FUNDING TO ADDRESS URGENT SERVICE NEEDS
United Way of the Ozarks recognizes the strain its nonprofit partner agencies are under and releases the first round of funding from their Coronavirus Response Fund.
United Way of the Ozarks met (via Zoom) with their agency partners on March 16 to discuss how agencies planned to address the Coronavirus crisis. Many partners noted that their finances would be stretched to the limit and concerns were expressed about funding shortfalls and the need for critical supplies, including food. To address the anticipated need, United Way of the Ozarks quickly created the Coronavirus Respond Fund.
“United Way of the Ozarks is proud to play this role. It’s our job to step up and assist our partner agencies who are serving the most vulnerable in our community,” said Greg Burris, President & CEO. “Every dollar invested in our Coronavirus Response Fund will be used to support our partner agencies. But we can only meet this need if everyone participates.” Great Southern Bank generously contributed a lead gift of $15,000 to the fund. Like many other nonprofits, United Way of the Ozarks had to transition its Annual Meeting to a virtual experience, and the majority of table and ticketholders donated their ticket refunds to the Coronavirus Response Fund.
United Way of the Ozarks has been working with Community Partnership of the Ozarks and Community Foundation of the Ozarks to create a master needs list. United Way has also been hosting weekly Zoom meetings with the CEOs of its partner agencies and providing supplies to meet critical needs.
On Monday, April 13, United Way of the Ozarks announced that the first round of funding was issued to the following organizations:
• Bobby & Betty Allison Ozarks Counseling Center – $150 for two months of internet service to provide telehealth services.
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield – $5,000 to assist club families with childcare expenses, temporary utility assistance , and clothing and hygiene items.
• Harmony House – $4,000 for operational supplies such as paper goods, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, and medical supplies while residents are under the stay-at-home order.
• Lutheran Family & Children Services – $5,000 to assist with rent, utilities, and groceries for low-income clients, including those receiving counseling on pregnancy, adoption, and foster care.
• The Kitchen, Inc./Rare Breed – $5,000 to purchase bed and mattress sets, to provide internet service for remote schooling for the Springfield Public Schools students currently living in the emergency shelter, , and to purchase forehead thermometers.
• The Salvation Army of Springfield – $5,000 to provide food for their emergency feeding programs and for food distribution, to fund extended staff hours, and to meet the increased need for rental assistance.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our partner agencies,” added Burris. “They serve clients throughout our 14-county region. But this is just the start. This is a marathon; not a sprint. And these needs will continue for months. We hope everyone in our community who is able will accept our “Community Challenge” and give $20.”
This is just the beginning; United Way of the Ozarks is issuing a challenge to those who are willing and able to make a $20 contribution to the Coronavirus Response Fund.
– Challenge your friends and family on Facebook and other social media to make donations to the Coronavirus Response Fund by texting SGFresponds to 41444 or donate online at uwozarks.org
– See a list of needs by organization and donate items by visiting the United Way website – uwozarks.org/covid19. .
– Continue to support nonprofits in the Ozarks. The added burden of helping those in need is greater now than ever.