ANN ARBOR, MI (July 2, 2020)- United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) announced its COVID-19 Community Relief Fund (Fund) has invested their final round of funding totaling $192,545 in grants to 13 nonprofit organizations and groups responding to critical needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in Washtenaw County. In total United Way invested $1,050,000 into the community and funded 64 grants to agencies and groups serving Washtenaw County. Grant investments ranged from $10,000 to $20,000.
This round of grants included additional supports to agencies who are still working toward virtual programming, and continuing to provide direct emergency financial assistance. While this was their final round of grants for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, they fully acknowledge their work is only just beginning and it is forever changed as a result of COVID-19.
“One of the things that became apparent to me during the pandemic is that we can, as an agency, go further, go deeper and go faster in community and that the institutionalized ways we had historically done things were not always the best or optimal for the community.” shared Pam Smith, President and CEO of UWWC. “As part of our on-going equity work moving forward I want to look at how the pandemic forced us to change and what did we learn while making those changes. We have so many new networks and we are deeper in the community than ever before so we will be intentional in moving forward to help our community thrive.”
Notable grants made in the final round include Synod Community Services for the purchase of PPE for staff providing essential human services to people with low incomes. The Ann Arbor Spanish Seventh-Day Adventist Church received support to address the immediate housing and food needs of the community. Additional grants continue to prioritized services in 48197/98 zip codes and rural areas to benefit people with low incomes, communities of color and to help nonprofits continue to transition service to a virtual environment.
"Our focus has shifted from sales of produce to restaurants to the bulk of what we grow winds up on the tables of those in our community. ," said Melvin Parson, Founder of We The People Opportunity Farm. "We The People Opportunity Farm thanks United Way for helping us serve those most impacted by food scarcity and local food produce scarcity."
For a full list of organizations awarded funding visit uwwashtenaw.org/covid-19-
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As part of our 99-year history, the United Way of Washtenaw County brings people, organizations and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone. Our focus areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability, the building blocks for a good quality of life, strengthen community and create opportunities for individuals and families. Our Volunteer Center provides an easy, online way for people to connect with nonprofits in the community and our 2-1-1 helpline refers more than 8,000 people annually to critically needed services. To learn more, donate, or volunteer, visit uwgive.org.