A special campaign by the Daviess County United Way to put together a special fund to help people impacted by COVID-19 is winding down. The United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund has managed to raise $8,755 in about 40 days.
"The United Way is in the forefront of the community at times like these and we feel like this project is our duty," said Daviess County United Way Executive Director Zella Taylor.
The project is designed to raise funds that can then be turned into mini-grants that community agencies can use to help people impacted directly or indirectly by the pandemic.
Taylor admits that with the stock market falling and people getting laid off, this is both a tough and necessary time to try and build such a fund.
"People are scared right now," she said. "They don't want to let go of something they fear they might need later. We understand that."
Taylor says that despite the worries and limitations that several businesses, organizations and individuals stepped up with donations including $2,500 from Old National Bank, $2,000 from the Community Foundation, Rotary $1,000, Jim and Sue Pearson $1,000 and $500 from the Baird Foundation.
She notes many members of the local United Way Board and other community members contributed.
"We really haven't been able to see all of the effects of what has happened because of the COVID-19," said Taylor. "It's going to be a ripple effect. You know it is going to come. You know it is going to be there.The repercussions are there. You know we are going to feel it, but it is hard to give to something that you don't see today. We know people are laid off and sick and we are looking to fill in that gap."
While the Facebook campaign portion of the fundraiser is winding down, donations can still be made through the mail. Checks for the project can be made out to the Daviess County United Way, with the notation that they are for the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Those can be sent to the United Way at P.O. Box 224, Washington, IN 47501.
Local leaders are hopeful that the money raised and the efforts to help the victims of the pandemic may put them in a position to seek a grant for a much larger sum of money so that they can do even more.
"We are applying for a large grant and they expect the local United Way to have something in place showing we can handle dollars coming in and getting them back to organizations and people who need them."