United Way of Greater Union County modernizes its comprehensive organizational approach to ensure access to programs and services for Union County residents
OCTOBER 2020 – UNION COUNTY, NJ As part of its on-going transformation to continue providing programs and services, United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) recently announced that it has modernized their comprehensive approach to their family strengthening model. The organization is collaborating within its community resources network and its affiliated initiatives to provide a series of virtual webinars that will provide families and individuals with continued access to services, leadership and career focused initiatives, and ways they can advocate in their communities.
Building Resiliency Empowering Parents, Families and Individuals, the themed focus, serves to provide continued support to residents who are facing educational, health and economic barriers, and ensures services are provided in both the traditional and virtual (online) setting. During the Coronavirus pandemic, UWGUC saw an increase in the number of families struggling to meet basic needs such as buying food, paying rent and utility bills, and having access to healthcare. The unemployment rate in Union County went from 4.5% in January to 16.4% in June 2020, resulting in more than 81,000 unemployed residents, 3100 evictions filed and 9000 SNAP (food stamp) applications filed in Union County. The increases prompted the organization to increase their capacity to assist struggling residents with a collaborative effort to bring impactful and meaningful content.
"Regardless of what’s happening, we want to ensure everyone has continued access to the services" said, James Horne, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Union County.
The organization, through donations of fresh and nonperishable food from Amazon Logistics and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, also hosts weekly food distributions, where 900 families are served on average each week, since the pandemic began. In addition, during the summer, UWGUC organized and held a virtual back-to-school drive serving more than 400 students with backpacks and school supplies.
UWGUC is also calling for volunteers who are experts in their field to host a workshop or webinar that could help those in the community.
The virtual workshops and webinars are free and open to the public. Interested persons can access them through the United Way of Greater Union County website at https://www.uwguc.org/virtualworkshops.