ALBANY – The second round of mini-grants from United Way of Southwest Georgia’s COVID-19 Community Relief Fund were awarded last week, the agency announced.

The community relief fund was launched to quickly address the economic challenges of COVID-19 by rapidly deploying resources to community-based organizations in need of funds to meet the immediate needs of individuals affected by the crisis. Under the direction of the distribution committee, the community relief fund was able to allocate $100,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations in the second round of funding. To date, $172,000 in grants have been awarded to local nonprofits.

The second round of funding focuses on meeting the most basic health and safety needs. The emergency needs within this round of funding respond to the impact areas of rent/mortgage assistance, access to food, access to shelter, utilities assistance, child care and safety to high risk individuals. Grant recipients for the second round went to Albany Area YMCA, Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center, Feeding the Valley, First United Methodist Church, Flint River Fresh, Greater Mitchell County Community Development, Hope City United, Mitchell County Children & Youth, New Visions Community Development Corporation, Open Arms, Safe Haven Outreach, SOWEGA Rising and St. Teresa’s Catholic Church. Each of these nonprofit organizations has demonstrated the ability and capacity to address needs and serve high-risk and vulnerable populations in their specified impact areas.

Support funds will be released on a rolling basis throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of this crisis, making it possible to deploy resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases. Applications for the third round of funding will be announced in the coming weeks.

To help combat the spread of COVID-19, United Way of Southwest Georgia also donated 7,000 masks to the city’s #MaskUpAlbany initiative to encourage citizens to wear masks in public as businesses start to re-open. Additionally, masks were also purchased to help Dougherty County School System staff resume emergency meal delivery earlier this month.

“We are extremely excited to be able to support these agencies that are providing the necessary relief for members in our communities who have been hit hard by COVID-19,” Demetrius Love, the United Way’s board co-chairman, said. “Here at United Way of Southwest Georgia, we embody the works spoken by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle over 2300 years ago, ‘What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good’.”

The generous contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals include Wildfair Plantation Family & Friends, Turner Foundation Inc., Betty & Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, McKenzie Foundation, Garnett Smith Foundation, J. Donald Childress Foundation, The Fisher Crum Foundation (in memory of Judge Nancy Stephenson), Community Foundation of South Georgia, The Golden Triangle RC&D, Georgia Power, Truist Foundation, UPS and others.

Individuals and families impacted and in need of support can contact United Way of Southwest Georgia by calling 2-1-1 to reach our Resource and Referral line or by texting their zip code to 898-211.

For more than 65 years, United Way of Southwest Georgia has been an innovative force in the community, successfully responding to emerging needs and transforming people’s lives. Today our work is focused on education, financial stability and health – the building blocks for a good life. We invest in quality programs, advocate for better policies, engage people in the community and generate resources.

United Way of Southwest Georgia serves a geographic territory of 13 counties including, Baker, Calhoun, Crisp, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Lee, Mitchell, Randolph, Sumter, Terrell, Wilcox and Worth. To learn more, visit www.unitedwayswga.org.

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