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2020 United Way Community Campaign Raises $48.3 Million

Donors give generously to help the growing population on the edge

A growing community need inspired donors to generously give $48.3 million to the 2020 United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County Community Campaign.

Brad Barron, president and CEO of NuStar Energy and 2020 United Way Campaign Chair, led the effort with local businesses, organizations and nonprofit agencies contributing $48,300,000 toward helping the community’s children, individuals and families gain strength and stability – including those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While our community faces this added challenge, donors came forward to help the growing population on the edge -- those who never thought they would need food, or help with rent or a utility bill, or childcare because the schools were closed.

Barron and United Way Board Chair Kim Lubel shared a message of hope, stressing that United Way believes in helping everyone, especially the most vulnerable, as the community navigates the pandemic together.

The COVID-19 healthcare crisis presented challenges for the annual community campaign this year. Thousands across Bexar County lost jobs or experienced inconsistent work. Others lost their homes or were unable to pay the bills or afford groceries. A lack of internet connectivity hampered school learning, and some seniors were cut off from family and community supports.

Despite COVID-19’s effects -- including a reduction in the workforce, economic uncertainty, an over-stressed healthcare industry, the pivot to a virtual environment and the rescheduling of events and fundraisers -- there has been overwhelming support.

Barron expressed his pride in San Antonio’s donors who paused, took stock, adapted, moved forward, and generously gave back during this year’s campaign.

The issues facing the community are complex and connected. Food insecurity, academic preparedness, a family’s inability to meet basic needs, and isolated seniors are often inter-related. The money raised by United Way provides much-needed support for thousands of children, families, and individuals across Bexar County.

United Way programs provide workforce opportunities, quality early childcare, disaster care services as well as help with, family violence, reading and math proficiency, prenatal care and much more.

Nonprofit partners provided assistance, care and understanding to those in need – even while struggling themselves this year to respond to the healthcare crisis. They offered help and hope for those who are at crossroads in their lives.

Here are some of the services provided by United Way during 2020:


  • Raised over $6.3 million, for 150 local nonprofits, with the COVID-19 Community Response Fund in partnership with the San Antonio Area Foundation.

  • Provided wages for 904 people who worked over 55,000 hours through our Get Shift Done for San Antonio collaboration. Displaced food service workers earned a combined total of more than $600,000, helping local agencies provide food to hungry families.

  • Invested $400,000 in the COVID-19 Emergency Childcare Assistance Program to provide emergency assistance for essential-worker parents struggling to find childcare. United Way’s Women United group funded this vital program.

  • Launched the SAUnited4Good website to gather volunteer opportunities from nonprofits, while helping them connect to volunteers.

  • Created a community-wide Thank-A-Thon, distributing over 1,000 notes, photos and videos for essential workers.

  • Directed callers through the 2-1-1 Helpline, fielding nearly 1,000 calls a day, serving civilian and military callers, through MISSION UNITED, while manning the phone 24/7/365.

  • Saved Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) participants $4.8 million in tax preparation fees, even though locations were consolidated or closed because of the pandemic. The effort returned
    $38 million to local taxpayers and the economy. The new VITA season is poised to kickoff later this month.

  • Conducted the 6th Annual Shoebox Project distributing personal care items to 74 nonprofit partners serving local children, veterans, elderly, homeless and vulnerable populations who inched closer to the edge because of COVID-19.

  • Introduced the first-ever Community Champions Spirit of SA Awards, recognizing volunteers supporting United Way's four strategic areas of work during the pandemic.

  • Completed a successful $48.3 million annual fundraising campaign.


United Way is also grateful for a $20 million gift to United Way from MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist and author, which represents the largest ever private donation made in the 81-year history of the nonprofit. Scott’s gifts included various organizations in San Antonio and across the country. Her trust in us allows United Way to support even more transformational change across Bexar County. Her gift is in addition to the $48.3 million raised during the 2020 campaign.


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Uniting the community to identify and solve our most critical issues depends on your generous support.

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