Imagine a summer without the local pool, library, summer sports, day camps and more. With programs closed or limited to smaller groups due to COVID-19, thousands of kids in our community will be missing these and many other fun summertime activities. In response, United Way of Central Ohio is launching United for Kids, a summer drive to help kids stay active, learning and happy. We may be apart, but we can join together to be United for Kids.
Throughout June, United Way will collect indoor and outdoor toys, games, books, art supplies and sporting equipment. These items will be packaged into kits and distributed to local nonprofits serving children in need in our community. The goal is to create and distribute at least 3,000 kits, and there are multiple ways to get involved:
- Donate to United for Kids. A $30 donation purchases two kits. Make your donation at www.liveunitedcentralohio.org/unitedforkids. You can also Text to Give by texting “UNITEDFORKIDS” to 91999.
- Purchase United for Kids items on Amazon (it’s simple and easy!). A list of requested items can be found on the website: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3OJF0G43MTVW7?&sort=default.
- Volunteer to help assemble United for Kids kits by registering at www.volunteerunitedcbus.org
To ensure the safety of donors, volunteers and kids, the United for Kids drive will be online only through donations and Amazon wish list purchases.
Too many central Ohio families were struggling before the pandemic. With even fewer resources now, these families need our support to help their kids stay active, learning and engaged during the summer months. United for Kids is hoping to motivate and rally donors, organizations and volunteers to keep summer fun for as many as 3,000 kids.
“Many children in our community have had limited to no engagement with a teacher during the quarantine,” said Lisa Courtice, president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. “Childhood is a critical time for learning and development, so we must support nonprofits and families in providing creative ways to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the summer months.”
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the local nonprofit landscape, United Way recently announced it is sharpening its focus on Student Success and Basic Needs. Initiatives like United for Kids Summer Drive is an example of how United Way can quickly mobilize the community to support children most at risk.
Kits will be distributed to the following nonprofit partners and other organizations serving children and families in central Ohio:
- Action for Children
- Central Community House
- Columbus Early Learning Centers
- Community Development for All People
- LiFEsports (The Ohio State University)
- One Linden Schools (2nd Grade Summer Enrichment Program)
- St. Stephen’s Community House
We would like to thank Nationwide, our presenting sponsor, as well as NBC4 and OhioHealth for being our supporting partners for United for Kids. Community support allows us to help even more families in our community.