COVID-19 Relief Fund

As concerns over COVID-19 continue to grow, so do the financial implications for businesses and employees. People are losing work as businesses close and many families who already live paycheck to paycheck are struggling to make ends meet.  United Way NSV and the Valley Assistance Network (VAN) are closely monitoring the developments happening at all levels of government in order to stay up-to-date on resources and assistance available for those who are impacted.

This page will be updated as quickly and frequently as possible. If you have additional information or a change to the current information list, please email info@unitedwaynsv.org or call our office at 540-536-1610.

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COVID-19 Relief Fund

Hosted by United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley, in partnership with Valley Assistance Network, the COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.

ABOUT COVID-19 RELIEF FUND GRANTS:

As a result of the generous donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, grants will be made available to agencies in our region meeting the immediate, unmet needs of communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Grants will be dispersed to agencies within the United Way NSV catchment area of the City of Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page counties that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic and social impacts. Funds will be released on a rolling basis, as quickly as possible, as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis. All grants will be publically disclosed here on United Way NSV's website. United Way NSV will request basic reports on the use of all grant funds with a description of the assistance provided to members of the community. 100% of all funds granted are to be used to provide direct assistance to those affected.

These grants are meant to increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities by addressing the immediate, unmet needs of working families due to sudden loss of income caused by COVID-19 related closures. Immediate, unmet needs may include:

  • Food and food supplies
  • Prescription and medical supplies
  • Mortgage payments for homes or businesses/Rental assistance
  • Car repairs or payments
  • Utility payments
  • Child care
  • Other

United Way will require documentation that clients proposed to be helped by grant funding were employed prior to March 2020 and that their current unemployment was a result of the pandemic.

Agencies receiving grants are also requred to submit the following doccumentation: 

In order to be eligible to receive grant funds, agencies must submit the following required documentation:

  • IRS 501(c)3 Letter
  • 2018 or 2019 IRS Form 990
  • Verification of being legally incorporated and registered in Virginia

As a grantee, Non-Profits also must agree to the following:

  1. Grantee shall expend the funds exclusively to provide direct assistance to local families for immediate, unmet needs caused by the sudden loss of income due to the impacts of COVID-19. Funding cannot be used for operating costs.
  2. Grantee agrees to return any part of the grant funds not used for the stated purpose of this grant.
  3. Grantee agrees to complete a report on the use of these funds with a description of the direct assistance provided to United Way NSV by September 1, 2020. If services are still ongoing, the grantee will work with United Way NSV to determine an appropriate timeline for reporting. If services have completed and funds have not been expended the grantee agrees to return unused funds at that time.
  4. Grantee shall maintain an accurate accounting record and retain records of disbursements related to the expenditure of grant funds. This information is to be included in grant reports to United Way NSV.
  5. If the grantee is awarded funds more than once, the grantee shall complete a report for each separate amount awarded.
  6. Grantee shall notify Jennifer Hall, Director of Community Engagement, to address challenges in deploying these resources. 
  7. Grantee shall acknowledge the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley as a partner in these efforts.
  8. Should the grantee fail to adhere to the requirements above, they will not be eligible for future funding support from United Way NSV.

GRANT INVESTMENTS:

TOTAL RELIEF FUND DOLLARS RAISED TO DATE (6/18/2020):
  • $97,922.39 in private donations
  • $97,922.39 United Way matching dollars
  • Total: $195,844.78
HIGHLAND FOOD PANTRY - $10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 3/25/2020)

Highland Food Pantry proposes to use these funds to provide emergency financial assistance to those impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.  Funds will be used to assist with utilities, medical and prescription needs, car repairs and insurance, child care and other needs as may be determined on a case by case basis. We will require documentation that clients were employed prior to March 2020 and that their current unemployment was a result of the pandemic. A $100 cap of funds will be available to each family. The COVID-19 Is the emergency that will send many ALICE families into poverty. The $100 won’t stop everything, but it will help with immediate needs and give clients the opportunity to seek unemployment benefits or additional employment. We will be able to help 100 local families with immediate relief.

FAITHWORKS -$10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 3/25/2020)

Faithworks will prioritize providing rent/mortgage assistance to households throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley struggling to make their next rent/mortgage payment because of a sudden job loss or drastically reduced hours associated with the COVID-19 mandates. As funding is available, Faithworks will also assist to fill in the gaps for assistance with utility bills, and other unmet needs as warranted.

