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United Way to help ensure accuracy with 2020 Census

March 4, 2020 | 12:07 am

Updated March 4, 2020 | 2:50 pm

United Way of the Ohio Valley has launched a new Text-to-Pledge campaign to help ensure that the 2020 Census is fair and accurate. Using the nationwide 2-1-1 service that connects those in need to local support services, people can text PLEDGE to 211-211 and opt-in to receive information about the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census. They will also receive text reminders to participate in the 2020 Census.

“It’s just another way to get active in the community,” said Blaine Mathew, project coordinator and 2-1-1 coordinator for the United Way of the Ohio Valley.

The Text-to-Pledge platform is designed to maximize participation by educating and gathering pledges to be counted from more than one million individuals, particularly in hard-to-count communities. will also address questions and correct misunderstandings about the 2020 Census.

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“United Way believes that accurate census data is essential for our communities. This data is used to determine federal, state and local appropriations for many of the programs that are a vital lifeline to our citizens,” says Jo Shake. “As board chair of the United Way of the Ohio Valley, I recognize the need for accurate data in the planning and preparedness of our community to meet ever-changing challenges. I and the United Way wholeheartedly support the census efforts in our communities.”

Many of the communities served by the United Way of the Ohio Valley include urban and rural areas with large, low-income populations who are renting, homeless or living in multi-unit residences. Many are non-English speakers or migrant workers and many could be formerly incarcerated individuals. There are also a large number of elderly or disabled individuals for whom the U.S. Census could be difficult.

According to Shake, one of the missions of the United Way of the Ohio Valley is to unite communities to deliver solutions that improve the lives of individuals and families, and is committed to ensuring everyone is counted in the 2020 Census.

“We hope the 2-1-1 text reminder lets them know the importance,” Mathew said.

March 4, 2020 | 12:07 am

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