May 08 2020 0comment

New Round of Grants Brings Local COVID Relief Fund Investment to Nearly $300K

United Way of the Wabash Valley and the Wabash Valley Community Foundation completed a 5th round of disbursements from the Wabash Valley COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund created just over 4 weeks ago.   The fund’s first priority is to assist organizations helping individuals and families with immediate COVID-19 related needs, but funds are also used for support of non-profit infrastructure impacted by the economic effects of the state’s stay-at-home orders.

“Since the start, we have seen a steady flow of applicants for these grants,” said Beth Tevlin, Executive Director for the Community Foundation. “This week, we funded a second grant to 8 organizations, which is showing that the funds are being invested in the greatest need areas and that need is not slowing down.”  The Steering Committee has reviewed over 80 applications since the fund was created on March 20.  With Tuesday’s release of funding, 18 organizations were granted over $80,000 allowing for some immediate financial assistance to help those impacted by the pandemic.

Organizations receiving their first award from the fund:

  • $1,000 for Billy Henry Ministries, Inc. – for utility, rent and food assistance
  • $2,000 for Cayuga Christian Church – increased need for food pantry
  • $5,000 for Clay County Council on Aged & Aging – increased need for food pantry
  • $5000 for Hamilton Center – telehealth services; purchase minutes and/or cell phones for consumers who are in need of telehealth services
  • $5,000 for Parke County Community Food Pantry – increased need for food pantry; purchase food and personal hygiene items
  • $5,000 for Salvation Army Services Extension Sullivan County – increased need for utility, rent, and food assistance to Sullivan County residents
  • $5,000 for Summer Lunch, Inc. – Food delivery to low income children in Marshall
  • $5,000 for Tender Moments Play House & Preschool – cover the cost of an additional teacher for school aged children as to provide quality childcare for those parents working during pandemic
  • $5,000 for Unified Anesthesia Services, LLC – telehealth equipment
  • $5,000 for West Central Indiana Economic Development District – home delivery meals to those under 60 and disabled (not covered by other funding)

The following organizations received a second grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 for supply of food, hygiene products or telehealth services:  Covered with Love Inc., FSA Counseling Center, Mana from Seven, Inc., Parke County Resource Center, St. Joseph University Parish, Samaritan Food Pantry, Wabash Activity Center and the West Side Christian Church.

Since March 24th, the fund has now awarded more than $285,000 in emergency community support.  United Way announced last week they had received a $1.1 million COVID-19 Economic Relief Initiative (ERI) grant form Indiana United Ways and the Lilly Endowment.  Richard Payonk, Executive Director for United Way explained that since the initial money raised for the local relief fund has nearly all been used, an additional $300,000 from the Economic Relief Grant funds will be applied to continuing these short-term grants.

“This week, in coordination with the Community Foundation, we began the initial steps on delivering a second level of larger-scale, focused grants for the community using the ERI funds as a starting point.  We hope that in the next 3-4 months we can invest up to half a million more dollars in COVID Relief, but to do that, we will continue to need community support.”

To help drive community donations, United Way announced that they are adding an additional $20,000 in matching funds to incentivize local donations. “Our board of directors is seeing the increased need in the community and we remain dedicated to helping others get involved through donations,” said Danielle Isbell, Resource Development Director for United Way. Isbell encouraged community members interested in donating to the fund to please visit or  Corporate partners and foundations seeking to be partners in the fund can reach out to Danielle Isbell at [email protected] or Beth Tevlin at [email protected].

Those organizations wanting to apply can request up to a maximum of $5,000. Updated eligibility and application guidelines for the grants are available at  Organizations seeking funding are encouraged to review these guidelines.