Early in March of 2020, the United Way of Franklin County (UWFC) made the strategic decision to create a COVID-19 Relief Fund to help families that were affected by the COVID-19 virus.
“We knew early on that families would need help because of a furlough, decreased work hours or even job loss, stated Executive Director Kelly Bulmer. “During our 2019 campaign, we started something new, we campaigned for basic needs of families that fall between the cracks, we refer to them in the United Way world as ALICE (asset limited income constrained employed) families. We partnered with the SIEOC to create the Emergent Needs Fund, to help working families afford the basics like rent, utilities, food, childcare, and transportation.”
With local donors and a grant, the Emergent Needs Fund began in February. It was not long after that the COVID-19 virus outbreak occurred. Bulmer realized their focus on ALICE families would be even more impactful and soon fundraising on Facebook spurred the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
“We’ve raised nearly $28,000 since March, Franklin County never fails to step up when there is a need”, said Dawn Rosenberger, President of UWFC.
Recently, Bulmer presented SIEOC with a check for $5,000 to aid families that have been affected by the COVID-19 virus.
Bulmer is currently working with other community partners to address the needs of families affected by COVID-19 in Franklin County. “I will have more good news in regard to this fund very soon,” she stated.
So far there have been three distributions from the COVID-19 Relief Fund, $500 to Red Life Food Pantry, $1500 to SIEOC Food Pantry and most recently $5000 to SIEOC for COVID-19 Relief for Families. Bulmer encourages anyone that is struggling to afford rent, utilities, or childcare to schedule an appointment at the SIEOC office to apply for funding.
You can still give to the COVID-19 Relief Fund or the 2019 UWFC campaign online at www.uwfcin.org, on UWFC Facebook page or through the mail at PO Box 105 Brookville, IN.
The United Way of Franklin County has served the community for the last 30 years assessing needs, uniting partner agencies, organizations and volunteers and devoting our financial resources and efforts to the most critical needs.