When the COVID-19 outbreak struck communities across the nation, United Way of Lewis County, in partnership with The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, stepped up to respond to the immediate and emerging needs in our own community.
Debbie Campbell, United Way of Lewis County Executive Director states, “during times of uncertainty, Lewis County comes together to support each other. COVID-19 is a new test of our collective strength. As social distancing and self-quarantining become part of everyday life, we're facing new economic challenges. United Way is a proud partner with local organizations to meet not only immediate but long-term needs”.
The Lewis County COVID-19 Response Fund was rapidly created to immediately begin addressing emerging needs and identifying gaps in existing services. This fund is designed to deploy resources to local organizations that are providing services and support to the people who are most vulnerable to the economic impacts of COVID-19 in Lewis County, such as essential items for first responders, cleaning supplies, meals for senior citizens, child care for first responders, and rent and utility assistance for job loss to name a few.
The first round of rapid response funding granted to local organizations addressing immediate needs includes:
- Lewis County Seniors - Meal delivery program for people 60 and over = $35,000
- Boys & Girls Club of Chehalis - Emergency Youth Support Program; care of children of first responders = $5,000
- Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties - Utility assistance, childcare resources, mortgage or rental assistance due to job loss = $10,000
“We can’t thank United Way enough for quickly stepping in and making sure we had the support we needed to open Club quickly so that healthcare workers, first responders and other essential community staff have a safe place for their kids to be,” states Lauren Day, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Chehalis.
“This is a critical time when community support and financial resources are urgently needed. When the threat of COVID-19 hit we immediately connected with other community partners which included United Way, who provided money to our program and we hit the ground running feeding our most vulnerable seniors. We couldn’t have done it without United Way reaching out and raising money to provide resources for food. Being able to serve the senior meals at this time is vital and we are so grateful for the help and support,” said Glenda Forga, Lewis County Seniors Executive Director.
The distribution of funds is based on United Way of Lewis County’s assessment of local needs and the opportunity to fill gaps and leverage other philanthropic resources. Decisions are made with significant insights from UWLC’s partners and community members.
Donations to the Lewis County COVID-19 Response Fund can be made by visiting www.lewiscountyuw.com.
There will be critical during this pandemic, including individuals who become sick, as well as those who are affected by business and school closures. For our community to successfully navigate the potentially devastating impacts of Covid-19, we will continue to work closely with local governments, public health and emergency management officials, and community leaders in order to respond and react effectively through the evolving outbreak and recovery phases.