The United Way of West Alabama (UWWA) announced that it raised $4,025,773 for its 26 partner agencies during the 2020 annual campaign. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UWWA shifted its fundraising focus toward providing immediate aid for families and individuals as layoffs came in droves across the state.

UWWA's mission is to improve the lives of residents in counties in West Alabama by funding programs and services to benefit the community. On March 13, UWWA launched the West Alabama Community Relief Fund that provided basic level assistance for food, shelter, medical and childcare needs to individuals directly impacted by COVID-19, in addition to several frontline agencies involved with pandemic relief. Through this initiative, the WACRF raised $420,000 in relief.

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"The unselfishness of people in our community who continued to give even when they were facing uncertain times has just been incredible,” said Shelley Jones, UWWA 2020 campaign chair. “We know that for some this show of support served as their gift to UWWA this year. We are just grateful for the community’s generosity to help us once again serve West Alabama’s most critical needs whatever they may be.”

The regular UWWA campaign was pushed back a month later than usual because fundraising for COVID-19 relief was ongoing and assistance was still needed. The campaign kicked off with a virtual luncheon on Sept. 15 and officially ended on Nov. 15.

However, several employee campaigns extended beyond that time frame, allowing the UWWA to raise over $4 million. These funds went to UWWA's 26 partner agencies, providing the necessary resources to support local programming for the communities in a year that saw a significant downtick in regular fundraising events and an increase in the cost of safety requirements including PPE.

“We knew we had an enormous challenge in raising funds during a pandemic,” Jones said. “But we knew there were so many organizations and individuals counting on us to do so that it fueled us to try even harder.”

UWWA is still taking donations for the WACRF and Annual Campaign. Donations can be made online via the UWWA website, or by phone at 205-345-6640.

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