The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging and uncertain times for all of us, but there is also so much hope and optimism surrounding us.
Our staff, donors and volunteers are playing a game-changing role in a fight for the education, health, and financial stability of every person in our community – something that is needed now more than ever before.
WHAT WE KNOW: Our non-profit partners are on the front-line of providing support to individuals during this crisis, but the reality is they were working hard to meet the needs of those individuals before the crisis, let alone the significant numbers that need their support now.
Through 2-1-1 and direct conversations with our partners, we know the most critical needs right now are for housing and food assistance, transportation, basic needs such as diapers and prescriptions, and childcare.
HOW WE’RE RESPONDING: To help, we’re continuing our monthly disbursements to all our currently funded partners and have already released more than $8,000 in emergency funds from our COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. These dollars are being used immediately to help care for our most vulnerable neighbors.
WHAT WE’RE WORKING ON:
- 211- Across the state, we’ve seen a 60% increase in calls since the crisis began. Locally, we are working around the clock to make sure we have the most up-to-date resources and information available to callers.
- Masks4WV- We’ve partnered with Senator Manchin and other United Ways across the state for the Masks program. We’ve setup three collection sites in Fairmont and Grafton and have been distributing masks to agencies and healthcare facilities. We’ve already distributed over 200 masks to our partners and those in need. If you know of other agencies or organizations that are in need of masks, please let us know and we can add them to our list. If you are able to sew, we encourage you to get to work. We have supplies and can help with materials if needed.
- Homeless Coalition- We’ve been working directly with the members of the homeless coalition to identify shelter options for those that remain unsheltered during the pandemic. We are also working to bring hand washing stations and porta-johns to downtown. We know this group remains a very high risk for contracting the virus, so we are working to come up with a way to keep them safe.
- Hand Sanitizer- We have purchased 15 gallons of hand sanitizer from a local vendor in West Virginia that has been producing in house. We will be preparing smaller bottles of the sanizer over the next week that can then be distributed to first responders, individuals on the front lines, and our agencies that are doing crucial work.
- Repurposed Supplies- We’ve worked to repurpose thousands of items from local healthcare and small business facilities that are not operational to agencies providing services currently.
- VolunteerMTC- We are working with our agencies to request volunteer needs and donation requests so that we can compile them into one list for community members and businesses looking to be involved.
- Wish List- We are also working to compile a wish list of items that are needed by healthcare and social service agencies at this time. This will be one of the easiest ways to give back, so we are hoping a single list will allow individuals to donate items quicker and more efficiently.
- #ThankfulWV- We’ve partnered with our state United Ways to promote positivity online and encourage West Virginians to give thanks to those on the front lines protecting and keeping our state moving. Individuals are encouraged to share pictures and videos showing their gratitude and use the hashtag #ThanksfulWV to share across the state.
We hope to keep you updated about how this crisis is impacting our work and the community we serve as things evolve over the coming weeks and months.
As always, if you or someone you know needs help, please call 2-1-1 or text your Zip Code to 898-211. Our specialists are available 24/7, 365 days a year.
If you are able, we encourage you to make a gift to the Response and Recovery fund so we can put it to work immediately. You can donate at http://bit.ly/covid-uwmtc.
At times like this, we need community more than ever. Thank you for being part of this life-changing work. We couldn’t do it without you. We are #BetterTogether!