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Assisting local communities through United Way

Assisting local communities through United Way

For over 130 years, United Way has been on the front lines of disaster response, delivering high-demand resources to communities in need and providing individuals with personalized help in crisis situations. In the midst of the current pandemic, United Way is mobilizing its network ― which covers 95% of communities across the U.S. ― to help keep families in their homes, food banks stocked and critical social services running.

The Nationwide Foundation has contributed a total of $1 million to the COVID-19 funds for United Way Worldwide and local United Ways in several communities. The grantshelp United Way directly support the growing demand for critical services and provide grants to nonprofits who deliver them. Here’s how some of Nationwide's United Way partners are taking action:

United Way California Capital Region (Sacramento)

Established a fund to make direct payments of $500 to families for basic needs and working with nonprofit partners to find and qualify families as well as provide additional services, including food, rental and medication assistance. Families will get funds within 48 hours of applying and can take advantage of a network of support to help move them out of poverty.

Mile High United Way (Denver)

Expanding 211 Help Center staff to serve as the statewide COVID-19 helpline to connect under-resourced individuals with food, shelter, rental assistance; childcare and other critical services. And its United Business Advisory Council is working to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Valley of the Sun United Way (Phoenix)

Created a fund to prioritize organizations providing immediate relief to local families and communities. Funding will help organizations address gaps, changes in service delivery and/or increased demand for food, housing, utilities, transportation, childcare, education and health services resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Central Ohio United Ways

Grants to United Way of Central Ohio, United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties, and United Ways in Delaware, Fairfield, Licking and Union counties will help nonprofits in those communities provide basic needs, food and meal delivery, shelter and cleaning supplies, among other support to offset reduced donations and volunteer challenges.

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (Harleysville)

Providing grants of up to $50,000 to nonprofits that provide domestic violence shelter, food, housing, medication assistance, services for seniors and immigrant groups, and protection for medical workers.

United Way of the Greater Triangle (Raleigh)

Created Rapid Response Fund to collect and disburse funds faster to community organizations whose services are most needed, essentially those serving vulnerable populations such as the homeless, elderly, families in poverty and children who rely on school meals.

“During challenging times, it’s inspiring to see long-time partners like Nationwide commit to supporting individuals and families in need,” said Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “The Nationwide Foundation’s donation will bolster local United Way efforts to offer food and financial assistance, ensure people get connected to locally available resources, and bring hope where it’s needed most. People’s futures will be brighter because of everything that Nationwide is doing to support our communities and help them come back stronger than ever.”

Click here to see how United Ways everywhere are supporting their communities through this crisis. 

Learn more about 211

Much of United Way’s disaster support is linked to 211, the critical go-resource that operates 24/7 across the U.S. and Canada to connect people with locally available resources. In the U.S., calls to 211 for help have increased 200-400% since late February, shifting recently from being health-focused to requests for essentials like food, financial assistance and housing. The 211 network is answering more than 75,000 calls per day, compared to its usual 35,000 calls per day. At the current rate, 211 will handle as many requests for help in six months as the network typically handles in an entire year.