COVID192020-04-23T17:57:00+00:00

COVID-19 Relief Fund for Southwest Virginia Communities

A Resiliency and Social Innovation Initiative for Southwest Virginia

United Way of Southwest Virginia has established the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a resiliency and social innovation initiative.  A regional community organization focused on improving health, education, and economic mobility, United Way of Southwest Virginia will respond to the needs of our communities experiencing detrimental economic effects related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

United Way of Southwest Virginia has formed a regional advisory council comprised of donors to the fund, business and nonprofit organizations, and health and human service agencies to develop the response strategy for Southwest Virginia.  United Way of Southwest Virginia will form strategic public-private partnerships with community organizations to meet the needs of individuals affected. Both immediate and long-term, these efforts will focus response efforts on vulnerable populations, including children, families, and the ALICE population.  ALICE, an acronym coined by United Way that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed represents men, women, and families who work hard and earn more than the official Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living. 

You may make your gift online at https://unitedwayswva.org/covid19/ or mail your gift to United Way of Southwest Virginia, COVID-19 Relief Fund, P.O. Box 644, Abingdon, VA 24212.  For questions, please contact Mary Anne Holbrook, Director of Community Relations at (276) 525-4075.

Donors to the COVID-19 Relief Fund

COVID-19 Southwest Virginia Resource Guide

Download  our COVID-19 Southwest Virginia Resource Guide and share these resources with those that need them most.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the COVID-19 Relief Fund be used to support?

The COVID-19 Relief Fund will be used to support community organizations who are working to meet the needs of individuals affected by the pandemic. These needs will likely fall into two categories: immediate and long-term.

Who will decide how the funds are distributed?

United Way of Southwest Virginia has formed an advisory council. The advisory council will help form the strategy for the disbursement of these funds to community organizations working to meet the needs of individuals affected by the pandemic.

Who is on the advisory council?

Reverend Barbara Farmer, Associate Pastor, Pleasant View United Methodist Church
Michael Quillen, Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Council, and Former Chairman/Founder of Alpha Natural Resources
Travis Staton, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia
Mary Begley, United Way Board Chair, and External Affairs Manager of Appalachian Power
Delegate Israel O’Quinn, Virginia House of Delegates
Michelle McPheron, Senior Nurse Manager of LENOWISCO Health District
Dennis Carter, Ed.D., Smyth County Schools Superintendent
Marty Holliday, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board
Aleta Spicer, Executive Director of Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board
Tommy Casteel, Co-Chair of the COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Council, and Former Director for the Virginia Department of Social Services Western Regional Offices
Dan Counts, Senior Vice President and Customer Engagement / Community Service of New Peoples Bank
Sandy Ratliff, Assistant Vice President/Community Impact Advisor of Virginia Community Capital, Inc.
Jonathan D. Sweet, ICMA-CM and Pulaski County Administrator
Susan White, Director of Senior Volunteer Services of Clinch Valley Community Action, Inc.
Jennifer Lilly, Director of Virginia Department of Social Services, Western Region
Scott Robertson, Editor of The Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA
Todd Norris, Ballad Health Senior VP, Community Health & System Advancement
Tim McVey, Human Resources Manager of Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company
Donna P. Henry, Ph.D., Chancellor, University of Virginia’s College at Wise
Paul Hoyle, Emergency Services Coordinator, Grayson County

Is my gift to the COVID-19 Relief Fund tax deductible?

Gifts to United Way of Southwest Virginia are tax deductible. Consult your tax professional for what this means to you.

Will my gift to the COVID-19 Relief Fund remain local?

Yes, all money donated to support the COVID-19 Relief Fund will be used to support community organizations right here in Southwest Virginia working to meet the needs of individuals affected by the pandemic.

Will there be an administrative rate or fundraising fee for gifts to the COVID-19 Relief Fund?

United Way has secured funding to help support the administrative and fundraising costs associated with this emergency response campaign. 100% of your donation will be to support response efforts in Southwest Virginia.

What does Resiliency and Social Innovation Fund really mean?

Southwest Virginia is both resilient and socially innovative. Our region has always come together to solve challenges to improve our communities and our future. The days to come are uncertain, but, together, we will support strategies leading to resilience. We know that we are innovators in this region. There is no doubt that new strategies will be developed to respond to the needs of our region.

I am in need of assistance, because I have been impacted by the pandemic. Who should I contact?

United Way of Southwest Virginia does not provide direct assistance to individuals. United Way of Southwest Virginia will be using the funds from the COVID-19 Relief Fund to support organizations who are working to meet the needs of people experiencing the effects of the pandemic. If you need direct assistance, such as help with food for your family, paying a utility bill, paying a medical bill, or other basic needs, please contact 211 Virginia at www.211virginia.org or call 2-1-1 from your phone.

COVID-19 Related Press Releases

Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council Announces Second Major Disbursement of Funds

June 2nd, 2020|

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), the Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council will provide a total of $85,000 that will be available to Southwest Virginia families experiencing the financial tolls of the global pandemic.

Survey reveals smaller entities were less likely to receive payroll protection assistance

May 8th, 2020|

The primary reason respondents stated for not getting funding was that funds were not available or had already been used up.

United Way of Southwest Virginia Receives Support from Crutchfield and Kroger for the Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Relief Fund

May 1st, 2020|

United Way of Southwest Virginia accepted donations of $20,000 from Crutchfield, as well as $5,000 in the form of grocery gift cards from Kroger. These gifts will be used to support citizens and communities in Southwest Virginia most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council Announces First Major Disbursement of Funds

April 27th, 2020|

The Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council announced the first major disbursement of funds raised. In partnership with Feeding Southwest Virginia, the Advisory Council will provide a total of $50,000 in food relief to 1,000 families across Southwest Virginia.

Delta Dental Donates to the Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Relief Fund

April 21st, 2020|

United Way of Southwest Virginia is the recipient of a $25,000 Delta Dental of Virginia grant for the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The grant will be used to support citizens and communities in Southwest Virginia most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional Relief Fund Distributes an Estimated 1,400 Food City Gift Cards

April 20th, 2020|

Made possible by a generous donation from Eastman Credit Union, The United Way Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Relief Fund announces its first distribution of funding that will go to purchase Food City gift cards to be distributed to families in the region who have been affected by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Survey Responses

United Way of Southwest Virginia and community partners distributed a survey to community partners, including nonprofits and child care centers, between March 23, 2020 and April 8, 2020. We received responses from 167 individuals.  More than half of the child care agencies that responded to the survey have closed as a result of the current pandemic.  The survey showed that the greatest need people in the region face is food, followed closely by child care.  The survey also revealed that almost 60% of the agencies that completed the survey have less than 90 days of operating funds available.

Charts showing the questions and responses can be viewed here.