On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) will host a virtual iteration of their 20th Annual Breakfast, themed an ‘Era of Essential Service’.
With a special emphasis on sharing the Urban League’s COVID-19 response, the one-hour event will highlight the organization’s efforts to implement a variety of ongoing emergency programming and services over the last 18 months, as well as how ULMS plans to tackle pandemic-related challenges still impacting the community.
“While some of us had the privileges of being safe at home, a guarantee of a roof over our head, and a steady paycheck, many of our friends and neighbors were further lost, pushed aside, and separated from a path to self-sufficiency,” says Michelle Merriweather, ULMS President and CEO. “The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle team has not flinched as we face this deadly giant together as a community. We have stood firmly on the front lines of this crisis, providing necessary resources to ensure that those most in need still feel seen, valued, and protected through these times of uncertainty.”
Between the months of March 2020 to November 2021, ULMS has spent more than $10.8 million in general support services to the King County community, including $6.5 million dedicated to rental assistance and emergency housing alone. Additional support services included COVID-19 testing, vaccine education and pop-up clinic opportunities, emergency grocery deliveries, grant assistance to local small businesses, hot meal and hygiene supplies distributions, direct cash assistance, transportation assistance, PPE equipment distributions, a new 24-hour young adult shelter, and much more.
In 2019, the Urban League’s annual breakfast raised just over $400,000. This year, with support from major partners like Amazon, Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, Schultz Family Foundation, Vulcan Real Estate and others, the organization hopes to raise at least $500,000 to continue funding its emergency programming for the year ahead.
“Our goal is to raise the critical funds needed to continue and expand our emergency support services, outreach, and virtual impact in the midst of this global crisis,” says Deionte Petty, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Director of Fund Development. “Your support during this event is not an investment in ULMS, it’s an investment into our community and a commitment to ensure those who are facing the greatest economic barriers are uplifted and cared for throughout this deadly pandemic and its aftermath.”
In addition to highlighting their work, the event will also serve as an opportunity for ULMS to award and honor other local community trailblazers for their service to those who have been economically disenfranchised throughout the course of the pandemic.
This year’s slate of honorees includes local philanthropic activist and former Pro-Bowl wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, Doug Baldwin, who will receive the Urban League’s Edwin T. Pratt award; President & CEO of United Way of King County, Gordon McHenry, who will receive the organization’s President’s award; and finally, creator of culinary brand ‘That Brown Girl Cooks’ and co-owner of Communion restaurant, Chef Kristi Brown, who will receive the Urban League’s Community Coalition award.
The annual breakfast will take place from 9:00AM to 10:00AM PST on November 30th. Attending the virtual event is free and open to the public. To register, attendees can head to the event landing page via https://urbanleague.org/2021-annual-breakfast/ and click the “Register Now” button to participate.
“I am grateful that you all trust that the Urban League can be a conduit,” says Merriweather. “I am grateful that we were here, ready to serve. I look forward to not going back to normal but embracing a new normal where all people especially those that have long been ignored are deemed essential, seen, and valued.”