July 30, 2020
Dear friends of United Way of Central Indiana,
We began fiscal year 2019-2020 with a renewed focus on fighting poverty with the rally cry, “Change Tomorrow. Today.” Since unveiling United Way’s new strategic framework in 2018, this year provided the opportunity for us to quantify our impact in basic needs, family opportunity and social innovation. Inside, you’ll see how we’ve tied our investments directly to reducing generational poverty, meeting individuals’ basic needs, stabilizing families, and finding innovative solutions to problems in our community. Because of the enormous support of you – our donors, volunteers, advocates and partners – we are making great progress.
But earlier this year, the world stopped functioning as we knew it. The fear of spreading COVID-19 rocked every sector of the economy. Hoosiers were losing jobs, food was in short supply, and despair was everywhere. By March 13, 2020, United Way and our funding partners from Lilly Endowment Inc, the Central Indiana Community Foundation (through the Glick Fund and The Indianapolis Foundation) , Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation quickly responded with a major investment to create an economic relief fund to help our community through the crisis. “With hardship, there is hope” became our new headline of optimism during this unprecedented time. In the following pages, we tell the stories about a community coming together – how we responded to its unique needs during a time that challenged every individual and every organization beyond our wildest imagination and how we will continue the work of serving people’s basic needs and stabilizing families as we recover in the months and years to come.
Our fiscal year closed out with another important message from all of us at United Way to the Black community – “We Hear You, and We’re Ready.” There has been a broad awakening on the existence of systemic racism. We know that it has played and continues to play a role in the plight of a disproportionate number of families of color who are struggling in Central Indiana. Many people in our community now have a deeper knowledge on the issues, and we responded with a new educational series about racism. United Way of Central Indiana is fully committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in all we do. It’s time for change, and we’re ready.
It’s also time to say thank you to our outgoing board chair, Bryan Mills, who steps down this year after a two-year term and hands the gavel to Rafael Sanchez. Bryan has led United Way through a period of monumental change – from our 100th anniversary and business model transformation to the COVID-19 crisis. I couldn’t imagine a more thoughtful, strategic, and dedicated leader to counsel us through such extraordinary moments. I’d like to thank Bryan for his commitment and dedication to United Way – not only as board chair but also as a long-time donor, volunteer, supporter and friend.
Through all the messages we’ve conveyed this year, one thing will always be clear: United Way is here to fight for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of every person in our community, no matter the circumstances. Thank you for being with us, staying with us, and working with us to make our community a place where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
– Ann D. Murtlow
President & CEO
United Way of Central Indiana