All applicants will need to provide documentation from their employer stating when they started working reduced hours or became temporarily unemployed because of an unexpected slow down/shut down associated with the Coronavirus. If applicant is out of work due to childcare issues, a statement will be requested from the childcare provider.  Additionally, an assessment will be made on all households regarding the other resources they have accessed (i.e. unemployment, other employment, paid time off, other organizations, etc.)  All applicants will also need to provide a statement from their landlord showing that all past rent/mortgage payments have been paid as of the date of the application, and that the assistance they are seeking is for upcoming/current rent. The same policy applies for utility bills. Assistance with COVID-19 emergency funds will only be provided for current rent and utility bills, not past due balances.  Documentation for assistance with other needs will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Setting limits on rent/mortgage assistance is difficult since there is such a wide range in this community. As much as possible, Faithworks will limit assistance per household to $800 with the option to evaluate on a case-by-case basis in order to fully meet the most critical needs in the most effective and efficient way possible.

BLUE RIDGE HOUSING NETWORK - $10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 3/27/2020)

BRHN will provide financial assistance to help pay rent, mortgages, and for utilities for those who are low income. BRHN will also be setting up financial counseling for monthly spending plans and setting up action plans. BRHN will require a letter or notification from the individual's employer stating that employment loss or termination was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BRHN's fundring requirements are for clients to be at or below the 80% median income for the area. Due to these restrictions, BRHN will be able to certify that all clients will be part of the ALICE population or in poverty.

SINCLAIR HEALTH CLINIC - $5,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 3/27/2020)

Sinclair Health Clinic tracks patients’ pharmacy needs, payments and balances through pharmacy payment software. Through this software, we can track prescriptions and patient debt to the pharmacy. Additionally, we have already increased the hours of an employee to meet the demand of new patient enrollment and visitor screening. We are tracking their time and essential functions daily to ensure they are serving the needs of our service community. 

With the grant, we will cover the costs of some patients’ medications due to an inability to pay due to job loss and reduced hours stemming from the health crisis. Increasing medication inventory - to meet the state’s desire to provide our patients with a 90-day supply of medications in response to the health crisis. 

SALVATION ARMY (WINCHESTER) - $2,500 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/2/2020)

To support the mobile feeding canteen, distribution food and meals to remote families in need.

SHENANDOAH AREA AGENCY ON AGING - $2,500 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/2/2020)

For the Meals on Wheels program  for food and hygiene items for homebound seniors.

ABBACARE - $500 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/2/2020

To provide diapers, wipes and formula to ALICE families.

COMMUNITY CARE AND LEARNING CENTER - $1,650 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/2/2020)

To help with supplies and cover the cost of registration fees for childcare for essential employees.

SPCA OF WINCHESTER, FREDERICK, AND CLARKE COUNTIES - $1,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/9/2020)

To provide pet food and emergency vet bills to pet owners who are in crisis due to COVID-19.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES DIOCESE OF ARLINGTON - $3,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/9/2020)

To provide emergency motel accomodation assistance to people in the community whose primary residence has been a motel and are struggling due to the healthcare crisis and have been laid off by their job. We will use these funds to assist 10-15 families stay in hotels during the crisis. 

PAGE ONE OF PAGE COUNTY - $10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/9/2020)

The grant will increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities by addressing the immediate, unmet needs of working families due to the sudden loss of income caused by COVID-19 related closures. Immediate, unmet needs may include:

  • Rent Assistance $2,000 We are prioritizing direct help to people with their rent as we see unprecedented numbers of individuals facing housing insecurity as a result of COVID-19. Relief caps are set on a case-by-case basis.
  • Utility Assistance $3,000 Our biggest increase in demand under COVID-19 has been a need for help with electrical bills as more community members and their families are stuck at home all day without a steady paycheck to count on. At our utility assistance cap of $200, this money would save at least 15 families from eviction in one month. With average-sized families and the variability of bills, that could amount to saving over a hundred individuals from debt and eviction.
  • Food for Pantry $4,500 Along with the loss of wages, we have seen both an increase in need for food and new inquiries from people who have never needed our assistance until this crisis. This is especially challenging, as all levels of the food bank supply chain have had to change their person-to-person models. We are adapting, and this includes continuing to procure what we can at a discounted rate. Even when that is not the case, we always coordinate bulk buys, seasonal tactics, and other approaches to stretch our dollars.
  • Pantry Supplies $250 COVID-19 supply needs include gloves, masks, and sanitizer.
  • Pantry Freight $250 Delivery is important now (more than ever) as our person-to-person model evolves to keep everyone safe. In addition to our usual delivery avenues, non-pantry employees and pantry volunteers have taken on increased delivery responsibilities. We want to be sensitive to their expenses and concerns, including paying for gas.
HEALTHY FAMILIES OF NORTHERN SHENANDOAH VALLEY - $2,500 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/9/2020)

