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Press Release

United Way Worldwide Releases Year One COVID-19 Impact Report

March 18, 2021 (Alexandria, Va.) -- United Way Worldwide today released its Respond, Recover, Reimagine & Rebuild: United Way’s COVID-19 Fight report highlighting the organization’s unprecedented response to the first year of the pandemic.  Globally, United Way raised nearly $1 billion for the relief effort, and galvanized the support of thousands of corporate partners, donors, volunteers and advocates, to help 27 million people in communities around the world facing challenges related to the pandemic and its economic fallout.

Respond, Recover, Reimagine & Rebuild highlights inspiring stories of relief provided in local communities everywhere and case studies of the impact of United Way’s corporate partners such as:  

  • Beiersdorf teamed up with United Way Worldwide to provide targeted support to more than 700,000 people in vulnerable communities around the world. Together, the organizations attacked critical issues on the ground, including creating access to water and hygiene supplies in Mexico, strengthening internet connection for children in Peru, providing food supply for families in India, and more. 
  • BET Networks a new United Way Worldwide partner, stepped up to support Black communities during COVID. BET raised more than $18 million during its spring 2020 BET COVID-19 Relief fundraiser, which has helped 2.5 million people in under-resourced neighborhoods of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and New York City with financial assistance, food, health, and student learning supports.
  • 3M committed to communities and families disproportionally affected by the pandemic with a $5 million donation toward United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to support United Way’s work to provide critical resources, including food, shelter and rent assistance to vulnerable populations around the world.
  • Truist funded a joint television and social media advertising campaign featuring an original poem, “Live United,” penned by America’s inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, and inspired by United Way. The campaign aimed to spark hope and optimism for the future, and highlight the importance of working United to build stronger communities as the country continued to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

United Way, the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit, typically raises between $4-5 billion through workplace campaigns, to be reinvested in 1,200 communities across 40 countries. That support, focused on improving education, financial stability and access to health impacts approximately 48 million people per year.

“United Way’s COVID support has focused on the most vulnerable among us, especially communities of color who’ve been disproportionately harmed by the coronavirus. As we head into the second year of COVID, it’s clear that there is so much more work to do to respond and recover,” said Suzanne McCormick, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “But we need to go beyond that – we want to reimagine and rebuild resilient, equitable, and sustainable communities, but to do this, we must work together across sectors and forge the partnerships necessary to lead critical change especially equal treatment and equal access to justice.”

Other highlights of United Way’s global relief include:

  • $57.3 million raised to support communities
  • $18 million raised to support 2.5 million people in Black communities
  • 33.2 million meals served
  • 109,000 households received help with rent or mortgage
  • 100,000 utility bills paid
  • 852,000 individuals received health supplies or services
  • 13,000 people received mental health counseling
  • 18,000 medical bills paid

Nearly every facet of what makes a community has been impacted by COVID-19, from the health of its residents and businesses to its economy, educational system, and beyond.  United Ways around the world have stepped up to provide vital services that are crucial to healthy communities. To learn more about United Way and to access the full report, please visit:  

About United Way
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. With global reach and local impact, we’re making life better for 48 million people annually. United Way is the world's largest privately funded nonprofit, working in 95% of U.S. communities and 40 countries and territories. That’s why we’re the mission of choice for 2.5 million volunteers, 7.7 million donors and 45,000 corporate partners. In the wake of COVID-19, we’re helping people stay in their homes, stock their pantries, and protect their lives and livelihoods. And we’re working to build resilient, equitable communities. Learn more at Follow us: @United Way and #LiveUnited.  

Media Contact

Southerlyn Reisig
Director of External Relations
(703) 836-7882