- Felicia Matlosz
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) today announced that he has selected United Way Fresno and Madera Counties as the 2022 Nonprofit of the Year for the 31st District.
Assemblymember Arambula said that United Way Fresno and Madera Counties has been a strong and trusted organization in times of need and in times of crisis. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way distributed 220,000 masks, 60,000 units of sanitizer, and $500 in direct-cash relief grants each to 1,000 residents. In the winter of 2021, the nonprofit provided $250 grants each to an additional 151 individuals.
The organization will be among other California nonprofits honored today at a luncheon in Sacramento to celebrate their selections as a “Nonprofit of the Year.” The event is co-sponsored by the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector, and the newly formed Senate Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector. The luncheon will be held on the lawn of the State Capitol.
United Way has a long history of working to uplift disadvantaged communities, with the aim of race and wealth equity through increasing access and opportunities to improve the quality of life in the region. The organization, for example, incubates nonprofit and community-based projects, supporting them with seed funding, fiscal sponsorship, operational support, and marketing services.
United Way also directs residents who need multiple basic emergency services or other types of assistance through the 211 Helpline, which operates 24 hour a day, 365 days a year in multiple languages. In the last two years, the helpline received 64,799 calls from residents, and the helpline provided 85,913 referrals to local agencies.
In the wake of the devastating 2020 Creek Fire, United Way assisted 15 families with long-term financial care and helped raise over $175,000 through their partnership with the Creek Fire Recovery Collaborative.
Assemblymember Arambula said: “United Way Fresno and Madera Counties has steadfastly served the Central Valley for nearly 100 years, assisting our most vulnerable communities when they urgently need support and direction. This was clearly shown by the United Way’s efforts to meet the challenge of a once-in-a-century pandemic. It illustrates on a larger scale what United Way does, by working with its network of partners, to touch the lives of many people each and every day.”
Lindsay Fox, President and CEO of United Way Fresno and Madera Counties, thanked the organization’s donors, partners, and supporters in accepting the award and said: “United Way does not work alone, so this award is as much for our partners as it is for us.
"We are so honored to receive this award, but we also acknowledge there is no United Way without other nonprofit organizations. Everything we are able to do is because so many Californians share our passion for race and wealth equity and are willing to work collaboratively to dismantle and challenge systems that uphold inequities across our state. It is because of our many trusted community partners – the ones who uplift us, share in the burden of the work, and revel in the victories of any progress made – that we are able to reach the populations who are struggling most and provide them with nonjudgmental support when it’s available and advocate for them where there are gaps."
Jan Masaoka, CEO of CalNonprofits, said: “Nonprofit organizations play such a critical role in our communities, and the last two years of the pandemic have only served to highlight that. California Nonprofit of the Year gives elected officials the opportunity to shine a light on the important work nonprofits are doing in their districts and for everyone to appreciate the collective impact of nonprofits in our communities.”