To provide emergency diapers, wipes and formula for families with babies in the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

AIDS RESPONSE EFFORT (ARE) - $3,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/9/2020)

To provide emergency utility assistance to families facing a crisis beyond their control. ARE will assist families who would normally have the means to pay their utilities, but due to a loss of income or employment are unable to pay for themselves.

BRIGHT FUTURES - $5,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/23/2020)

To provide food and food supplies to continue to feed students while school is closed due to COVID-19. About 900 students in Winchester Public Schools and Frederick County Public Schools received weekend packs every Friday during the school year. When Schools are closed the students contine to need food. Need has increased due to the pressure to feed children 7 days a week. As of 3/23/2020 Bright Futures saw an increase to 1339 students requesting food. Funds will go to purchase more food and support the children who are a part of the program. Each family with students taking part in the program was contacted and confirmed a change in the ability to provide food for the children due to COVID-19, saying that it has created a greater need for food in their family.

FAITHWORKS - $10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 4/23/2020)

Faithworks will continue to provide rent/mortgage assistance to households throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley struggling to make their next rent/mortgage payment because of a sudden job loss or drastically reduced hours associated with the COVID-19 mandates. As funding is available, Faithworks will also assist to fill in the gaps for assistance with utility bills, and other unmet needs as warranted. Documentation is required from all applicants to include a current paystub, a letter from their employer stating when they started working reduced hours or became temporarily unemployed because of an unexpected slow down/shut down associated with the Coronavirus. If applicant is out of work due to childcare issues, a statement will be requested from the childcare provider.  Additionally, an assessment will be made on all households regarding the other resources they have accessed (i.e. unemployment, other employment, paid time off, other organizations, etc.)  All applicants will also need to provide landlord information and verify that the assistance they are seeking is for upcoming/current rent. The same policy applies for utility bills. Assistance with COVID-19 emergency funds will only be provided for current rent and utility bills, not past due balances.  Documentation for assistance with other needs will be determined on a case-by-case basis.   

THE COMPASSION CUPBOARD OF STRASBURG - $5,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 5/7/2020)

To provide food for children and adults who are going without within the Strasburg area. Last year Compassion Cupboard of Strasburg served 957 families. The organization spends about $1,000 each month buying food. With the projected pandemic outcome for the next several months, they expect that number to increase 30 – 100%.

BRAIN INJURY CONNECTIONS OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY - $1,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 5/14/2020)

Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley (BICSV) received a grant to purchase care packages and gift cards for food, gas, medication, and other household items for high-risk individuals living in Page and Shenandoah Counties.

BLUE RIDGE HOUSING NETWORK - $10,00 GRANT
(ISSUED 5/28/2020)

BRHN received an additional $10,000 to assist with rental and mortgage assistance. See previous grant above for more information. 

BLUE RIDGE LEGAL SERVICES- $500 GRANT
(ISSUED 5/28/2020)

 BRLS received a $500 grant to provide advocacy and education materials for eviction prevention.  VAN has been working closely with them to prepare for a tsunami of evictions that we’re expecting.

PAGE ONE - $10,000 GRANT 
(ISSUED 5/28/2020)

Page One will receive a second $10,000 grant to continue operating a food pantry and provide financial assistance for prescriptions, medical care, rent and utilities. See previous grant above for more information.

HORIZON GOODWILL - $1,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 6/11/2020)

HGI will use the $1,000 provided by the United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley to support persons that are in need of transportation to work. As the bus routes are limited at this time there are employees that lack transportation to and from employment. Additionally, there are residents that have seen a decrease in hours and income related to the COVID-19 crisis resulting in an inability to pay for transportation either via taxi, UBER/LYFT, or personal vehicle. Funds will be expended to ensure that residents are provided up to two (2) weeks transportation assistance round trip for employment. Additionally, transportation assistance will be offered to persons that have lost employment as a result of COVID-19 to interviews to reenter the workforce. In this time an HGI case manager will also be meeting with recipients to ensure that they are able to secure stable transportation moving forward. Case management support will also ensure that reciepents of assistance are accessing all community resources necessary for them to recover financially from the COVID-19 crisis. Payments will be made directly by HGI to transportation provider for services money will not be given directly to participants. Case manager will remain in contact with participants ensuring that they are indeed going to work as scheduled and supporting them in developing long term transportation plan.

