United Way of 1000 Lakes announces the Be the Light: 2020 Challenge, with the goal of raising $20,000 by the end of the year.

Throughout the holiday season, United Way encourages community members to “be the light” and donate $20.20 to this year’s Stronger United campaign as an investment in the future of the region.

“2020 has been a tough year for our communities - we’re facing health and economic challenges, unprecedented isolation, and interruptions to our children’s education,” says United Way Executive Director Kim Brink Smith. “This is a way to make something good come out of this year and end it with hope and optimism.”

United Way’s work sits at the center of the Itasca area’s recovery and rebuilding process. Through their support of more than 24 nonprofit programs that reach children, adults, and families across the region, United Way helps ensure that residents of Itasca communities have a place to turn to in times of crisis.

“The pandemic has created significant challenges for our family, friends, and neighbors, especially those already experiencing difficult circumstances,” says Tasha Klockow, owner of Klockow Brewing Co. and United Way volunteer. “When you support United Way, you’re helping to address a broad range of issues like isolation, food insecurity, unemployment, mental illness, drug addiction, and domestic violence.”

Whether it consists of $20.20, $120.20, $2020.20, $520.20, or any amount, each gift will go where it’s most needed as our community moves forward from the health and economic crisis. All funds United Way of 1000 Lakes raises stay local to sustain and strengthen the Itasca area’s nonprofit safety net, which provides vital programs and services.

Give today through December 31st, 2020, at uwlakes.org/#donate or by texting LAKES to 26989. Check donations can be made to United Way of 1000 Lakes and mailed to 350 NW 1st Ave., Grand Rapids MN 55744.

Supporters are encouraged to share their participation on social media with #2020challenge, #strongerunited, and #itascastrong and tag United Way of 1000 Lakes on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

To learn more about the issues United Way is fighting for, the work they’re doing in our community, and how you can get involved, visit uwlakes.org.

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