FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Allison Dillow
Director of Marketing & Engagement
United Way of Washington County, MD
301.739.8200 x 104
United Way & Community Foundation of Washington County Partner to Launch COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund
HAGERSTOWN, MD (March 31, 2020) – United Way of Washington County, in collaboration with the Community Foundation of Washington County and other distinguished partners in the philanthropic funding community, is launching the Washington County COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. This emergency assistance fund will support Washington County community-based organizations and partners who directly help those adversely effected by the COVID-19 crisis. In the weeks and months ahead, the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund will provide additional capacity to community-based organizations in Washington County. This fund will deliver economic assistance and access to vital food and basic need supplies to the many children, families and households who already have and will be impacted by the temporary loss of income. The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund may also be deployed to strengthen our community’s ability to prepare for and respond to a variety of health and other emergencies, as well as to support programs and initiatives that are focused on fighting for the health, education, basic needs and financial stability of our community. Donations made to the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund will support efforts to provide relief to people impacted by coronavirus and its effect on our community.
As our community, state and nation implements plans to address COVID-19, many in the area who are living in or near poverty often lack disposable income, and cannot afford a day without pay, or to seek medical attention when they or their children may need it. The virus and its after-effects will be another source of stress on already vulnerable members of the community. Nearly 23,000 or 42% of households in Washington County are considered A-L-I-C-E (asset limited, income constrained, employed) or, for lack of a better term, the working poor.
The goal of the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is to raise as much money as possible to deliver positive outcomes for severely affected individuals and families. The Community Foundation has secured $90,000 in matching grants in less than two days. The initial goal for the Emergency Assistance Fund will be $180,000, but it’s anticipated that community need will be in excess of this amount. The campaign will continue until the COVID-19 crisis has diminished. United Way of Washington County will waive all processing fees and all campaign funding will go to those most in need. To ensure maximum impact, the funding community is banding together to ensure that 100% of donations are distributed appropriately throughout the community.
“We fear the inevitable, the near and long-term impact of the coronavirus will surely have long lasting implications across all sectors, and will disproportionately affect those earning hourly wages, those without health insurance or access to child care, and those already living in poverty. The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is here to serve the critical needs of our most vulnerable neighbors as we work together in response to the coronavirus, as well as look ahead to ensure inclusion of those furthest behind, who may otherwise face the worst effects of the pandemic in the months ahead." - Heather Guessford, UWWC President & CEO.
Collaborative partners in the philanthropic funding community include the Pauline K. Anderson Foundation, Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation, Community Foundation of Washington County, MD, God’s Grace Fund, Hershey Family Foundation, Ed and Betsy Beachley, Dr. and Mrs. Mitesh and Erin Kothari, Kevin and Stacey Crawford, Todd & Sue Baer, Adna Fulton Family Fund and others who believe that a coordinated response will ensure maximum impact for critical services.
Gifts to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Campaign can be made at www.unitedwaywashcounty.org, by mailing a check to United Way of Washington County, 83 West Washington Street, Suite 101, Hagerstown, MD 21740 or texting COVIDWashCo to 313131 or by calling 301.739.8200 x104.
United Way of Washington County, MD inspires collaborations to impact community improvement. United Way is located at 83 West Washington Street, Suite 101 in Hagerstown, MD. For more information or to make a donation please call 301-739-8200 or visit our website at www.unitedwaywashcounty.org. To find volunteer opportunities please visit http://volunteer.unitedwaywashcounty.org/.