Posted by Joseph Kitchen on Sep 25, 2020
United Way sees opportunities from recent challenges.
Derek Stemen, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Lima took an optimistic approach with Lima Rotarians when discussing some of the difficulties his organization has faced due to COVID-19.
 
He said that unfortunately when disasters hit they normally effect at risk populations harder, COVID-19 was no different. Derek said he was very impressed with how the United Way, partner agencies, corporate donors, the faith community, and the public, came together to evaluate the situation and provide the necessary response. Two of the successes he shared were providing quarantine needs for individuals in both the homeless community as well as first responders such as police, fire and EMS. Also, Procter & Gamble came through with over 2000 gallons of hand sanitizer which was made available to hospitals, healthcare facilities and nonprofits.
 
Derek said on the downside, he projects fundraising to be off about 20% which could be in the area of $320,000. The United Way of Greater Lima supports 33 nonprofits in Allen County and he has vowed to do everything he can to continue to provide for their needs and the needs of our community. He said that normally, they provide $1.6 million annually for the Lima community.
 
One of the creative things they have done is to offer their giving campaign on an entirely virtual format. He said so far it has been a success and some people even prefer it. He also said that they have a program in place where people can choose to round up their coins when making purchases with credit or debit cards. For more information about this, go to their website at unitedwaylima.org.