LEBANON, PA: United Way of Lebanon County announces the launch of a special fundraising campaign designed to support our most vulnerable friends and neighbors as we brace for the potential impact of the COVID-19. One hundred percent of the funds raised through these efforts will be distributed through our trusted community nonprofit partners who are responding to the increased needs of local families during this challenging time. These funds will complement the government relief being deployed to fill any potential gaps to ensure support for local community members.
United Way already has the infrastructure required to be able to collect and distribute throughout the community in response to the needs that are changing daily. “The coronavirus is not just a health threat, but an economic one as well. The precautions we are taking in Lebanon County and across the country to abide by the guidelines of CDC best practices and social distancing have disrupted our lives in serious ways. The closings of local schools, libraries, some childcare centers, and other businesses will undoubtedly have a negative impact on our local economy. The team at United Way in collaboration with the Board of Directors recognized the need to act swiftly and strategically to provide a collective community fund as we prepare for the short-term and long-term impact to our local community” – according to United Way CEO, Brooke Smith.
In Lebanon County 40% of people live in poverty or in A.L.I.C.E (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed). Individuals living in ALICE are those who fall above the 100% poverty line and are working one sometimes two or more jobs but still struggle to make ends meet. These individuals often live paycheck to paycheck and any disruption to employment or one emergency can cause an unprecedented financial hardship. We expect to see an increase in requests for assistance from our local nonprofit partners as families may be faced with lost wages and lack of childcare options to enable them to go to work. Funds raised will support the increased financial strain on the organizations to allow them to step up to meet the increased need. In the wake of school closures across the commonwealth, concerns arise regarding food security for children who may receive their only meals at schools. United Way is working collaboratively with our local school districts and community-based food pantries/food security programs to ensure a collaborative approach to make sure no child goes hungry during this time.
The Lebanon County Community Support Fund is currently open to begin receiving gifts and donations. If you wish to make a contribution, you can text Help4Lebanon to 41444, or click here to give online. Checks can be made out to United Way of Lebanon County and sent to us at P.O. Box 1164, Lebanon, PA 17042. Please write “Community Support Fund” in the memo.
If you are seeking community resources, please contact 211.
Questions? Contact Brooke Smith, CEO.
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