FAIRMONT, W.Va. – During the coronavirus pandemic, the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties is working on multiple fronts to support the community.
The organization said its staff members, donors and volunteers are playing a role in a fight for the education, health and financial stability of every person in the community.
Through 2-1-1 and direct conversations with its partners, the United Way said it learned that the most critical needs right now are for housing and food assistance; transportation; basic needs, such as diapers and prescriptions; and childcare.
The United Way said it is continuing monthly disbursements to all currently funded partners and has released more than $8,000 in emergency funds from its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. These dollars are being used immediately to help care for the most vulnerable people.
The United Way provided a breakdown of the various efforts ongoing in the community.
- 211: Across the state, the United Way has seen a 60% increase in calls since the crisis began. Locally, the organization said it is working to make sure it has the most up-to-date resources and information available to callers.
- Masks4WV: The United Way partnered with Sen. Joe Manchin and other United Ways across the state for the Masks program. It has set up three collection sites in Fairmont and Grafton and has been distributing masks to agencies and healthcare facilities. The organization said it has distributed more than 200 masks to partners and people in need. Agencies and organizations that are in need of masks can let the United Way know and get added to a list. Anyone who can sew is encouraged to get to work. The United Way has supplies and can help with materials, if needed.
- Homeless Coalition: The United Way has been working directly with the members of the homeless coalition to identify shelter options for people who remain unsheltered during the pandemic. It said it is also working to bring handwashing stations and porta-johns to downtown.
- Hand Sanitizer: The United Way has purchased 15 gallons of hand sanitizer from a local vendor that has been producing in house. The organization said it will be preparing smaller bottles of the sanitizer over the next week that can then be distributed to first responders, individuals on the front lines and agencies that are doing crucial work.
- Repurposed Supplies: The United Way has worked to repurpose thousands of items from local healthcare and small business facilities that are not operational to agencies providing services currently.
- VolunteerMTC: The United Way is working with its agencies to request volunteer needs and donation requests so that it can compile them into one list for community members and businesses looking to be involved.
- Wish List: The United Way is working to compile a wish list of items that are needed by healthcare and social service agencies at this time. The organization said it is hoping a single list will allow individuals to donate items quicker and more efficiently.
- #ThankfulWV: The organization has partnered with state United Ways to promote positivity online and encourage West Virginians to give thanks to people on the front lines protecting and keeping the state moving. Individuals are encouraged to share pictures and videos showing their gratitude and use the hashtag #ThankfulWV to share across the state.
Folks who need help are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or text their Zip Codes to 898-211.
To make a gift to the Response and Recovery fund, click here.