United Way used $500K to help local partners with tornado and COVID-19 relief

Sep 16, 2020 at 07:00 am by United Way

Janet Kincherlow-Martin and Dave Tincher present General Mills' donation to Meagan Flippin, president of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. (Submitted)

In the last six months, the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties has administered a total of $546,796 in special grants through the Tornado Relief Fund, COVID-19 Relief Fund, and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP). The United Way created the two special funds and administered the EFSP grant to respond to the emerging needs of our community.

The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties established the Tornado Relief Fund to assist neighboring communities impacted by the devastating March 3, 2020, storms. The United Way raised $152,953, which was granted to eight nonprofit organizations in Davidson, Wilson and Putnam counties. Funds were used to provide home repairs, rent and mortgage assistance, medications, food, and clothing.

“Funds generously donated from individuals all over the United States provided relief to Middle Tennesseans during their darkest hour. One story of impact that really stood out to me was about a single mom with two young kids. Her children’s daycare was destroyed by the early March tornado. She was forced to take off from work which resulted in reduced wages. Because of the generosity of donors to the Tornado Relief Fund, she received rent assistance and prevented eviction for her family,” said Dan Caldwell, Vice President of Collective Impact and Strategic Initiatives of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

On March 17, 2020, the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to benefit local nonprofits providing direct services to individuals out of work as a result of the pandemic. The United Way provided 11 grants to local nonprofit organizations which totaled $94,970 in relief funds. The top three corporate contributors of the COVID-19 Relief Fund were: General Mills, Truist (formerly Suntrust Bank and BB&T Bank), and UPS.

“These funds have helped families stay in their homes, provided meals for the elderly, allowed domestic violence victims an opportunity for safe shelter, provided pro bono counseling sessions for those suffering from mental health issues, and allowed children to have safe and structured programming while their parents are working,” said Meagan Flippin, President and CEO of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

In addition, $298,873 was awarded to Rutherford and Cannon counties to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county under Phase 37 of the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP) and the CARES Act.

EFSP was established by Congress in 1983, in response to the 1982 Recession. The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Salvation Army, and United Way Worldwide. A local board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas.

For more information, please visit www.yourlocaluw.org.


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