Thank you all for your support of United Way and our mission to mobilize the community to invest in our nonprofit partners’ work in the areas of Education, Income and Health. I am inspired and encouraged by all that I’ve seen over the past several months as Lincoln and Lancaster County residents have engaged in the response efforts during the pandemic crisis.
Our community and our country have an extraordinary challenge in front of us. As we all come together to continue to respond and also move through recovery efforts and into the tough work of rebuilding, you can count on your United Way to be here to mobilize resources and connect people across the community.
In a recent article for the World Economic Forum, Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide recalled that the United Way was founded over 130 years ago when a community came together to rebuild after a natural disaster. Community building and disaster recovery have been central to who we are ever since.
With United Way’s unique history, Gallagher observed that disasters, like the recent pandemic, take on three stages:
- Response – We have an amazing network of non-profit organizations in Lincoln and Lancaster County that have mobilized to ensure that individuals who need food, shelter, medical services and more have those basic needs met. These organizations adapted quickly to continue, and for many expand, the great work they were doing prior to the pandemic.
- Recovery –This stage requires establishment of recovery funds, coordinated systems of care, creating a cross sector of networks and mobilizing volunteers to support this effort. United Way has and continues to work with our partners throughout the community to support these recovery efforts.
- Rebuilding – Soon, we will turn our attention to rebuilding. This critical step should not be overlooked as it can prevent or lessen future disasters when we face another crisis such as the one we are facing today.
When it comes to rebuilding, United Way knows that the work must include core concepts such as strengthening community equity and community resiliency while avoiding “back to normal” thinking.
Ripple effects of this crisis will continue well into the future, but working diligently together, we can help Lincoln and Lancaster County recover and rebuild for the better. At United Way we are prepared to help our community as we recover and rebuild.
Thank you again for your continued support. As our 2020 United Way/CHAD Campaign kicks off this week, please join us in helping to rebuild to an even stronger community than we had prior to the pandemic.
Meagan Liesveld, Executive Director
United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County