Since March, your United Way team has been working tirelessly in an attempt to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable community members by increasing our efforts and ensuring the entire community has the information everyone needs.

Some of the work our team has implemented behind the scenes includes, but is not limited to:
  • United We Care - We launched the United We Care Emergency Relief Fund, which supports our Community Impact Partners as they serve people who are being impacted by COVID-19. We have raised more than $90,000 for this fund and have awarded more than $40,000 to 15 Community Impact Partners. Thank you to Nationwide Foundation, PNC Bank, Truist, Wells Fargo, United Way Worldwide and all our individual donors.
  • NCF Cares - We collaborated with the Community Foundation of North Central Florida for the NCF Cares Fund, which is designed to strategically deploy resources to local organizations who serve and support residents in North Central Florida. This fund is also intended to live past COVID-19 and provide support and assistance for any future crises. To donate to NCF Cares, please click here.
  • Small Biz UNITED Live - We have started chatting with our Small Business Partners on Instagram Live. Tune into our Instagram Lives on Thursdays at 3 p.m. as we discuss how our small business community is pivoting during COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Resources – We have created a COVID-19 Resources page to help distribute information to our community. Sections include how you can help during this pandemic, school food pick-up schedule, school bus Wi-Fi schedule, healthcare surrogate waiver forms, and other information that can be useful for our community.
  • Press Coverage – We have had several articles from the various North Central Florida media outlets. To read them all, please click here.
  • Social Media – Our Communications team has been monitoring social media to provide up-to-date information. We’ve also created messaging and a video about saving stimulus checks, either for your future, or to save it for the community. If you are not following us on social, please consider following us to stay updated. Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
  • ReadingPals – Due to school closures, our ReadingPals program was cancelled statewide for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We are currently engaging with our volunteers virtually. We expect to start for the upcoming school year. They’ve also started fundraising for book packs, which helps build home libraries for the students. To purchase a $25 book pack for a ReadingPals student, please click here.
  • VITA – After closing VITA sites in March due to health and safety concerns for individuals getting free tax preparation and the volunteers who provide the service, our VITA team pivoted to completing tax returns through secure email, corresponding with the individuals by answering questions and concerns and helping them apply for economic stimulus checks.
  • Essential Items Distribution – We received 15,000 rolls of Cottonelle Toilet Paper from Kimberly-Clark, Cottonelle, and United Way Worldwide. We’ve also obtained a 55-gallon drum of hand sanitizer through one of our small business partners. All these items were distributed to various Community Impact Partners, such as Catholic Charities, St. Francis House, Peaceful Paths, GRACE Marketplace and others.
  • Continuum of Care (CoC) – The CoC has been working with the city and county staff to help create a COVID-19 Street Outreach program. In partnership with Meridian Behavioral Health and UF College of Medicine students, this team is engaging our un-sheltered homeless population. Essentials such as food, water and hand sanitizer are being shared with this population. The UF students are providing basic care, as well as assessing individuals for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. There is also a plan in place for if someone tests positive. We have also purchased 4,000 masks, which were distributed to CoC partners and we just received a seven-pallet donation from the State Emergency Management for local emergency shelters.

As you can see, your United Way team is working hard to help you and our entire community during this time of need. By providing the information and resources our community members and Community Impact Partners need the most, our hope is for all community members to stay healthy and well-informed. We thank you for your continued support of us.

Times are tough, but when we #LIVEUNITED, we can get through anything.