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Washtenaw United: UWWC's National Day Of Action Goes Virtual For 2020

United Way of Washtenaw County
United Way of Washtenaw County

Each year, the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) hosts its National Day of Action, where residents get together to improve their neighborhoods through community service.  Yet, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, this year will a little different.  For this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair speaks to UWWC representative Madeline Mortimer and Engage @EMU staff member Kristen Klochko about the first-ever "National Day of Virtual Action," a partnership between UWWC and Eastern Michigan University.

WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area.  And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services.  It is a community voice.  It is 'Washtenaw United.'



Kristen Klochko

United Way of Washtenaw County
Credit United Way of Washtenaw County /
Engage @ EMU Communication and Operations Coordinator Kristen Klochko

Kristen supports programs and initiatives that build the bridge between EMU's campus and community.  During her time at EMU in the department of Engage, she has managed various projects like Academic Service-Learning, The Ypsi Bike Share, and Student Voting Initiatives, along with community events such as ypsiGLOW, EMU Homecoming, and YDL TedX.  She facilitates strong connections through partnerships and events to create a sense of community within Ypsilanti and beyond.  In addition to managing communications, new projects, and suite operations for Engage, she also directs the nonprofit, Digital Inclusion, and is the Staff Advisor for a social entrepreneurship student group, Optimize Eastern.  Kristen has a Bachelor's in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and a Master's in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University. 

Madeline Mortimer 

United Way of Washtenaw County
Credit United Way of Washtenaw County /
UWWC Senior Development Associate Madeline Mortimer

Madeline Mortimer is a Senior Development Associate at United Way of Washtenaw County.  In her role, she helps raise funds for the community, connects young professionals through the Emerging Philanthropists, and grant writes for United Way programs.  Previously, Madeline worked full time as a cosmetologist and still does part-time.  She graduated high school with a cosmetology license and worked as a cosmetologist while attending Spring Arbor University earning a degree in Business Administration.  Madeline is happy to now be in a role where she can help make change in her community.


United Way of Washtenaw County Volunteer Center


United Way Day of Action is an invitation for people and organizations around the world to LIVE UNITED and take action to address a variety of challenges.2020 National Day of Virtual Action is on and around Friday, June 19.  Organized by United Way of Washtenaw County’s Volunteer Center and the Emerging Philanthropists, Day of Action is a day that we ask volunteers to help us put our mission into action by improving the building blocks for a good quality of life..this year with a shift! 

In response to COVID-19, our Day of Action will look different this year. 

1. Remote Volunteering: These are projects that can be completed off-site, by volunteers mostly from their homes.  Examples: Donation Drive for vital supplies, remote blood drive.  We don’t have to be in-person to engage with the community and help our nonprofits in need!  Organize a remote activity with your team, family, or on your own (with all appropriate safety precautions observed!Click here to see available opportunities.  (Check back, new projects are being posted each week.) 

2. Virtual Skill-Based Volunteering: These are projects that can be completed anywhere, aimed at engaging volunteers with specific skills (such as finance, marketing, communications, website design, etc.).  These projects may take place over one day or several weeks.  We have partnered with to provide these skill specific volunteer opportunities.  Click here to find a local skills-based project with Catchafire. 

3. Hands-on Volunteering: There are still some limited hands-on needs to be met throughout our community. These are projects that can still be carried out in-person, with proper safety precautions observed.  We are still stronger together, just six feet apart!  Click here to see available opportunities.  Check back, new projects are being posted each week. 

For questions, please reach out to 

For the health of volunteers and our community, please observe all safety precautions when carrying out any kind of volunteering.  Click here for the most up-to-date recommendations from the Washtenaw County Health Department.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at

Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.
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