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United Way’s Virtual Centennial Is a Hit

Plus, a partnership brings farm-fresh produce to East County residents in need, and more

By Sarah Sapeda

As for many nonprofits, the pandemic forced United Way of San Diego County to rethink the way it conducts fundraisers and switch to a virtual model. On October 8, the organization marked a milestone anniversary by hosting a Virtual Centennial Celebration. The event saw around 225 guests and raised more than $110,000 to further United Way’s mission to eliminate disparities and transform lives.

“It has been a whirlwind of a year for our community and the world, and to be able to still celebrate our sponsors, donors, volunteers, and staff was an unforgettable way to give thanks to all who support our mission year-round,” says Nancy L. Sasaki, the chapter’s president and CEO.

During the event, the organization looked back at its 100-year history, planned for the future, and outlined current efforts, including the San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative, a valuable resource for pandemic-strapped families; and Advancing San Diego, which aims to bolster the local talent pipeline. The evening also included a silent auction and performances by Fernando DaRosa, Mariachi Torres, NuEra, and Whitney Shay.

United Way of San Diego County also launched a campaign called 100 Days of Giving to raise $100,000. To learn more and donate, visit

Good News / Second Chance

Second Chance youth gardeners harvest apples for needy families in need.

Second Chance, a local nonprofit that works to end the cycle of incarceration, addiction, and poverty, has joinced forces with Foodshed Small Farm Distro, the UCSD Center for Community Health, and Encanto Elementary School to bring fresh produce to families living in a local food desert. Typically, food distribution sites favor products with a longer shelf life. To counter this, Second Chance is donating boxes of food from their Youth Garden to families of Encanto Elementary, and Foodshed Small Farm Distro is offering 10-week subscriptions. You can sponsor a produce box or Foodshed share here.

This week is your last opportunity to bid on getaways, experiences, and luxury gift items and help NICU babies at the same time. The auction is part of the lead-up to Miracle Babies’ 11th annual gala, which will be hosted virtually on Halloween night. Toast packs stocked with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Miracle Babies merchandise are also available to help virtual gala attendees celebrate on the big night. For tickets, toast packs, and a catalog of auction items, please visit

United Way of San Diego County President and CEO Nancy Sasaki with board chair Tony Russell at the organization’s virtual Centennial Celebration.

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