United Way establishes COVID-19 Community Relief Fund

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

To help local families which have been most impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and the measures prompted by it, the United Way of Putnam County has established a fund driven by community donations.

The nonprofit organization states that 39 percent of Putnam County families struggle to meet their most basic needs. This includes households which are above the federal poverty level but cannot afford a bare-bones budget, as well as those below it.

To support these families and other individuals who are now faced with significant economic strains, the United Way has set up its COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.

The United Way will work with local social service agencies which assist families considered most vulnerable to the impacts of the coronavirus. Funds will be distributed through a micro-grant program to nonprofits which have been vetted.

One-hundred percent of donations to the fund will go directly to supporting these families during what has become a time of hardship for many.

The donations in total will help community partners assist them with covering basics including food, clothing, gas, transportation, rent assistance and utilities.

As such, the United Way is concentrating on how to spread these funds equally to make the greatest impact possible.

“This is meant for the immediate needs of families who work with these nonprofits,” Executive Director Chris Flegal told the Banner Graphic. “United Way is focused on the health, education and stability of Putnam County families, and we hope to meet these needs in real time.”

Flegal added that while the federal and state government are working through stimulus plans to boost the economy and those impacted, the fund is aimed at addressing need gaps which might not be considered.

Those who wish to contribute a tax-deductible donation to the fund may do so at http://www.unitedwayofputnamcounty.org/covid-relief-fund. A FAQ page and a list of resources will also be available on the website.

Additional questions about the fund may be directed to the United Way of Putnam County’s office at 653-5638.

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