United Way NSV to Hold ALICE Awareness Week
with Goal of Helping 40 Local Struggling Families
Winchester, VA. October 16, 2021 - When funds run short, ALICE families (Asset limited, income constrained, employed) are forced to make impossible choices, such as deciding between quality childcare or paying the rent, filling a prescription or fixing the car. These short-term decisions have long-term consequences not only for ALICE families, but for all of us.
From November 15th – 19th United Way NSV will host ALICE Awareness Week with a goal of raising $20,000 to help 40 families with life-changing ALICE Emergency Funds, which his double the goal from 2020. The money raised during ALICE week goes to support the ALICE Emergency Fund, which is managed through United Way’s Valley Assistance Network (VAN). Last year the fund raised just over $15,000 to help local families. Since 2018, the ALICE Emergency fund has helped 28 families overcome an unforeseen emergency or advance them toward financial stability. Half of the families received help with transportation, three with childcare, seven cases to help with housing, and four to provide emergency funding for dental care, funeral expenses, and more.
One person who was helped in 2020 by the ALICE Emergency Fund was a local woman named Deana, of Winchester, VA. Deana works as a preschool teacher during the day and a caregiver at night. She juggles two jobs, three kids, the stress of trying to make ends meet and create a better future for her family. A few weeks ago, she got the dreaded call that her daughter was exposed to COVID at school and she had to quarantine. That meant Deana couldn’t go to work. Without benefits like sick time or holiday pay, it also meant no paycheck for Deana.
“I’m working so hard but feel like I’m spinning my wheels all the time to try to get ahead.” Deana said to United Way NSV
Luckily, United Way NSV’s VAN program was there for Deana to connect her with resources to help with rent, utilities, a car payment and even Christmas gifts for her kids. VAN also was able to help her with an ALICE Emergency Fund grant, helping her with a car payment when there were no other solutions and the car was about to be repossessed.
“I was so thankful the ALICE Emergency Fund could help with my car payment,” she said. “$500 may not seem like a lot to most people, but for me it meant the world! Thank you!”
To raise the $20,000, United Way NSV urges the community to make donations outright to support the effort November 15th- 19th at www.UnitedWaynsv.org/aliceawareness or by sending donations directly to United Way NSV.
In addition to fundraising for the ALICE Emergency Fund, United Way NSV will also be holding three events during ALICE Awareness Week. On Monday, November 15th, UWNSV will hold “ALICE in their words – A lived experience panel.” The event features three current and former Valley Assistance Network clients and Alice Emergency Fund recipients as they share their stories, struggles and perseverance towards stability. Visit United Way NSV’s website to learn more or to register for the Zoom event.
Additionally, UWNSV will also be holding “Maid – a book and film discussion” on Friday, November 19th at 9:00am at the Espresso Bar & Cafe. The open event will focus on the book “Maid,” by Stephanie Land and the corresponding Netflix limited series. The book is available for purchase at Winchester Book Gallery with the series ready to stream on Netflix. Choose to read the book, watch the show or both! The community is invited to take part in the discussion guided by United Way NSV CEO, Nadine Bullock-Pottinga.
As a part of the Women United group, United Way will be holding a first-time event, Women Who Walk, on Thursday November 18th in downtown Winchester. This will be a fun evening of shopping and enjoying delicious drinks and eats at various locations on Winchester's Old Town Walking Mall! The event invites you to bring friends and make some new ones with United Way NSV. Participants buy a special Women United button as their ticket for the event. Pick up your button at Winchester Brew Works during their working hours or buy it online and have United Way NSV send it to you. All participants will also be issued an event passport, with a special prize for those who visit each spot and have a stamp from each location.
For more information on ALICE, the ALICE Emergency Fund, ALICE Awareness Week events, or United Way NSV and their VAN program, visit www.unitedwaynsv.org/aliceawareness.