Two weeks ago, everything changed.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic had already touched millions of lives around the globe, it wasn’t until then that its effects were truly felt in Central Alabama. Students were given mere days to move out of their dorms, their graduations and other milestones cancelled. Businesses closed, both voluntarily and by government mandate, leaving their employees without work for an indefinite amount of time. Measures were taken to prevent the spread of this highly contagious new virus, including moving to online learning and remote work, limiting sizes of gatherings and closing borders.
Like the rest of the community, United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) has been greatly affected, as have our direct services and the countless programs offered by our network of more than 80 partner agencies. UWCA’s employees, however, are committed to our mission of supporting the needs of our community in times of crisis. A number of employees have stepped up to volunteer with direct services such as Meals on Wheels and the 2-1-1 Call Center.
“It makes a huge difference working alongside all the different groups that make up UWCA, who are showing that they live the United Way mission and think in terms of ‘we’ instead of ‘me,’” said Brandi Fleming, Family Stability Specialist. “Volunteering to assist in 2-1-1 during the pandemic has really humbled me and given me a whole new appreciation for the people who do this every day.”
Meanwhile, Major Gifts Officer Jessica Hopper took time to deliver Meals on Wheels to clients in her old neighborhood.
“I had no idea that some of my neighbors were so vulnerable,” said Hopper. “At one stop, a recipient asked us, ‘What is going to happen to all of us?’ In this time of so much uncertainty, bringing just a little help and hope probably served me just as much as the Meals on Wheels participants.”
The Coronavirus pandemic is a crisis unlike any other: an unprecedented uncertainty, touching all of our lives, regardless of how diligently we practice social distancing. But it is in times like these, when we see people coming together to serve our community, that the light of hope shines brightest.
To connect with information regarding Coronavirus in Central Alabama, visit UWCA’s COVID-19 Response and Resources page. If you’d like to help our volunteers and staff spread hope, visit Involve, our online volunteer platform. Or to contribute to the Community Crisis Fund, please click here.