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Greater Lehigh Valley Funders Unite to Address COVID-19 Crisis

Funders pool their resources and voices to strengthen the Greater Lehigh Valley safety net and support the community’s most vulnerable.

Allentown, PA, March 30, 2020 – In partnership with Crayola, PPL Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) and Carbon County Community Foundation (CCCF), United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) has convened a coalition of funding partners and launched an emergency fund to address the COVID-19 crisis.

The Greater Lehigh Valley COVID-19 Community Response Fund aims to strengthen safety-net services for community members who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties.

“This Fund provides a rapid, informed and coordinated approach to assessing community need and getting dollars where they are needed most. We especially want to thank Crayola, PPL Foundation and Wells Fargo Foundation for their leadership as the first corporate partners to support the Community Response Fund,” said UWGLV President David Lewis, LVCF President and CEO Bernie Story and CCCF President Amber Breiner in a joint statement.

More than $150,000 has been allocated to support this effort. Some contributions will be used as matching funds to attract additional investment from other funders. One hundred percent of the funds will support agencies serving residents of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties.

“I am encouraged and reassured that so many capable people and organizations are out there working to support our region,” said Amber Breiner, President, CCCF. “We’re going to be more efficient and have a much greater impact by working together to respond to rapidly evolving local needs.”

“We know that the effects of this pandemic will disproportionately impact older adults, people who are experiencing poverty or homelessness, families who live paycheck to paycheck, communities of color and those who speak English as a second language,” said Jill Pereira, Vice President, Education and Impact, UWGLV. “Our goal is to ensure the agencies that form a critical safety net for our most vulnerable can respond to the immediate and long-term needs including food, housing, education, child care, healthcare, utility assistance, job training, transportation and violence prevention.”

Guided by a community-led Strategic Response Team, pooled funds will be used to respond to emerging needs and be implemented in phases. “The first phase will focus on providing rapid and direct support to organizations that provide critical safety-net services in our community and those who serve populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” explained Megan Briggs, Director of Community Investments at LVCF.

This includes:

  • Services that provide food access
  • Housing
  • Income supports
  • Services for unsheltered residents and those at risk of homelessness
  • Supports for those who are economically vulnerable to mitigate the effects of reduced hours or lost jobs

Coalition members have also committed to use their influence and voices to advocate for policies that will swiftly and effectively address gaps in community needs and provide resources to community members who are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information about the Greater Lehigh Valley Community Response Fund is available at www.unitedwayglv.org/COVID-19

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Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community.  We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley. www.UnitedWayGLV.org

About the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

For more than five decades, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has helped donors with their charitable contributions with a simple, powerful, and highly personalized approach. LVCF connects people who care to causes that matter, grow their charitable legacies, and fund nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life in the region. Learn more at: www.lvcfoundation.org.

About the Carbon County Community Foundation

Founded in 2015, the Carbon County Community Foundation works to improve the quality of life for residents of the region by staying in touch with community needs and supporting nonprofits through professional development and grants to help meet needs. The Foundation promotes organized, efficient philanthropy by encouraging people of all backgrounds to become donors to existing funds or create their own funds to support the causes that matter most to them. Learn more at www.cccfoundpa.org.

Contact:

Michael Wilson, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, 484-695-3277 | michael@lvcfoundation.org

Laura McHugh, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, 610-807-5701 | lauram@unitedwayglv.org

Amber Breiner, Carbon County Community Foundation, 610-730-2526 | director@cccfoundpa.org