Kevin Bailey

Kevin Bailey

Last month, I wrote about how the strength of our community would be measured in how we come together as one. Over the past month, it has been remarkable to be a part of all of the amazing efforts our community has undertaken to respond to the effects of COVID-19. The level of commitment and collaboration has been moving to witness. At the United Way of Southeastern Idaho, we talk a lot about the term “collective impact” in our work — the alignment of systems and strategy toward common goals across multiple institutions. In many instances, we are seeing that come to reality in our community’s response to COVID-19.

It takes a village to get things done and the United Way of Southeastern Idaho is fortunate to have so many amazing and strong partnerships. I wanted to take a moment to lift up all of the good news taking place in our community over the past month.

— The United Way of SE Idaho helped allocate almost $115,000 dollars to nonprofits in our region, helping combat homelessness, housing instability, food insecurity, physical and mental health care, and domestic violence support to 13 nonprofits programs in partnership with the Idaho Community Foundation, Idaho Nonprofit Center, and United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County.

— Because of the community’s support of our United Way of SE Idaho Relief Fund and Idaho Gives donations, we were able to allocate and additional $41,000 this week to nonprofit programs helping keep people housed, fed and cared for in response to this pandemic.

Our partners have been just as busy #LivingUnited and doing some amazing good in our community. Here are a few of those highlights:

— The Simplot Don Plant organized a “Food Raiser” and is selling frozen food product with proceeds being donated to the United Way of SE Idaho and the Idaho Food Bank.

— Farm Bureau of Idaho employees raised nearly $52,000 in one week to distribute to nonprofits

— MDU Resources Group, the parent company of Intermountain Gas donated $500,000 through its foundation to nonprofits across its multi-state footprint, including over $40,000 for Idaho nonprofits.

— Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 has continued to serve around 3,500 meals to children daily, adding up to tens of thousands of meals over the last month.

— Idaho Central Credit Union has hosted a COVID-19 community testing site for antibodies and is a leader in the “Crush the Curve” movement across the state. They have also donated gift cards to help volunteers shop for seniors and other vulnerable homebound individuals.

— Bayer in Soda Springs has donated personal protective equiptment to the local hospital, as well as a major blood drive for the Red Cross as well as an employee fund raiser for the Idaho Food Bank. They also donated $500 for a fireworks show for graduating seniors in Soda Springs.

— Many others stepped up to sew and distribute masks, run errands for seniors, pack food boxes, refurbish PCs for students in need of distance learning technology and much more.

Our community is truly remarkable and we are just getting started. The impacts of this pandemic are likely to be felt for more than a year, but if the past month has shown us anything, this community is more than up for the challenge as we put into action what it means to #LiveUnited.

For more information on ways you can get involved, donate to COVID-19 relief or connect with community resources, head to unitedwaysei.org/covid-19.

Kevin Bailey has been the CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Idaho since February 2019. The United Way of SE Idaho lives out its mission by building powerful partnerships that improve outcomes for children, families and individuals in need. Visit unitedwaysei.org for more information.