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United Way CEO: Working together in crisis

March 13, 2020


By Michelle Braun, President and CEO, United Way of Northeast Florida

As phones ring and uncertainty and fear land in our inboxes, we know we are in unprecedented times. But for 95 years, you have powered United Way of Northeast Florida’s ability to help those in need, whether it’s navigating every day challenges or responding to crises like COVID-19.

I am writing this evening to share with you steps United Way is taking on behalf of your support — and on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens.



We’ve updated our website with a COVID-19 information directory that can help you know where to turn for important information. I welcome you to please bookmark unitedwaynefl.org/covid19resources.

In addition, our free 211 hotline will remain available 24/7 to connect anyone in our community who needs help to critical information and resources.



In following CDC recommendations, we have canceled or postponed all events through Saturday, April 18. We have also temporarily closed our RealSense tax sites through March 31. We will also be in touch with our ReadingPals volunteers with next steps. Please stay tuned to our COVID-19 webpage for important updates.

Our staff will be shifting to virtual work starting this Monday, March 16, and our offices will be closed to visitors. We will still be available by phone, email and virtual meetings.



We are also working with our partners to re-activate Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund. Since its launch in 2016, Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund has proved to be the most immediate and effective way to coordinate donations to support response and recovery efforts in times of crisis.



As we navigate this public health crisis, we think about immediate effects and needs, but we also remember thousands of people are in need every day across Northeast Florida. Because of your generous support, we are ready to help. Now more than ever, we need your support.

Thank you for supporting United Way and demonstrating what it means to Live United. As I have shared with my hardworking staff, we urge you and your family to take recommended precautions and wish you good health.