United Way Releases First Round of Coronavirus Funding

United Way of the Ozarks has announced the release of funding to nonprofit partner agencies involved in fighting issues related to COVID-19 and the stay at home lockdown.

United Way officials met with agency partners on March 16 to discuss how their agencies were working to address the outbreak. Many partners noted issues with funding shortfalls and expressed concerns that their critical supplies, including food, could run out in the midst of increased need. That’s when the United Way created their Coronavirus Response Fund.

“United Way of the Ozarks is proud to play this role.  It’s our job to step up and assist our partner agencies who are serving the most vulnerable in our community,” Greg Burris, President & CEO, said in a statement.  “Every dollar invested in our Coronavirus Response Fund will be used to support our partner agencies.  But we can only meet this need if everyone participates.”

Great Southern Bank started the fund with a $15,000 donation. When the United Way had to cancel their Annual Meeting and turn it to a virtual meeting because of outbreak, many ticket holders donated the cost of their tickets to the fund.

The following organizations received funding from the first round of Coronavirus Respond Fund grants:

  • Bobby & Betty Allison Ozarks Counseling Center – $150 for two months of internet service to provide telehealth services.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield – $5,000 to assist club families with childcare expenses, temporary utility assistance , and clothing and hygiene items.
  • Harmony House – $4,000 for operational supplies such as paper goods, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, and medical supplies while residents are under the stay-at-home order.
  • Lutheran Family & Children Services – $5,000 to assist with rent, utilities, and groceries for low-income clients, including those receiving counseling on pregnancy, adoption, and foster care.
  • The Kitchen, Inc./Rare Breed – $5,000 to purchase bed and mattress sets, to provide internet service for remote schooling for the Springfield Public Schools students currently living in the emergency shelter, , and to purchase forehead thermometers.
  • The Salvation Army of Springfield – $5,000 to provide food for their emergency feeding programs and for food distribution, to fund extended staff hours, and to meet the increased need for rental assistance.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our partner agencies,” Burris said.  “They serve clients throughout our 14-county region. But this is just the start.  This is a marathon; not a sprint.  And these needs will continue for months.  We hope everyone in our community who is able will accept our “Community Challenge” and give $20.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to the fund can do so through the United Way of the Ozarks website.

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