Fort Atkinson, WI – April 20, 2020 – The United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties has issued their first round of COVID-19 relief support to five area school districts and two local nonprofit partner agencies.
“Last month, we announced that we were suspending our pillar grant funding for 2020 and would be utilizing those funds, approximately $20,000, to provide COVID-19 relief support to our communities,” states Megan Hartwick, United Way executive director. “Since that announcement, we have received almost $17,000 in donations from community members, local organizations and business supporters.”
A total of $9,500 was distributed in the first round of checks issued on March 31st. Those funds were allocated to the School District of Fort Atkinson, School District of Jefferson, Whitewater Unified School District, Lake Mills Area School District and then Palmyra Eagle Area School District. Funds were also distributed to the emergency financial assistance programs through Bethel House and St. Vincent de Paul of Fort Atkinson. Additional support checks will be sent on May 15th and June 30th.
“We wanted to get some initial support out as quickly as possible,” Hartwick states. “But we also understand there are going to be ongoing, longer-term needs from many of our community members. So it was important that we structured our fund and our support in a way that it would continue over the coming months.”
The school districts are able to utilize the funds in whatever capacity is needed in order to best serve their students during the closure. The emergency financial assistance funds will be available for individuals and families who are in immediate need of support to cover their living expenses.
“Our school districts are the experts on the children in our communities, so we are so honored to support them in a way that helps them direct resources to those who they know are in need,” Hartwick states. “Bethel House & St. Vincent de Paul of Fort Atkinson already provide financial assistance to those in need, but the demand always heavily outweighs their available resources. We know our support funds won’t fully fill that gap, but we’re grateful to help them provide support to more families during this unprecedented time.”
Donations towards the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund will be taken through June 30th, when the last anticipated checks will be sent. No administrative fees are being taken by United Way, so 100% of all donations for this fund will be distributed back out into our communities.
“I have been so humbled by the support we’ve received from community members, businesses and organizations so far,” Hartwick states. “Our United Way is very fortunate to operate in such giving, caring communities. We are asking anyone who is able, to please lend support right now – to any community effort. Whether through United Way, a local foundation, food pantry, school district, church or other nonprofit organization, please lend support if you are able.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the United Way’s COVID-19 fund can visit the United Way website at www.uwjnwc.com and click on “Donate Today” to be taken to the donation page where full details are available. Donations can also be mailed to 734 Madison Avenue Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. For any questions, please contact United Way at 920.563.8880 or email@example.com.