Season of Giving: United Way Bay Area talks about community need

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Season of Giving with United Way Bay Area
ABC7 is proud to partner with United Way Bay Area for the Season of Giving campaign. We're joining together to support and lift our neighbors in need.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 is proud to partner with United Way Bay Area (UWBA) for the Season of Giving campaign. We're building a better Bay Area by joining together to support and uplift our neighbors in need.

United Way Bay Area's chief advancement officer, Christopher Berini, talked to us about all that UWBA does, mainly working on systemic change, in supporting and sustaining the communities. "We're really focused on being an organization that dismantles the root causes of poverty and builds more equitable pathways for prosperity throughout the Bay Area," said Berini.

According to the real cost measure produced by United Ways of California in partnership with all of the United Ways in the state, it can cost and income of over $110,000 a year to meet basic needs. UWBA served 642,385 residents last year who needed services to address those needs.

UWBA brings different groups together and different companies. Here are some of the ways they support people while trying to break the cycle of poverty:

  • Meeting basic needs by offering food and shelter. Last year, they distributed approximately 4 million pounds of food through their partnerships across the region and provided 150 shelter nights.
  • For financial stability assistance, they partner with SparkPoint centers which are community colleges or non-profit organizations. People can go to these centers for financial coaching or find a career path. These services as free.
  • 2-1-1 is another resource offered by UWBA, in many languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a first line of defense or information for people who are struggling in any way with issues or need social support. They are directed to a non-profit partner who are relevant to the need they face, for example, food insecurity, access to affordable or subsidized daycare, or if they're experiencing a personal crisis. Last year, over 50,000 people reached out to 2-1-1 through phone calls or text messages.
  • Free tax help is another service provided by UWBA, also in multiple languages.

Aside from donating, there are different ways to help. Carolina Martin, vp of advancement, UWBA, added they're "looking for volunteers, people to attend our events. For some of our corporate partners, during this adaptive time, realize they can actually get on Zoom and coach youth. There are a lot of ways to volunteer, and also donate, and just be supportive of our communities because we are in communities in the Bay Area."

Like a lot of organizations, UWBA is driving to the end of the calendar year and raising as much resources as they can to support the work they do.

To find a SparkPoint center, go HERE.

To donate, visit uwba.org/bay.

For a list of organizations you can support or donate to, visit HERE.