LIMA — The United Way of Greater Lima raised $1.4 million in 2020, on par with previous years despite the serious financial challenges of a pandemic that saw businesses closed and at least one million Ohioans out of work for weeks, sometimes months at a time.
But the United Way still saw $982,000 in donations from Allen County’s 25 largest employers and nearly $250,000 from individuals and professionals who live or work in the Lima area, according to the United Way of Greater Lima’s 2020 campaign report released on Tuesday.
“This year has been about survival for so many people,” said Derek Stemen, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Lima.
The non-profit agency raised $115,000 through a separate COVID-19 relief fund last year to purchase hand sanitizer and protective equipment for first responders or assist with food distributions and efforts to quarantine displaced populations who couldn’t quarantine at home.
While other United Way agencies saw donations decline anywhere from 10% to 20% in 2020, Stemen said, donations to the United Way of Greater Lima were roughly the same as previous years.
“For us to be able to be flat during a very difficult year is a testament to our community and to the volunteers who stepped up in a huge way to make sure that we can continue to serve the community well,” Stemen said on Tuesday.
The 2020 campaign was the first since the United Way of Bluffton, Beaverdam and Richland Township merged with the Greater Lima chapter, which saw $26,000 in donations from the Bluffton community last year.
The campaign also saw $220,000 in donations from non-profits, governmental agencies, educational institutions, small businesses and other industries and communities in Allen County.