COVID-19 community response fund has big impact in Indian River County

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – To date, United Way of Indian River County has raised over $1.4 million and awarded 32 local organizations in grant funding since establishing the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to help support critical community services during the pandemic.

One community partner, The Buggy Bunch, a local nonprofit that supports parents with young children, were granted assistance for diaper and formula distribution.

“Because of the extreme generosity of United Way of Indian River County and contributing partners via the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, The Buggy Bunch has been able to distribute more than 10,000 diapers and hundreds of packages of formula and wipes, serving more than 300 clients in our community,” said Tara Wright, Executive Director of The Buggy Bunch. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our client base has increased tremendously. Most of our clients have lost jobs, childcare, and support services. Funding from this grant has provided The Buggy Bunch with the opportunity to greatly increase our diaper closet supply, therefore granting us the ability to meet the needs of these additional families.”

United Way of Indian River County does more than just distribute grants. They solve complex community problems by collaborating with local agencies, including public, nonprofit, and private sector partners to assess the community’s most pressing issues. By working together, they aim to mobilize resources, implement strategic initiatives, and create real, lasting change for a stronger Indian River County.

It is through this collaboration, that UWIRC has supported 15,641 families, served over 6,023 meals, and distributed nearly 1.6 million pounds of food in Indian River County.

“At the beginning of this crisis, we knew that some of our neighbors would suffer and experience hardship – so we immediately asked our partner agencies what they needed most, and they answered, with food, rent, and utility assistance,” said United Way COO, Meredith Egan. “By joining together, UWIRC along with our community and philanthropic partners are able to extend lifelines to the nonprofits of our community to help our neighbors survive.”

Within weeks of the launch, COVID-19 Community Response Fund donations from individual donors, foundations, and local businesses helped UWIRC raise over $1.4 million. UWIRC will continue to distribute grants to the community until all funding has been utilized. One-hundred percent of the funds go to nonprofits in Indian River County to help individuals impacted by this pandemic and partner agencies in need of additional support.

In the coming weeks, United Way of Indian River County plans to go beyond relieving urgent and immediate needs, by pivoting focus toward the long-term recovery of Indian River County.

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