United Way of King County announces Doug Baldwin Jr. as campaign chair for 2021-2022
(SEAT) – United Way is pleased to announce Doug Baldwin Jr. as President of the 2021-2022 fundraising campaign, which began July 1.
“I have always tried to find opportunities to serve in a creative and empathetic way. I have been encouraged by United Way’s efforts to support those most affected by the challenges facing our communities, ”said Baldwin, acknowledging the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus, which have a disproportionate impact on communities of color . “I am truly delighted to support Centraide by bringing together people and businesses with the goal of developing our community so that more people have the opportunity to flourish.
When the COVID-19 crisis hit the region, United Way quickly offered rental assistance using the infrastructure of an existing program, Home Base, designed to help people avoid eviction. Since the start of the pandemic, Home Base has provided rental assistance to more than 12,000 households, more than 70% of which were headed by people of color.
Funds raised by the organization’s Community Relief Fund in response to the pandemic also focused on tackling the significant increase in hunger in the region, delivering culturally appropriate food to more than 6,100 households each week. through a partnership with Door Dash and launching the Community Food Fund. Working with 27 community organizations led by or supporting people of color, the Community Food Fund has invested $ 1.7 million to provide food to Blacks, Aboriginals and others from families of color in South County. King.
“United Way was already on the ground tackling challenges like helping people find housing, tackling food insecurity and addressing the lack of educational opportunities for students of color. They have been able to provide critical support, quickly, where it is needed most, ”said Baldwin. “I am personally excited about how United Way has helped community and technical college students overcome the challenges of staying in school and landing a career with a living wage. “
United Way’s Bridge to Finish program helps community college students complete their education by connecting them with virtual and on-campus supports such as emergency financial grants, behavioral health services, access to food and other benefits. As federal rent assistance funds became available, United Way used Bridge to Finish’s existing infrastructure and developed new virtual tools to quickly connect affected students to up to 12 months of rent assistance. and stabilize their housing. Over the past year, the program has served 6,000 students, connecting them to over 27,000 supporters.
In his role as president, Baldwin is called upon to help complete the third and final year of a $ 15 million Bridge to Finish fundraising campaign to support and expand the program.
“The needs are great right now for so many people and it is essential to remember that this is not about numbers – we are talking about people, humans. Their skills and lived experiences are indispensable in a society that tries to solve the challenges we face now and mitigate the challenges we will face in the future, ”said Baldwin. “Everyone has a role to play in uplifting one another. We should all aim to treat our neighbors as we would like to be treated. And I am grateful for the chance to serve alongside Centraide.
Baldwin admits he has big shoes to fill in the wake of last year’s campaign co-chairs Ethan Stowell and Steve Hooper, Jr., who kicked off a series of virtual cooking events featuring the restaurants. and BIPOC chefs called Eat, Drink & Be Generous. The events, which will continue throughout the coming year, focus on celebrating community, great food and fundraising to support United Way programs.
“I am really optimistic that in the coming months we may have more opportunities to meet and get together in person,” he said. “While waiting for that to happen, United Way made it easier to participate, learn more about the issues and support the work. I think anyone who really wants to make a difference should join a King County United Way donor community and get a taste of the issues we face and the people who are working to solve them.