to healthy food and healthcare, a safe affordable home and a qualityeducation that leads to a good job and self-sufficiency.”
       Visit, or text keyword MDUnites to 71777 to contribute to the United
Way of Central Maryland’s Maryland Unites Fund.

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