Last year was a year of ups and downs for most of us. It will stand out as the year we thought that the pandemic might finally be coming to an end – and also as the year we found out the pandemic wasn’t quite through with us yet. 2021 was a year where everything was changing, all the time, and yet each day could also feel like a repeat of the day before.
Here at Urban Alliance, we were settling in with a new Executive Director and navigating staffing changes - it could feel like everything had changed. At the same time, nothing had really changed. The needs that were very real yesterday were still real today. Urban Alliance provided training, grants, resources, supplies, and community to programs and ministries that meet so many needs for thousands of people, just like we had in the past.
We’d like to invite you to look back with us as we consider: “Did we make a difference in 2021? Can we make a difference in the future?”
By The Numbers
In 2021, 129 different programs connected to Urban Alliance provided assistance and services to approximately 300,000 people. We matched 70 volunteers hoping to help with a dozen programs that needed that help. UA provided training and resources to 745 program and ministry leaders through 48 different events. In short, the work continued throughout 2021.
We’re looking forward to a time where COVID restrictions make it easier and more practical for organizations to utilize volunteers. We hope to continue expanding the library of resources that we provide to programs and ministries so that they can continue and grow their work. Yesterday, we were able to bring a change in the world. Tomorrow, the world needs our help.
Dollar and Cents
Finances have been challenging in 2021 for all of us. We were thrilled that we could dedicate 75% of all our expenses on strengthening programs that serve their communities. Some of this comes through the 48 training opportunities we already mentioned, and some of it is in direct support. Urban Alliance gave $43,000 in grants to fund 40 different projects and initiatives. We provided 122 toolkits - resources and training packaged together - allowing programs to start community gardens, implement COVID safety protocols, create their own resource centers, and more.
Sharing the Love
The Distribution Center here at Urban Alliance (run in partnership with World Vision) had another amazing year. The Teacher Resource Center, which provides much needed classroom supplies to Title I schools, distributed supplies that impacted 29,000 students across 48 different schools. That effort, combined with the Essential Supplies Program – which provides resources ranging from masks to school supplies to diapers and more to UA Network Partners – was able to distribute over $9 Million dollars worth of in-kind donations this year!
The “new normal” is the goal a lot of us will be chasing this year. Though we can’t be sure that we will find it this year, one thing that we can be sure of is that “new normal” won’t bring an end to all of the “old needs.” This year, Urban Alliance is committed to meeting as many of those challenges and needs as we can. Thank you for being a partner with us in this great undertaking.