Help is on the way: First round of COVID-19 relief grants awarded

By Patrick Lynn

United Way of Portage County and the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin have announced their first wave of grant awards via its recently-established COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The fund was established on March 20 with initial funding from United Way, Community Foundation, Sentry, and Delta Dental.

These funds provide non-profit agencies and social sector organizations in Portage County with resources for individuals and families negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizations interested in reviewing application criteria and/or applying for assistance should go online to cfcwi.org. Ongoing, weekly fund requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. each Wednesday. Award decisions will be made each Friday.

The goal is to move resources quickly while adapting to ever-evolving needs.

Portage County COVID-19 Relief Fund Awarded $75,000 to the following organizations:

Operation Bootstrap
To provide food, rent, and utility assistance to individuals and families disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Salvation Army
To provide rent and/or mortgage assistance, as well as food baskets and gas cards or monthly bus passes to individuals and families disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Children’s Wisconsin
To provide financial assistance and reduce stressors on households already impacted by monetary, housing and related pressures who are now disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Stevens Point Area YMCA
To provide childcare services to health care workers, first responders (police/fire) and other essential workers in need of childcare who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Individuals in need of assistance should call the United Way 211, a free and confidential 24/7 helpline for information on programming and direct assistance with critical needs as a result of fallout due to the coronavirus. Hmong and Spanish translators are available.

Community members are encouraged to join this effort by making a gift to this fund by donating online at www.unitedwaypoco.org/donate.

Checks can be mailed to United Way of Portage County at 1100 Centerpoint Drive #302 (ATTN: PCCRF), Stevens Point, WI 54481.