Women United: Volunteer Month Spring 2021 Newsletter

Women United has continued our work to support women, children and families, though in a very different way due to COVID restrictions. Over the last few months, we have found ways to meet some of the needs of students and families in our community. Our “Read to Succeed” program came to a halt when schools closed, and it was not allowed to resume when they reopened. We did what everyone else is doing – we pivoted! With the help of the Wicomico County Board of Education, we are now able to read to students via a dedicated zoom link. It is not exactly what our program was, but it supports those children in need of extra reading time, so for now, we will gladly use it.  
Women United also found a way to support the Judy Centers in all four of the counties UWLES serves: Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester.  The Judy Centers provide a wide array of year round early childhood educational support to families with young children. With direction from the centers, we were able to purchase materials and put together over 475 Literacy Packs for the families to use at home. These packs included materials such asan Imagination Library book, coloring book, crayons, soft blocks, packs of flash cards (letters, colors and numbers) and a white board with marker to practice writing! 
We continue to host our bi-monthly Community & Conversations, although it too has gone virtual. In February we hosted Christine Chestnut & Martin Hutchison and delved deeper into the needs of our homeless population. April saw the directors of each of our Judy Centers come together to explain their programs, how they differ from county to county, and what trends they see developing as the pandemic wears on. Please watch for the announcement of the June 10th event and its topic! 
As our programs continue, we look to our annual Power of the Purse fundraising event to support them. This year we will kick off our VIRTUAL Power of the Purse auction on June 3rd and close it on June 11th. Watch our Facebook page for more information in the near future. 
For more information or to join Women United, please contact Cathie Thomas, cathie@uwles.org. All are welcome!