COVID-19 Community Response Fund Seeks Donors to Meet Ongoing Needs
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund, hosted in partnership by the Athens Area Community Foundation and United Way of Northeast Georgia, is seeking donations after its fourth round of funding was completed, according to President and CEO of United Way of Northeast Georgia Kay Keller.
“We’re calling on all local philanthropists and all community members to consider continuing to give to the Community Response Fund. The needs are still here in the community, and this fund is in place to help meet those needs associated with this pandemic in the most efficient way. As the pandemic has gone on, it really has affected a lot of people across the board and certainly this is a time that we need to pull together even more so than any other time to be able to help our community and those in need,” says Keller.
The fourth round of funding distributed $72,000 to fourteen different school districts in the twelve-county region served by the response fund. The money will aid school re-opening efforts in the months to come, providing personal protective equipment and thermometers, and preparing mental and emotional support resources for students.
The response fund distributes donations to organizations based on data collected by United Way’s 211 service line as well as the Athens Wellbeing Project. According to Keller, collected data demonstrates tremendous need in the twelve-county area: “Those needs that we’re seeing are food, shelter, financial assistance for housing, unemployment and helping find jobs, and mental health challenges. We are seeing these needs in all demographics, including the needs of children and youth. We’re seeing it with elderly. We’re seeing it with all income levels.”
The fund has distributed about $268,000 so far, and Keller highlights the generosity of the local community. “The need is tremendous but the giving has also been tremendous,” she says.