United Way Finds Innovative Way to Support Foster Youth Through COVID-19 Crisis


SACRAMENTO (4/8/20) – Citing the profound needs of local foster youth during the COVID-19 crisis, United Way California Capital Region created a way for the 400 women who were supposed to gather for last month’s Women United Luncheon to instead support local foster youth through United Way’s social media channels. From videos of local leaders and former foster youth to important facts and inspiring messages, participants joined in celebrating the accomplishments of Sacramento area foster youth, while meeting their most pressing needs during this health crisis so they can succeed in college and career. Local foster youth who were set to perform in a fashion show of their career outfits sponsored by guests – a favorite among longtime luncheon guests – created a video in its place. The virtual Women United Luncheon was featured on United Way’s social media channels: Facebook.com/UnitedWayCCR, Twitter.com/unitedwayccr, Instagram.com/unitedwayccr and LinkedIn.com/company/unitedwayccr.

 “We are profoundly grateful to the vast majority of our sponsors and ticketholders who recognize that foster youth needs continue as we battle COVID-19, and therefore converted their sponsorships and ticket costs to donations,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Our United Way took the magic of a room filled with hundreds of women and made an impact online. This virtual event showcased the foster youth who are benefiting from the support of women across our region through our Women United action group. We hope that our supporters and friends were inspired and uplifted by these young people during these challenging times.”

United Way’s 18th Annual Women United Luncheon was scheduled to be held March 26 at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, but was converted to an online event after the statewide shelter-in-place directive took effect. United Way’s Women United action group discussed its history working with local foster youth, highlighted its policy work resulting from United Way’s Foster Youth Summit held last spring and offered opportunities to join United Way’s Women United action group.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.