COVID-19 Update from President & CEO Mary Fanning-Penny

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The dedicated team at United Way Blackhawk Region is working with tireless resolve to keep our thumb lovingly pressed on the elevated pulse of our community.
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I know the past few weeks have been a blur for all of us … and the uncertainty of what’s to come weighs heavy on our hearts. The dedicated team at United Way Blackhawk Region is working with tireless resolve to keep our thumb lovingly pressed on the elevated pulse of our community. 

As we fight this new foe, we are doubling down on our support for boots-on-the ground health and human service providers. We stand with our partners and the thousands of people served by United Way donor dollars throughout the Blackhawk Region, on the cusp of this extraordinary time that for so many is filled with uncertainty, fear and a deep sense of foreboding.

To demonstrate this commitment:

  • United Way immediately empowered its partners to utilize grant dollars in the most effective ways possible to care for our community and sustain operations. 
  • Our board of directors swiftly authorized the COVID-19 Action Fund, which is at the heart of United Way’s mission to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities. Today, the first round of grants from the COVID-19 Action Fund were announced totaling $33,476. 
  • Alongside sister United Ways, we successfully advocated for inclusion of nonprofits in the federal relief package. 
  • Separate from the Action Fund but directly tied to the pandemic, UWBR also awarded more than $13,000 in emergency grants to agency partners for shelter food and pantry needs.​            

Helping to lead this compassionate charge is our Vice President Denise Peters-Kauihou and the volunteer Community Impact Council. Each week, United Way has been speaking individually with our 29 agency partners to inquire about challenges the nonprofits and the families they serve are facing, assess how service models are shifting, and most importantly provide reassurance that we are in this together.

Last week, we phoned every funded partner to ensure their awareness of the CARES Act, specifically the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) available to small businesses and nonprofit organizations via the Small Business Administration. We also shared multiple PPP resources with other local nonprofits digitally. And on this upcoming Friday, we will virtually convene all funded partner directors in another effort to foster collaboration and solidarity.

As United Way, we are called to lead. My Team and I are up to this challenge. Now, more than ever, we invite you to join us as we fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. #LiveUnited

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United Way works hard to identify every donor and dollar possible to move the needle on tough-to-solve issues, our region’s most daunting social ills including poverty, hunger, homelessness, family violence, and addiction, to name a few.

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