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Monadnock United Way establishes COVID-19 Relief Fund

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/23/2020 6:14:59 PM

In response to changing needs due to the closing of schools and effects on the economy, the Monadnock United Way has established a fund to support local agencies to help families through these difficult times.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund was established last Tuesday and had raised $15,355 by noon on Monday.

“The purpose of the fund is so our partners and nonprofits in the region can deliver relief to people in the region who need it,” said Monadnock United Way President Liz LaRose.

As of Monday afternoon, LaRose said that four collectives in the region – the Monadnock Food Pantries Collective, the Monadnock Region Afterschool Collective, the Cheshire County Emergency Housing Collaborative and the Monadnock Home Visiting Alliance, as well as six early childhood education centers and the Southwestern Community Services - WIC Dental Program – had signed up to receive funds. LaRose said the list is evolving as agencies determine their needs. The Monadnock United Way is also available to assist food pantries and emergency housing groups who are looking to coordinate efforts. Email info@muw.org for more.

“We understand that all businesses and nonprofits could have an issue with cash flow,” LaRose said. “And we expect that list to grow day by day.”

LaRose said the plan is to distribute equal portions each week so that needs can continue to be met.

She said the discussions of how to help began last week and “we determined the best thing to do was to stop all our other work and focus on helping the community.”

Right now, LaRose said the expectation is for funds to be distributed to the agencies the Monadnock United Way works with, but that could change as needs arise and other groups seek help.

“The programs and nonprofits around the region do amazing work and at a time like this they’re needed even more,” LaRose said.

LaRose said that on Thursday they were rolling out a challenge match from donors and that means individual donations will go a lot further. The United Way Board of Directors also voted to cover all bank and administration fees so that “all funds go back into the community,” LaRose said.

LaRose said that in just one week, 211, now the state call-in line for COVID-19, has seen a rise in daily calls from 123 to a high of 1,700 last week. LaRose said since the beginning of March, 211 has fielded over 10,000 calls statewide, with the numbers climbing daily, and of those, about 165 are from people living in the Monadnock Region. Just two weeks ago, 211 had fielded only eight calls total from the Monadnock Region. The United Way agencies across the state manage the call-in line and are now being supported by state emergency personnel.

“It’s super important for people to have the opportunity to talk to people,” LaRose said.

LaRose added that the fund is ongoing.

“We will be keeping this open as long as the community needs it,” she said.

For more info, visit www.muw.org/covid-19-relief-fund.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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