United Way sets up community response fund

As schools and businesses continue to shut down in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, many children and families are left wondering how they'll cover basic needs such as rent, mortgage, childcare and food. 

With many Utahns currently experiencing financial and other daily life concerns, multiple United Ways of Utah have joined forces to make sure those on limited resources can find help.

“The United Ways of Utah have set up a COVID-19 Community Response Fund to help families affected by the effort to stop the spread of the virus,” said Bill Hulterstrom, president and CEO of United Way of Utah County. “The fund is designed to ensure that economically vulnerable Utahns have the help they need to cover basics such as rent, mortgage, childcare and food.”

The fund will support Utah 211’s statewide partners that connect families to resources for the following:

  • Rental assistance or mortgage payment assistance
  • Crisis nurseries and child care providers
  • Healthcare services
  • Food and hygiene needs
  • 211 information and referral

“The Utah County community has a history of coming together when we are facing difficult times,” Hulterstrom said. “This fund is a way for all of us to take care of each other and make sure those in real need have access to help and support.”

Businesses and individuals have already stepped up to start building the fund coffers.

“I was so excited when Nu Skin called to ask how they could help,” said Janie Brigman, corporate engagement and marketing director of United Way of Utah County. “Nu Skin will be donating $15,000 to the Community Fund to support Utah County individuals and families. It is also great to see even small businesses like Virtual Crown Productions & Consulting jump in to donate $2,000 to their local community.”

Karen McCandless, executive director of Community Action Services and Food Bank, said her organization is on the front lines with emergency food, shelter and housing services and is ready to share its expertise during the effects of COVID-19.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with United Way of Utah County and the community to determine needs for the COVID Response Community Fund,” she said.

For more information or to donate, dial 211 or visit http://unitedwayuc.org/COVID-19.

Those seeking assistance can dial 211 from any phone, text their zip code to 898-211, or visit http://211utah.org for help.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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