United Way kicks off $55 million community campaign

Members of United Way's Diversity Leadership Society

Last updated on September 8th, 2020 at 10:24 am

The United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County aims to raise $55 million for its 2020 community campaign.

The organization on Thursday held a virtual kickoff for its campaign, with is co-chaired by Jud Snyder, BMO Harris Bank’s senior executive for southeast Wisconsin; Austin Ramirez, chief executive officer of HUSCO International; Dr. John Raymond, president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin; and community leader Kelly Grebe. United Way’s past two annual campaigns have brought in over $56 million.

“We are so grateful to have these co-chairs who are leading our campaign during these challenging times,” said Linda Benfield, board chair for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “We know we absolutely have the right group of people leading our efforts this year.”

United Way also announced its key initiatives for 2020, including an effort led by its Diversity Leadership Society and sponsored by Manpower Group to reduce barriers to employment among African Americans.

“We know that over the last several months, unemployment rates have skyrocketed,” said Amy Lindner, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “The barriers that people face will only continue to grow. This is our time to re-imagine a workforce in our community that provides equal opportunity for everyone. That’s why reducing barriers is such an important initiative for us this year, and for years to come.”

United Way also continues to work toward its goal of eliminating family homelessness by 2025. Priorities in 2020-’21 include eviction prevention through legal aid, financial assistance and the creation of the Rental Housing Resource Center.

Other initiatives this year include: United Way’s continued COVID-19 response and recovery effort, supporting partnerships with Milwaukee Public Schools, reducing the digital access divide, and expanding the MKE Fellows program.

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