New statewide storytelling campaign shares COVID-19 response stories

LANSING — United Way of Southwest Michigan recently participated in the statewide launch of a new storytelling campaign, “United We Will,” to share its COVID-19 response stories and the efforts of United Ways across the state amid COVID-19. The stories can be viewed at unitedwewillmi.org.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, United Ways across the state responded and adapted their efforts to serve those most in need,” said Anna Murphy, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Michigan. “This campaign provides a platform to share these powerful stories.” As Board Chair of the Michigan Association of United Ways, Murphy said she sees great value in all United Ways in the state coming together as a network with a strong unified message.

On the statewide website, United Ways will share local COVID-19 response efforts, specific problems identified over the past few months, and efforts to address mid- and long-term issues triggered by the pandemic’s economic impact. In addition to the campaign’s landing page, the work of Michigan United Ways will be shared through a social media campaign and podcast episodes.

Amid COVID-19, United Way of Southwest Michigan established the Southwest Michigan Cares Fund, in coordination with the Berrien Community Foundation, to help families in need. The funds allowed UWSM to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations, offering emergency relief.

As a nonprofit leader, United Way of Southwest Michigan convened groups of stakeholders to discuss immediate and long-term solutions, including identifying gaps in funding and creating a viable path forward to serve Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.

The United We Will campaign also provides an additional platform to tell the stories of Michigan’s “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed” population—approximately 43 percent of households across the state, according to the most recent ALICE Report. ALICE households struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, childcare, food, technology, healthcare and transportation.

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