The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is affecting Maricopa County in unprecedented ways, leaving many to find ways to secure food, childcare and rent money --- also causing local nonprofits to be faced with unforeseen demands and challenges.
In response to this challenge, Valley of the Sun United Way is working with local foundations, businesses, media organizations and others to create the new United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund, according to a press release.
Valley of the Sun United Way’s fund will allow local health and human services and education nonprofits, as well as school partners, the ability to address the county’s most pressing needs.
“This is an accelerated approach to how United Way works every day. We partner with nonprofits and schools to identify the most pressing needs, then mobilize the caring power of our community to meet those needs,” Valley of the Sun United Way President and CEO Carla Vargas Jasa said in a prepared statement.
“Today, our community needs resources that are available quickly and can be nimble to meet the fast-changing environment that many of Maricopa County’s health and human service and education organizations are facing right now.”
By working with its partner organizations that know and serve those most impacted by COVID-19, United Way will allocate funds to address the county’s most pertinent emerging needs in real time.
Recently, United Way had two virtual forums with over 100 representatives from its nonprofit partner agencies who shared needs, concerns, ideas and support for one another.
They are looking to United Way to continue to convene all concerned, and coordinate with corporate and individual donors to ensure services are provided to those who need them most, a release claims.
“This is a community-wide effort of epic proportions – and we are experiencing challenges that we have never seen before,” Michael Hughes, CEO of A New Leaf, said in a prepared statement.
“We are grateful that United Way has brought us all together to truly understand what we are facing as a community of nonprofits. This is the best way for us all to move forward, together, to fill immediate needs and eliminate the duplication of precious resources. We’re all doing our part to make sure those who need help maintain access to it.”
Nonprofits have been a part of the Valley community, especially for the families and individuals who need shelter, meals, financial stability and educational support for their kids and more.
Like many organizations and businesses across the nation, local nonprofits are feeling the economic impact of COVID-19 at the same time that requests for help are at record highs, a release claims.
“Our community’s situation is rapidly evolving. We believe it is our responsibility to assist in coordinating a response with our partners and help those who are experiencing the unforeseen pressures created by this pandemic. Help is on the way --- and our important and necessary work continues,” Valley of the Sun United Way Board of Directors Chair Jenny Holsman Tetreault said in a prepared statement.
“The resources our community members and nonprofits require most are changing on a daily basis, sometimes hourly, and the United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund provides a flexible resource to help with needs as they arise. We have a 95- year history of bringing people and organizations together to address the community’s most pressing needs – our community looks to us now more than ever.”
Over 650,000 households in Maricopa County struggled to meet their basic needs even before the coronavirus outbreak began, and the continued disruptions to school, business, large gatherings and events are making things even more difficult, a release claims.
Arizona Community Foundation and Valley of the Sun United Way are also joining forces in a coordinated effort to help nonprofits that are providing support services during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Arizona Community Foundation will continue with an emphasis on state-wide organizations through its Arizona COVID-19 Community Response Fund and will coordinate with Valley of the Sun United Way to ensure needs in Maricopa County are effectively and efficiently met.
To learn more about the United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund or to make a donation, visit https://vsuw.org/covid19fund or text UnitedFund to 51555.