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For Immediate Release: August 3, 2021

Metro-Area Residents Unite to Raise $24.6 Million to Support the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro– Showcasing the Community’s Caring Spirit

 Even though the challenges presented by COVID-19 were great, metro-area residents still found ways torally together in support of the United Way of the Midlands (UWM) campaign. Thanks to their generosity and the leadership of UWM’s Board of Directors and 2020 Campaign Chairs, Emily and Clark Lauritzen, UWM is pleased to announce it raised $24.6 million during the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2021.UWM will invest 93 cents of every donated dollar into the community to help people recover and rebuild from COVID-19 during the upcoming year.

This is an incredible testament to the community’s caring spirit – which served as a focal point as UWMrevised its strategic plan. Since UWM last updated its mission and structure ten years ago, it has diligently worked with donors, thought leaders and community partners to meet our community’s needs in the most efficient and effective way possible. Yet, as we saw during COVID-19, the needs of our community are constantly evolving and changing, and to meet these needs, UWM must evolve, as well.

Therefore, UWM partnered with a taskforce of community leaders and partners to update its strategic plan and ensure it remains responsive to community and donor interests. Revisions included refinedorganizational strategies and objectives as well as a new mission statement:

United Way of the Midlands UNITES our community’s CARING SPIRIT to build a STRONGER tomorrow.

In line with the objectives in the updated plan, UWM’s 2021-22 investments will fund more than 100 localprograms addressing pressing social and economic disparities and providing the essentials that familiesneed to thrive, such as healthy food, a safe place to go after school and job support. These programs werereviewed and vetted by a diverse, dedicated team of experts and community volunteers who make fundingrecommendations.

Additionally, UWM will invest in the 211 Helpline; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Investment Fund;Goodfellows program; housing support; JAG Nebraska; Karnett Trust; Mental Health AwarenessCampaign; Nebraska Center for Workforce Development and Education; Shine Bright initiative andCombined Health Agencies Drive. Together, UWM-funded programs and partners will form an entirecircle of support around our community so more people have what they need to rebuild and recover fromCOVID-19. For a full list of UWM’s community investments, please visit www.unitedwaymidlands.org/circle-of-support-investments.

“COVID-19 substantially increased needs across the entire metro area,” said Shawna Forsberg, Presidentand CEO of UWM. “While the unemployment rate has largely rebounded, we know the economy recoversat different rates and magnitudes for different populations. 300,000 people in the Omaha-Council Bluffsmetro are still living paycheck to paycheck. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, UWM-fundedprograms will help community members begin to rebuild their lives.”

As UWM works to build a stronger tomorrow for our community, it will need the support of localorganizations, donors and volunteers more than ever. If you would like to help provide the essentials ourneighbors need to thrive, grow and provide for themselves and their families, you can take part in youremployer’s UWM campaign or make a gift at www.unitedwaymidlands.org/donate.

About United Way of the Midlands

For the past 98 years, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has used its community-wide perspective toidentify local needs that are going unseen or unmet – and how it can partner with corporate, governmentorganizations, nonprofits and donors to tackle them. Today, UWM remains committed to uniting ourcommunity’s caring spirit to build a stronger tomorrow. It invests donor dollars in more than 100 localnonprofit programs that, together, form a circle of support around our community. These programs areaddressing pressing social and economic disparities and providing the essentials families need to thrive,such as healthy food, a safe place to go after school and job support.

Read original press release here.