By Rosie Allen-Herring
Beginning Wednesday, May 22 at 12:00 noon, hundreds of area nonprofits will join together with other organizations throughout the area to take part in United Way of the National Capital Area’s 7th Annual Do More 24. It is the region’s largest online giving day and has raised more than $10 million in the last seven years. The support goes directly towards helping local organizations fill gaps in their budgets, buy desperately needed new equipment, and ultimately serve our neighbors.
We are hearing from our nonprofit partners on a daily basis about the overwhelming demand for services to support the area’s “at-risk” populations, including those benefiting from programs that support school success, financial empowerment and access to health related services.
Your United Way is once again asking the community to join us in rallying their family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to participate in the power of giving. Money raised dramatically impacts mission-critical initiatives, such as providing food for the hungry, job counseling for the unemployed, health care services for seniors, youth programming, as well as access to affordable housing and childcare for low-income families.
For example, Virginia-based nonprofit Main Street Child Development Center has been participating in the event for the last five years. According to Main Street Development Manager Christi Esterly Schwarten, 90 percent of Main Street families are low income and a loss of a job or major car repair can mean the difference between eating or paying rent. “Some of the funding we have raised during Do More 24 has helped families get through a small, temporary challenge like an unexpected car repair, birth of a new baby, or help with long-term struggles such as cancer treatments or an extended job loss,” said Schwarten.
United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) not only powers Do More 24 but also raises funds for its programs. This year, we’re fundraising for our annual Project Homeless Connect (PHC), United Way NCAs one day resource fair for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the National Capital Area. PHC gives participants an opportunity to receive needed services like onsite medical care, career readiness counseling, and access to important vital records such as social security cards and birth certificates– services that might otherwise take them months to secure. PHC is impactful because attendees have a personal volunteer who helps them navigate the available resources to ensure their specific needs are met. Last year we were able to raise $50,000 via the Do More 24 campaign. In an effort to connect more of these services to our neighbors in need, we’re pushing the goal to $100,000.
By continuing to “reclaim kindness,” residents are banding together and supporting hundreds of participating nonprofits ranging from animal welfare to workforce readiness, environmental causes, financial stability, education, homelessness, housing, and more. The community is letting our local nonprofits know that they are here, aware of the need and willing to lend a hand to increase their impact. We know that our community is up to the challenge, so even a small act of kindness goes a long way, especially during these financially volatile times.
The success of Do More 24 is a testament to our neighbors’ commitment to our community. The hundreds of philanthropists—individuals and corporations–of the National Capital Area continue to impact our partner nonprofits and your United Way. We look forward to even greater generosity, kindness and powerful influence to support Do More 24 again.
Rosie Allen-Herring is the President and CEO for United Way of the National Capital Area, which will host its 7th annual community-wide Do More 24 Online Giving Day on May 22. Learn more at DoMore24.org.