Donations Now Accepted; United Way and Local Nonprofits Collaborate to Assess Immediate and Potentially Long-term Needs Addressing Lapses in Food, Income, Childcare and More
https://vsuw.org/covid19fund or text UnitedFund to 51555
PHOENIX — The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is affecting Maricopa County in unprecedented ways. This leaves many families and individuals struggling more than ever with how to secure food, childcare, and rent money – also causing local nonprofits to be faced with unforeseen demands and challenges.
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’, which its local health and human services and education nonprofits, and school partners, will be able to utilize 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,” said Valley of the Sun United Way President and CEO Carla Vargas Jasa. “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 quickly allocate funds to address the county’s most pertinent emerging needs in real time. This week, United Way held two virtual forums with more than 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.
“This is a community-wide effort of epic proportions – and we are experiencing challenges that we have never seen before,” said Michael Hughes, CEO of A New Leaf, which provides a broad spectrum of services that help individuals and families experiencing homelessness and more. “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 long been an essential part of the vibrant and growing 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, our local nonprofits are feeling the economic impact of COVID-19 at the same time that requests for help are at record highs.
“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,” said Valley of the Sun United Way Board of Directors Chair, Jenny Holsman Tetreault. “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.”
More than 650,000 households spanning 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.
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.
To contribute to the Arizona Community Foundation, visit www.azfoundation.org/covid19.
Mesa United Way has also launched a Fund specific to needs in that community and is collaborating with the ‘United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund’ to ensure a communitywide response. If you live in Mesa and would like to donate to that fund, visit www.mesaunitedway.org.
About Valley of the Sun United Way
United Way is celebrating 95 years of meeting the most pressing needs of Maricopa County. Valley of the Sun United Way unifies diverse partners, donors, business supporters, nonprofits, government and faith-based communities to build a stronger Valley for us all. United Way and its 90,000 donors, 400 business supporters and 5,000 volunteers fight to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring children and youth succeed, ending hunger and homelessness, and increasing the financial stability of families. Join the fight, visit vsuw.org.