We Can All Do Our Part: Four Ways to Help Your Community During COVID-19 Recovery

Authored by: Nick Munoz, Director of Technical Services Northeast G&P at Williams in Allegheny County; Joe Laughlin, Supervisor for Project Engineering at Elliott Group in Westmoreland County and Mary Hohn, Purchasing and Transportation Manager at Calumet Refining LLC in Butler County

As Employee Engagement Champions (ECC), our job is to learn and share the good work of United Way, lead our workplace campaigns and create awareness about issues facing our community. Because of this, we have seen first-hand that the need for help in Southwestern Pennsylvania is still enormous (or ‘greater than ever’).

Throughout the pandemic, United Way has been convening partners, leading a regionwide effort to combat food insecurity and helping struggling families keep their heads above water. But, without all of us in the community fully participating, much of this wouldn’t be possible.

We can all do our part. Here are four ways to help your community during these tough times:

  1. Participate in a United Way workplace campaign

One of the best ways to help is by participating in your United Way workplace campaign. A United Way workplace campaign unites employees in all offices or branches of a company, and gives them an opportunity to donate, volunteer and speak out for causes that matter to them.

This year’s United Way ‘ChangeMakers Unite’ campaign theme is a great rallying cry! We believe the workplace campaigns that take advantage of this powerful message of hope for positive change will be stronger than ever. If you don’t have a workplace campaign at your organization, consider discussing with your employer to reach out to United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania or making a donation online.

  1. Become a volunteer

Your community could always use a helping hand. United Way works closely with other community-based organizations to share their most immediate needs and provides the services to fulfill those needs. Dozens of safe volunteer opportunities are waiting to be filled — and people in our community are waiting to be helped. Volunteering is an opportunity for us to connect with seniors, kids, families, neighbors and organizations – both virtually and in-person.

Whether you help deliver food, provide a meaningful connection with a senior or get involved with United Way’s many partners that support student success in school, you can make a meaningful difference by volunteering.

  1. Share the good word

The actions of United Way speak for themselves. It has stepped up in assisting food banks, supplying COVID-19 necessities and helping those most vulnerable during the pandemic.

Share videos on social media with your friends, family and coworkers showcasing the impactful stories in your community. These are the stories that demonstrate United Way’s value.

Make sure you’re connected online. Follow United Way on your social media channels, and encourage others to share the good work using the hashtag #ChangeMakersUnite.

  1. Stay informed about your community

United Way and its partner agencies are constantly at work providing aid to the community. If you have a friend or a neighbor feeling the repercussions of the pandemic or could use a little extra help, United Way provides a plethora of resources through its 2-1-1 helpline. Thanks to this 24-hour, seven-days-a-week hotline, callers can anonymously find health and human services —for everyday needs and in crisis situations. This highly trained call center can provide referrals for employment support, accommodations for older adults and those with disabilities, childcare and more.

Our world might be changing, but the end goal is the same – to share the good work of United Way, raise funds, and make a difference in the communities we love. As Employee Engagement Champions, we know that changemaking starts with us, but it continues with you.