• United Way Emerald Coast Launches COVID-19 Relief Fund

    United Way Emerald Coast (UWEC) envisions a healthy community for all residents and is greatly concerned about the local impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19). UWEC is collaborating with a network of non-profits and community partners to identify the region’s most critical social service needs and mobilize support across Okaloosa and Walton counties.  

    UWEC created the COVID-19 Relief Fund to support local community-based organizations that are providing services for individuals and families affected by the pandemic. UWEC and its non-profit partners are on the front lines and these agencies are now facing an increased demand for services. Donations will support grants for UWEC’s non-profit partners who will offer essential safety-net services during the coming weeks.  

    As schools close and businesses cut hours, many families will be faced with financial instability.  “We already have thousands of families living paycheck to paycheck and individuals who require assistance with basic needs.  Many of these households do not have an emergency savings and one missed paycheck can be catastrophic,” said UWEC CEO Kelly Jasen.  

    UWEC has the systems in place to get the funds to the most affected people as quickly as possible with a minimum amount of red tape.  Contributions will help UWEC accelerate their work and rapidly deploy resources to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community are supported.  “By giving to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, you are helping agencies deliver invaluable services.  Your gift can help keep a family’s utilities on, fill an emergency prescription for a college student, supplement a veteran’s food supply, or provide a working mother with a few extra hours of childcare,” said Jasen.

    Our neighbors need help – today and possibly for months to come.  UWEC Board Chair Dr. Alexis Tibbetts said, “During times of crisis, agencies are asked to do more with less staff and volunteer support.  Every donation and every volunteer hour matters.  It’s important that we work together to coordinate our efforts to ensure the most vulnerable families have the support they need.  This is our community, and this is our United Way.  Let’s each step up and play our part in building a healthier, stronger community.”

    To donate to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, text UWECrelief to 41444, visit www.united-way.org/relief, or mail a check with COVID-19 in the memo line to United Way Emerald Coast, 112 Tupelo Ave, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.

    All grants will be publicly disclosed on www.united-way.org/coronavirus-assistance within 10 days of grant award. To volunteer, please visit https://volunteeruwec.galaxydigital.com/. To connect with resources in our area, please contact Panhandle 211 by dialing 2-1-1, or 850-892-HELP (4357). 

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