United Way Kern County receives $1.3 million, begins relief fund to help vulnerable populations during pandemic

May 13, 2020 /

United Way of Kern County has received a $1.3 million gift from an anonymous donor, and those funds will assist non-profit organizations doing relief work to help vulnerable residents who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This donation is part of a $6.6 million gift earmarked for United Way chapters in the Central Valley, according to a news release.

“This is a difficult time to live in, our communities are struggling to get ahead and we have to step up and do what’s right,” said Mari Perez-Dowling, President and CEO of UWKC. “Our families need food and financial assistance more than ever.” 

UWKC is encouraging businesses, organizations and community leaders to make contributions to the UWKC Relief Fund, which will support low-income individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness, low-income students and non-profit partner agencies.

“This is a generous gift, and we are grateful for it, but it’s definitely not enough to cover the essentials,” said Perez-Dowling. “We invite our community partners and businesses to contribute to this cause and collaborate with our projects to ensure our vulnerable communities get assisted.”

The fund will:

  1. Prevent growth in homelessness due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 to low-income individuals and families through emergency support such as rental, food, utility and other emergency assistance.
  2. Provide support to low-income students and their families who require assistance with staying connected to their academic learning and other emergency services.
  3. Provide additional support to our non-profit partners, such as the local food banks and other vital community services, so they can continue doing their critical human services work in this time of need.

Any funds not distributed to this pandemic response will be reallocated to support COVID-19 efforts of making a positive impact in the areas of education, health, and financial stability, UWKC’s website says.

If you are an individual or family in need of assistance or support, please visit www.uwkern.org/covid19 to be connected with local health and human services resources.

People can donate to the UWKC Relief Fund by visiting helpkern.org.