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United Way Executive Director Sara Bohn (right) delivers a check from the COVID-19 Impact Fund to Community Health Center CEO Michelle Brauns.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across Virginia and the United States, the United Way of the New River Valley has been working diligently to support community response efforts.

In response to the pandemic, United Way NRV created a COVID-19 Impact Fund. The fund was created to help local nonprofits that are supporting individuals and families in the New River Valley impacted by the virus. The Impact Fund will facilitate community efforts for service providers by allowing them to access funds from one collaborative source during this crisis.

Thanks to the generous donations received to date, on March 26 United Way NRV was able to distribute funds to two community agencies.

The Community Health Center of the New River Valley was awarded $2,750 from the fund. The Health Center is a nonprofit healthcare organization that serves uninsured individuals, as well as people who are insured with Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance like Anthem. The Health Center is key to keeping our local hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Patients with injuries and routine illnesses can come to the Health Center for care, keeping them out of emergency rooms and freeing up crisis personnel for patients testing positive for COVID-19.

Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread, an agency with the mission of providing daily meals in their on-site dining room and through Meals on Wheels, was awarded $2,000. This money will be used to provide more than 100 meal boxes to their clients. Distribution of boxes will be in lieu of take-out meal service for community members most vulnerable to the impact of the virus or who have been placed on in-house isolation. This will serve as an alternative to take-out meals to encourage vulnerable or ill neighbors to remain in their homes while still receiving requests. Requests will be taken by phone and boxes will be delivered weekly by volunteers from the Radford Sheriff’s Department.

Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread’s Program Manager Dora Butler said, “We want to thank United Way of the New River Valley for everything! We are extremely grateful for their support!”

United Way will continue to review applications to the COVID-19 Impact Fund. To access the application, agencies can go to the United Way website or email info@unitedwaynrv.org. Donations are also being accepted on our website. We urge you to give as you can in order to meet the needs of our community by donating at www.unitedwaynrv.org/covid-19.

Submitted by Autumn Waish