TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The United Way of the Wabash Valley has secured a $1.1 million COVID-19 economic relief grant to help the community meet essential and basic needs as well as address critical issues as they arise during the coronavirus pandemic.
The grant, made possible through a partnership between Lilly Endowment, Inc. and Indiana United Way, will be used to further enhance work already underway through the local Wabash Valley COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
“For the last few years, United Way of the Wabash Valley has been focused on convening and coordinating efforts to assist struggling working families. Even before this crisis, we knew that 44% of households in our community were not able to make ends meet,” Jameel Ahmed, Board President for UWWV. said. “Our local relief fund has already demonstrated how we can achieve more by all working together. Now, thanks to this generous support from the Lilly Endowment, our fund is strongly positioned to use all of our collective strengths to aid our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.”
Richard Payonk, United Way Executive Director, explained how UWWV plans to invest the grant funds using a three-tiered approach.
“This tremendous gift does not just belong to United Way; these are community funds and we will work collaboratively with the community to make wise investments,” he said. “The first tier of this funding will allow us to continue the Wabash Valley COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund short term grants, which have already provided assistance totaling nearly $175,000 to 39 local organizations.
Payonk said they envision a second tier of investments to be targeted grants from the local fund on the order of $75K to $100K per initiative. These larger investments may be by invite-only to pre-identified organizations with the demonstrated capacity to complete the work needed.
“Because of this generous grant, we can now also launch a second tier of investments. We will continue working with our partners at the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, and also select a Guide Team of key stakeholders who will help us identify the best grant investments for our community over the next 3-6 months.”
A third tier of investment of the $1.1MM Economic Relief Initiative Grant will be held for long-term future needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UWWV will provide more details on the expanded investments from the Wabash Valley COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund in the weeks ahead.
Initial short-term grants remain available through the local fund. Those organizations wanting to apply can request up to a maximum of $5,000.
Details on how to apply are available at uwwv.org/covid.
. Corporate partners and foundations seeking to be partners in the fund can reach out to Danielle Isbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Beth Tevlin at email@example.com.