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United Way of Central Oregon kicks off annual fundraising campaign

(Update: Adding video)

To build resilience, reduce disparities, increase equity in our community

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- United Way of Central Oregon officially kicked off its annual community fundraising campaign on Thursday. The nonprofit is raising funds to help members of the community who are most impacted by current crises to recover and to build resilience, and to help local nonprofits to adapt.

The global pandemic, civil unrest across the nation, and wildfires in Oregon have put a spotlight on financial and racial inequalities in our region and across the country. Inequities in our systems for health, education, employment, food access, and vulnerability to natural disasters. And, inequities in financial stability and opportunity for all.

Nearly 40% of Central Oregonians were already living on the edge before COVID-19, according to United Way’s ALICE Report, a study of financial hardship, released in June of this year.

Then the pandemic hit, deepening existing disparities. The fallout of COVID-19 hit our most vulnerable first and hardest and will continue to do so in weeks and months and even years to come.

United Way of Central Oregon was one of the first to respond – providing resources for food, financial assistance and basic needs – through their COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. The nonprofit’s response continues – now and in the future – through its COVID-19 Recovery & Resilience Fund.

So far, our local United Way -- a "21 Cares for Kids" partner with NewsChannel 21 -- has awarded $295,000 to 44 local nonprofit programs so that they may successfully face new challenges of COVID-19 and can deliver essential services and meet the needs of our community’s most vulnerable.

26% of Central Oregonians are served by a United Way-funded program or service.

United Way is simultaneously driving the change that is building a resilient Central Oregon and working to reduce disparities and increase equity through grantmaking and through the TRACEs movement.

As the backbone of the TRACEs movement, United Way of Central Oregon is convening and collaborating with community partners to build resilience in our region.

United Way is leading this collective impact effort involving public, private and nonprofit sectors – listening and responding to what members of our community need, convening and collaborating with community partners, mobilizing all sectors of our community to work together for everyone to live their best lives, and using resources to be a catalyst for change and to build resilience in our community.

Over 100 agencies and individuals are partnering with United Way on the TRACEs movement.

In this year’s community fundraising campaign, United Way is raising funds to fight for the health, education, financial stability, and resilience of every person in our community.

The nonprofit is focused on reducing existing disparities so that when today’s kids are tomorrow’s adults, they can thrive.

Through all the uncertainties, United Way has been here to help locally for 68 years, and continues its critical work feeding people who need to be fed, keeping them in their homes, and protecting our most vulnerable.

About United Way of Central Oregon

United Way of Central Oregon recently changed its name from United Way of Deschutes County to United Way of Central Oregon. The nonprofit’s current focus is on its vital role of mobilizing resources and deploying them where they are needed most. Knowing that community crises often disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and other marginalized groups, United Way funding prioritizes efforts that attend to racial and other inequities. Learn more about United Way, the ALICE Report, and give at

Article Topic Follows: 21 Cares for Kids

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