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United Way of Greater Kingsport establishes COVID-19 relief fund

STAFF • Mar 28, 2020 at 7:30 PM

KINGSPORT — With the cumulative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic yet unknown, the United Way of Greater Kingsport is launching a relief fund to increase efforts in the UWGK’s fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the community.

“The fund will support community organizations that are working to meet the needs of individuals affected by COVID-19 in the Greater Kingsport area,” said UWGK Executive Director Danelle Glasscock. “For both immediate needs and longer-term response, these funds will be focused on assisting vulnerable populations, including children, families, individuals experiencing homelessness, the elderly and ALICE.”

ALICE, an acronym coined by the United Way, represents all who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This demographic is made up of men, women, and families who work hard and earn more than the official federal poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living.

Recognizing that people across the country are struggling in the economic wake of this pandemic, the UWGK emphasized that cancelled events and challenges for local businesses are disproportionately impacting hourly workers in the service sector. Coupled with school closures that require juggling childcare and lost time on the job, many working families may struggle to make rent and put food on the table.

UWGK Community Impact Director Becca Sutphen added, “We expect community resources to be inundated. Food pantries will be in high demand and calls for help are already pouring into 211. United Way of Greater Kingsport is working to marshal and mobilize local resources to reach those in crisis. We are continually updating that list at our website, www.uwaykpt.org/covid19, but we need individuals to give financial help to the relief fund to allow us to continue our work alongside these organizations.”

Individuals or corporations interested in donating can visit the UWGK website, www.uwaykpt.org/covid19relieffund, or text “HELPING” to 303-06.

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