United Way Bay Area’s (UWBA) COVID-19 Community Relief Fund has raised $4.35 million since its launch on March 18 and this week will award $1.5 million to 17local nonprofits helping residents in need. Kicked off by a generous gift from an anonymous donor, the fund has received $100,000 donations from both Texas Instruments and City National Bank, $50,000 from the Truist Foundation and other contributions from corporations and individuals. Donations can be made here.
The fund will provide both immediate and long-term recovery assistance to Bay Area residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by funding local nonprofits such as food banks, family resource centers and other “basic needs” service agencies. UWBA has already received requests for a total of $7 million from nonprofits in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Solano counties. The next round of funding will be awarded in mid-April and UWBA will continue to accept COVID-19 relief requests and raise funds to fulfill them for the foreseeable future.
“Our goal is to respond to a rapidly increasing need––to help people feeling the economic effects ofthis new world order,” said Kelly Batson, senior vice president of community impact, UWBA. “It is not as simple as telling people to go to the food bank. This disease means the food bank now needs to re-think how they do everything. We are tremendously grateful for the support the fund has received and encourage others to contribute what they can to help their neighbors.”
Donations to the COVID-19 Community Relief fund will support local organizations and their short and long-term response services in four key impact areas identified by UWBA:
Support the call capacity for 2-1-1 phone and text services, which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 150 languages through phone interpretation services. 2-1-1 provides free and confidential information about local social services.
Support the needs of workers connecting to alternative employment, helping with public benefits assistance, disability benefits application assistance and legal assistance.
Support the capacity to meet basic needs of the families most affected by the economic effects of the coronavirus spread-prevention measures such as assistance with rent, housing, food, utilities, healthcare costs or unpaid sick time.
Support the technology infrastructure needs of our local service providers to continue operations and provide critical services to the affected members of the community.
The distribution of resources is based on UWBA’s assessment of local needs and the opportunity to fill gaps in services and leverage other philanthropic resources. Decisions on fund distribution are made with significant insights from UWBA’s community members and partners.
“This is an extremely important fund for an unprecedented crisis,” Batson added. “Not only will it help nonprofits serve more people feeling the impact of COVID-19, but it will also enable these organizations to build capacity by adjusting how they deliver services––now and into the future.”
Donations to the United Way Bay Area Community Relief Fund can be made here
United Way Bay Area (UWBA) fights for financial stability and equal opportunity for residents in eight Bay Area counties. UWBA takes an innovative, holistic approach to ending the cycle of poverty through advocacy and programs that support all ages—providing free access to family support, financial and career coaching, job opportunities and basic needs. More at www.uwba.org.