Greetings From the Director
COVID19. Safer at home. Quarantine. Home-schooling. Closed businesses. Lay-offs. Social Distancing. Empty Shelves. Face Masks. These are unsettling times. These are uncharted times. Yet the need for United Way services continues and in fact are magnified during these times. To better meet the needs of the community impacted by the COVID19 epidemic United Way of Lee County instituted the COVID19 Crisis Relief fund to directly help working families facing job lay-offs or reduced work hours due to the virus and current regulations. Companies and individuals can donate directly to this fund from our website www.UnitedWayOfLeeCounty.com The health and well-being of both staff and clients are a major priority at this time and steps have been put in place to have appointments via phone and documents submitted electronically. If you or someone you know has been impacted by COVID19 and needs additional assistance, please have them call us at United Way.
As the economy continues to open up we encourage you to make wise decisions and remember to practice good sanitation principals. Thank you to all of our healthcare workers, those of you working on the front lines, and those of you who are keeping our economy going. United, together, we will get through this!
Becky
United Way Direct Service Response
At United Way we have been closely monitoring the COVID19 pandemic, and as with any crisis in our community, we are here to support those whose basic needs have been impacted. We have been working with our community partners and agencies to help with access to food, medication, and other needs through our 2-1-1 Community Connections resource and referral line. 2-1-1 has received approximately 1720 COVID19 related calls during this time. Our COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund is helping Lee County residents who have had a loss of wages. This fund helps with expenses like rent and utility bills. We are grateful to have received generous donations to this fund through United Way Worldwide, the Alabama Power Foundation, MAX Credit Union, the Daniel Foundation, Wells Fargo, Publix, and the Truist Foundation. Through our virtual application process, we have been able to assist 26 families with approximately $12,170 of rent and utility assistance since this pandemic began. We will continue to make this program available until resources are exhausted.

If you or someone you know needs assistance through United Way’s Community Crisis Fund, call 334-745-5540 ext. 123.
Lee County Food Response
The Lee County Feeding program was implemented due to school closures and layoffs as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. With guidance from the Food Bank of East Alabama, this effort was put into motion by many organizations and individuals who came together to create and implement a plan to assist those in Lee County with limited access to food during this time. For 8 weeks now, all Lee County families with children 18 years or younger in the home have been able to register through a website or through 211 to receive a food box. The boxes hold both perishable and non-perishable items that are meant to supplement a family for up to 7 days. The distribution days have been once a week with pickup sites in Auburn, Beauregard, Beulah, Loachapoka, Opelika, and Smiths Station. This program has no income restrictions and was created to fill a gap for both families who may regularly need food assistance through school lunch programs and for families who are new to needing some assistance to make ends meet during this time.
The partners in this program have worked each week to reassess the community feeding needs to make sure the biggest and most urgent needs are being met. At this time approximately 1500 boxes have been distributed, and within United Way 2-1-1 has answered approximately 443 calls for food assistance or food registration. Next week, the program will move to a distribution every other Wednesday to account for the changing needs and resources. There is a cap of 250 boxes per distribution. United Way and all the other partner agencies involved will continue to do all we can for food insecure families, for as long as we are able.
For more information on food assistance available in Lee County or to register for the next available food box go to leecountyfoods.com

Organizations involved in the effort include:
Alabama Rural Ministries
Auburn United Methodist Church
Auburn Wesley Foundation
City of Smiths Station
East Alabama Medical Center
Freedom Life Worship Center
First Baptist Church Opelika
First United Methodist Church Opelika
Food Bank of East Alabama
Lee County Commission
Lee County Emergency Management Agency
Lee County Schools
Loachapoka United Methodist Church
Opelika City Schools
Providence Baptist Church
United Way of Lee County
Stuff the Bus
United Way is already gearing up for Stuff the Bus! This is our annual school supply drive and distribution, which benefits children attending Auburn City, Lee County and Opelika City schools. Stuff the Bus may look a little different this year with COVID19 creating some unknown factors, but we are committed to helping provide schools supplies for as many children as possible in Lee County.
How Can You Help?

  • Donate supplies through our Amazon wish list by clicking here.
  • Host a collection box at your business during the month of July.
  • Donate supplies at one of our collection locations during the month of July.
  • Volunteer to help pack backpacks.

For more information contact Chandler Williams at
chandler@unitedwayofleecounty.com or 334.745.5540.