It’s been a tough year, and at times it has felt like the world is unraveling. Whether it’s been dealing with sickness, separation from family and other loved ones, social distancing, working from home for the first time, and/or trying to homeschool kids, it hasn’t been easy. We’re all struggling to get back to something close to normal and, hopefully, we’re on our way there.
UCT members across North America share a common bond that connects them even when physically apart and that is a deep desire to help and support others, whether it’s family members, community members, council members or members of our two countries. The COVID-19 pandemic might have made many feel uncertain and scared, but in spite of those feelings, members were still moved during the past year to ask, “What can I do to help?”
Every year at this time we compile our volunteer and donation stats for the previous year and this year, despite all that has gone on around us, is no different. And while some of our numbers are lower than previous years due to lockdowns, it comes as no surprise to me that members throughout the U.S. and Canada defied COVID to continue to support their communities during this time of extreme need.
Masking up and keeping their (social) distance, members spent 28,901 collective hours volunteering for and physically supporting causes and charities that impact their communities. Our members and their local councils decide who and what to support on a local level, so this year many of those causes reflected the immediate needs that individuals and families have experienced due to COVID: Food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and food programs for children and seniors. They held around 430 special events and donated an impressive $866,544 to these causes and charities.
In addition to local projects that make a difference, members supported notable organizations and charities that directly brought resources to the front lines during the pandemic by donating proceeds and supplies or helping to prioritize vulnerable individuals. These include the American and Canadian Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Feeding America, Doctors Without Borders, and World Central Kitchen.
Members who couldn’t get out made a difference by making hundreds of cloth masks for family, friends, and frontline workers. They called their neighbors and fellow members weekly just to make sure everyone was okay. And they made donations to help ensure that essential services were delivered, and vital programs implemented uninterrupted.
Year after year, UCT members make their communities better places to live through their dedication to volunteering and community service. They are the physical embodiment of UCT’s commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others. No worldwide pandemic is going to stop them. Thank you, members. Like the communities in which you live, we are so very grateful for you!