United Way of West Georgia has partnered with the Callaway Foundation and the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley to create a relief fund.
In response to the COVID-19 virus and the ensuing economic consequences of this outbreak, according to UWWG President Patty Youngblood, the Troup County Emergency Relief Fund was established to provide flexible resources to organizations in Troup County working with the most vulnerable citizens.
“Patty and I started a conversation about ways we might be able to partner together to help make things better for some of the people who are struggling,” Callaway Foundation President Tripp Penn said. “We talked about a three-way partnership to create a fund to support those communities that are most vulnerable. There’s a disproportionate impact on people living in poverty and people of color, who are more likely to get sick and more likely to die. We wanted to do something to support those communities.”
The Callaway Foundation has committed to offering a $50,000 matching grant for this fund. Contributions will be matched dollar for dollar up to $50,000.
“The United Way Board has voted to go ahead and donate $10,000, and the Truist Financial Foundation has also provided $2,600 that we opened the fund with,” Youngblood said. “We are excited for this.”
The United Way is managing the funds, and donations can be made at unitedwaywga.org/donation. If a business or company wants to join the coalition and provide a corporate gift, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make checks payable to United Way of West Georgia, Inc. and indicate that your gift should be directed to the Troup County Emergency Relief Fund – TCERF. Mail checks to United Way of West Georgia, Inc., Attn: Troup County Emergency Relief Fund, P.O. box 532, LaGrange, Georgia, 30241.
There is also a page for organizations to apply for the grant located on an online portal at unitedwaywga.org/donation/#grant-info.
“We are going to follow the United Way procedure, rather than giving funds to individuals, and will be funding primarily organizations that are well established,” Youngblood said. “Churches can apply, and it doesn’t have to be a United Way partner agency to apply for the funds. We will be making periodic distributions.”
Penn said they are going to try to have weekly grant review meetings to have a quick turnaround on grant requests.
“Early on, we really want to focus on those immediate needs of the disaster, things like food insecurity and housing instability, education and healthcare,” Penn said.
Applicants must be a 501©(3) organizations that help support and serve economically vulnerable populations.
“It’s a great chance for us to leverage the good that they’re doing and work together with the United Way and the Community Foundation,” Penn said. “Our trustees have a heart for the community, and they have absolutely been aware of and emphasized with people who’ve been sick and people who’ve lost loved ones and people who are struggling economically. This is not all we’re doing, and this is certainly not all United Way’s do it, but it’s, it’s something that we can do to help ease the burden for some of those families that are struggling.”
According to Youngblood, grantmaking decisions will be based on the amount of funding available and to the most vulnerable in the community.
Youngblood added that the grants would stay local.
“Even though it is at our website, this is a separate fund,” Youngblood said. “That way, if in the future something happens, we’ve got the mechanism set up, and all the money will be dedicated to what that relief needs to be.”
Both Youngblood and Penn said they hope organizations that can and have the means, donate to the relief fund to help the nonprofits who need it most.