United Way Hosts Virtual 2021 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Awards

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United Way Hosts Virtual 2021 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Awards

Nonprofit celebrates 97 years of fighting for a stronger Miami

On Tuesday, June 22, United Way of Miami-Dade celebrated 97 years serving Miami-Dade at its 2021 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Awards. With every year of fighting for a stronger Miami, United way honors five exemplary community service members: Representative Nicholas X. Duran, Brian Goldmeier, Terrance Levell, Deborah Koch and Henry Hurowitz.

Our United Way has faced many crises, but none more challenging nor as unpredictable as COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our United Way helped partners in Miami-Dade respond, recover and rebuild while actively responding to the needs of our residents through the distribution of funds, volunteerism and providing necessary services.

The past year shed a spotlight on the importance of community and the need to stay connected and we can begin to see the light at the end of very long tunnel. Despite the pandemic, 2021 marked a year of milestones:

  • Our United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, Demonstration School and 18 of our Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership sites re-opened to students and their families in late-August offering a hybrid model, where we provided both virtual learning and a home-school model to the early education students.
  • The Youth Institute welcomed its fifth cohort of 20 fellows with a hybrid model at the beginning of the school year, with the students transitioning into full in-person courses in January.
  • United Way partnered with Jackson Health to ensure the limited vaccine appointments were accessible to adults 60 and older, to hard-to-reach, low-income communities, people with disabilities, migrant workers and marginalized neighborhoods.
  • Mission United continued to provide our veterans with much-needed services and resources. To address the growing problem of food insecurity faced by many of our veterans and their families, we partnered with Farmbox Direct – FarmboxRX to deliver farm-fresh, seasonal produce. Mission United also partnered with a number of organizations and generous donors to assist 890 low-income and pandemic-impacted Miami-Dade veterans and their families, by providing them with nearly $7,000 worth of nonperishable items, more than 11,000 pounds of produce, and nearly 500 grocery gift cards.
  • VeritageMiami and Women United Breakfast reached milestones. VeritageMiami turned 25 and welcomed guests to our Interactive Dinner featuring Chef Adrianne Calvo at and the InterContinental Miami. The second virtual Women United Breakfast celebrated two decades with more than 400 women leaders connected to hear from our keynote speaker, executive vice president of Forbes Media Moira Forbes, live from New York.
  • National Volunteer Week brought together more than 200 volunteers. It kicked off with Leaders Day of Action and culminated with VolunteerMiami Day on April 24. The day was officially declared a day of service by Commissioner Eileen Higgins, representing District 5, on behalf of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
  • Our United Way was honored to be the recipients of a one-time, unrestricted transformational gift from Mackenzie Scott as part of her pledge to address long-term systemic inequities and the economic effects that have been deepened by the current pandemic crisis. The single largest donation in our 96-year history, our United Way was 1 of 3 nonprofits in Miami-Dade County and 1 of 6 in South Florida to be selected after data-driven research confirmed strong leadership teams and results in addressing high projected food insecurity, high measure of racial inequity, high local poverty rates and low access to philanthropic capital.

Every year United Way recognizes extraordinary volunteers who demonstrated an unyielding dedication to community service by improving the lives of others through education, financial security and health for children, families and older adults in Miami-Dade. Honorees included:

  • Brian Goldmeier, founder and president, BYG Strategies; The Dorothy Shula Award for Outstanding Volunteerism recognizes an individual whose work in the community brings hope, promise and opportunity into the lives of others and has left a lasting positive impact on a person, group or community at large.
  • Terrance Levell, executive director, AMIKids South; The Essie Silva Community Builder Award recognizes an individual who is making a difference in addressing particular community challenges affecting different cultural or ethnic groups.
  • Deborah Koch, executive director, American Red Cross Greater Miami & the Keys Chapter; The Monsignor Walsh Outstanding Human Services Professional Award recognizes an individual who has committed his or her time to helping others by shaping a caring, responsive, social service delivery system, positively impacting the quality of social services in the community and always responding to emergent community service needs.
  • Florida State Representative Nicholas X. Duran, District 112; The Public Service Leadership Award recognizes public servants and community leaders who display a remarkable sense of commitment to hard work, courageous leadership and a dedication to improving services for children and families.
  • Henry Hurowitz, high school student, Nova Southeastern University School, Class of 2021; The Outstanding Youth Award recognizes an individual 18 years of age or younger for their leadership, commitment and character through service and volunteerism.

Today and throughout the year, community members are invited to join United Way by volunteering. Those seeking to volunteer, visit www.volunteermiami.org.