Amy Lindner, director of United Way MKE, joined Milwaukee Magazine Editor and Publisher Carole Nicksin for a livestream lunch Friday to discuss how the nonprofit and its partners are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
United Way is a nonprofit organization in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties that works with partner agencies to provide health, education and financial support to the community.
“We’re not in normal times, but the work of United Way right now isn’t that different,” Lindner said.
Last year, United Way set a goal to end family homelessness in the four counties by 2025. Lindner said that this work is especially important during the pandemic, because the homeless population is at a disproportionate risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus.
“You can’t be safer at home if you don’t have a home,” Lindner said. “We’ve been doing a lot of work both as United Way and with great partners across the community to make sure we can get as many people safely housed or sheltered to the greatest extent possible.”
United Way offers several ways for people to help support their community. Those who are able are encouraged to donate, and the organization’s website also offers volunteer opportunities. Lindner said all necessary safety precautions are taken with in-person volunteer programs, which include delivering food to families in need.
Virtual volunteer opportunities include online tutoring or simply having conversations with English language learners, for which no teaching experience is needed.
“It feels incredible to be able to say, ‘My $10, my $300, my three hours of tutoring time played some small role in helping my community,’” Lindner said. “I can’t say enough about it.”