To say 2021 was another tough year for everyone is an understatement. No one has been immune from the far-reaching impacts of the ongoing pandemic. Families across our community are still experiencing unprecedented emotional and financial strains beyond anything we could ever have imagined. Children are struggling in school despite the best efforts of our educators who work tirelessly to provide not only quality education but also emotional support for many who do not have a strong support system at home. It is easy to be focused on what we have lost, but I also have seen hope for a better tomorrow. The way our community has responded to the increasing need of our friends, neighbors, and those we do not know gives me hope.
In the past year, we made the transition to a virtual annual meeting and a virtual volunteer awards ceremony, hosted many Zoom meetings, endured new variants of the virus and so much more. But with great trials has come great opportunity and great gratitude. As I look back on the previous years’ hardships, I see what can be accomplished together as a community.
United Way of Northwest Georgia has a long history in this community and compassionate and caring leaders who believe it is impossible to have successful companies without a successful community, where people are healthy and able to care for their families. As our leadership met with CEOs and other volunteer leaders, the response was the same. Our community depends on United Way to provide vital support to those who need it most.
I was humbled by the year-end support from donors who wanted to help us reach our goal of $4.125 million. While we reflect on how much we accomplished, we know there is still more to do.
As we embark on a new year with new hopes and dreams, we invite you to reimagine a brighter future for our local community. With your help, anything is possible. By reimagining a better story, we can begin to rebuild after this unprecedented crisis. You can make an impact. It will require us to join the action and be hands-on in displaying the power of community:
• Strong starts for children.
• Safe homes and warm meals.
• Fresh starts.
• Opportunities for physical activity.
• Access to health care.
• Thriving and successful families.
What we do together today determines tomorrow. We are excited to start a new year with you. The power of community united is an amazing thing!
Please engage with us at ourunitedway.org/give, and let’s build a stronger tomorrow together.
Amanda Burt is president of the United Way of Northwest Georgia.