Responding to Emerging Needs in Innovative Ways

A side effect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a shifting sense of normal as we adapt to new recommendations to lower the risk of transmitting the virus. Even in these quickly evolving times, however, one constant remains: United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) and our network of more than 70 partner agencies and programs are looking toward the future and turning many of the challenges we face into opportunities to innovate. Here are just a few examples of how UWCA and our partners have been working to make a difference in our community since March of this year.

  • United Way Meals on Wheels has delivered more than 12,600 shelf-stable meals to homebound seniors, ensuring their health and safety in the event of an interruption of regular deliveries. That’s in addition to the 144,711 regular meals delivered to clients weekly and the 20,034 delivered to waitlist applicants through a partnership with Nourish.
  • Farmers to Families provided more than 16,000 pounds of free, fresh produce to Central Alabama in July 2020. United Way is leading the charge locally, teaming up with partners such as the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Alabama and the YMCA of Greater Birmingham.
  • United Way of Central Alabama awarded more than $500,000 to local nonprofits through the Community Crisis Fund.
  • UWCA’s 2-1-1 Call Center connects people to helpful resources throughout the community. In March and April, more than 11,750 calls were answered — a 300% increase in calls from the previous year!
  • At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama Cares, a program of United Way’s Area Agency on Aging, provided a vulnerable client caring for a young nephew with a refrigerator, helping reduce the need for the older person’s frequent trips to the grocery store.
  • When COVID-19 forced the YMCA of Greater Birmingham to close to regular patrons, the organization repurposed its facilities to provide emergency childcare to more than 125 essential workers.