United in Local Love – Join the Recovery

United Way Halton and Hamilton is embarking on a critical campaign that will lead this community’s recovery and rebuilding.

And we need you.

We need everyone — from longtime partners to new supporters — to join us to ensure that Halton and Hamilton emerge from this historic crisis stronger and better than ever.

We know there is a long road ahead as we confront the challenge of virus variants, vaccination rates and climbing case rates domestically and abroad. But we also know that our community has come together in inspiring and remarkable ways to deal with the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 to help those facing its most devastating effects.

Together, local individuals, businesses, and organizations have shown incredible nimbleness, creativity and generosity throughout the worst of this pandemic. Dedication to community continues to be essential as we forge a path to the future and the resilience we’ve built over the past year can propel us to be better than we were before.

Now is the time to reconnect and ignite a recovery for Halton and Hamilton of which we can all be proud. In that spirit, we are launching a new campaign tag line: United in Local Love. Join the recovery.

I am so inspired by that message. By coming together in love for our community and those who live in it, we can make Halton and Hamilton even greater places to live, work and raise families than they were before the world changed forever. We must embrace this opportunity to learn, shift and progress.

COVID-19 has changed so much for all of us and for some of us, it has been a devastating turning point into crisis and hardship.

Those who were already living in poverty or experiencing precarious employment or those struggling with mental illness, addiction, domestic violence or social isolation have borne the heaviest burden during this pandemic.

A range of social indicators demonstrate that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the financial and social well-being of Indigenous peoples, youth, newcomers, Black and racialized communities, vulnerable women, seniors and people with disabilities.

As we slowly emerge from this public health emergency and take the first steps to recovery, many will require social, health and economic supports to move forward. What is key is that we have a chance to create a fairer, more equitable community as we rebuild, learning from the lessons the pandemic has taught us.

UWHH will play a crucial role in our community’s recovery by fulfilling our mission to bring people and resources together to build strong, healthy, and safe communities for all by executing strategies founded on evidence and results.

Your United Way is the epicentre of an ecosystem that builds capacity, amplifies impact, and solidifies collective action. The dedication and expertise of UWHH is best equipped to catalyze and lead our community’s recovery.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, United Way has been working in unison with local agency experts, residents who know their communities best, and donors like you. We design solutions that prioritize the people and places who are being left behind and maximize the effect of local supporters.

Our new three-pronged approach is aimed at igniting an equitable community recovery.

First, we are prioritizing meeting basic needs, such as food insecurity and poverty as well as providing flexible funding to front-line agencies so that they can supply access to healthy, affordable food, safe housing, stable jobs and mental-health and well-being supports.

Second, we are tackling local poverty and discrimination and inequity at its root, by strengthening our support of local assets, programs and community to build the change we want to see. UWHH vows to bridge gaps, address systemic barriers and forge equity in everything we do.

Third, we are recommitting to our work with our agency partners to deliver a network of services and support into neighbourhoods where marginalized and vulnerable people live, where poverty is concentrated, and where COVID-19 has hit hardest.

I grew up in this community and I am so proud to call it home. I know you are, too. Please join our Join the Recovery Campaign that will demonstrate that Local Love reigns here in Halton and Hamilton.

Together, our community can lead the way in creating a recovery that eliminates systemic barriers and lights the way forward for all.

Anna Iacobelli is the United Way Halton and Hamilton Campaign cabinet chair for 2021. She is senior vice-president, Metro West Region for TD Bank Group.

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