BRIGHT FUTURES - $2,500 GRANT
(ISSUED 6/11/2020)

The requested funds will be used to purchase household products, laundry detergent, diapers, hygiene items needed to continue to support those already enrolled in the program and those that have reached out many of which are ALICE families that do not have funds to purchase these vital items.   Without proper cleaning products, families are not able to successfully fight off the virus.

SPCA OF WINCHESTER, FREDERICK, AND CLARKE COUNTIES - $1,500 GRANT
(ISSUED 6/18/2020)

To provide pet food and emergency vet bills to pet owners who are in crisis due to COVID-19. This is their second grant from the COVID-19 relief fund. 

THE KIDS CLUB NSV - $5,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 6/18/2020)

This grant will provide scholarships to families impacted by COVID-19 for their summer camp program. 

CATHOLIC CHARITIES - $3,000 GRANT 
(ISSUED 6/30/2020)

To provide emergency motel accomodation assistance to people in the community whose primary residence has been a motel and are struggling due to the healthcare crisis and have been laid off by their job. We will use these funds to assist 10-15 families stay in hotels during the crisis. 

FAITHWORKS - $10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 6/30/2020)

Faithworks will continue to provide rent/mortgage assistance to households throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley struggling to make their next rent/mortgage payment because of a sudden job loss or drastically reduced hours associated with the COVID-19 mandates. As funding is available, Faithworks will also assist to fill in the gaps for assistance with utility bills, and other unmet needs as warranted. Documentation is required from all applicants to include a current paystub, a letter from their employer stating when they started working reduced hours or became temporarily unemployed because of an unexpected slow down/shut down associated with the Coronavirus. If applicant is out of work due to childcare issues, a statement will be requested from the childcare provider.  Additionally, an assessment will be made on all households regarding the other resources they have accessed (i.e. unemployment, other employment, paid time off, other organizations, etc.)  All applicants will also need to provide landlord information and verify that the assistance they are seeking is for upcoming/current rent. The same policy applies for utility bills. Assistance with COVID-19 emergency funds will only be provided for current rent and utility bills, not past due balances.  Documentation for assistance with other needs will be determined on a case-by-case basis.   The previous $10,000 grant kept 18 at-risk families in housing. 

OUR HEALTH - $500 GRANT
(ISSUED 7/13/2020)

Our Health will provide masks and hand sanitizer for distribution at their Healthy Living events this summer.  It is a great opportunity to provide people with limited resources these highly coveted items.

HIGHLAND FOOD PANTRY - $10,000 GRANT
(ISSUED 7/13/2020)

Highland Food Pantry will continue to provide financial assistance in the way of utility bills, prescriptions and other miscellaneous expenses families have endured because of COVID-19.  

Faithworks - $10,000 Grant
(Issued 8/14/2020)

Grant for rental assistance. This is their 4th request, rent and utility assistance continues to be the number one concern and request among local families. 
 

Goodwill - $1,000 Grant
(Issued 8/14/2020)

This second grant to Horizon Goodwill was issued for transportation assistance. The Funding will help ALICE families with transportation via bus tickets and cabs when they start a new job.
 

Bright Futures - $7,000 Grant
(Issued 8/14/2020)

 
This grant was issued for school supplies for students in Winchester and Frederick County.  They are expecting a shortage of some items as well as a need for certain things like headphones for remote learning. Walmart has agreed to give a discount on a bulk purchase so the funding is maximized.
 

TOTAL DISTRIBUTED AS OF 7/13/2020:
  • $154,650

I’m an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me?

We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley is working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts.

While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, we will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. As we begin to award grants, we will post them on this page. Please check back for a list of the organizations that may be able to assist you. If you are looking for resources now, please contact our Valley Assistance Network to learn more information or view our compiled a list of resources with information and links for programs and services that may be helpful.

My organization is interested in resources from this Fund. Can we be considered?

We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. We are working closely with United Way NSV's Fund Relief Committee to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund at this time. You may email us at jhall@unitedwaynsv.org to make sure we are aware of your organization’s work supporting economically vulnerable residents and families.

I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee?

To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations at this time. The COVID-19 Relief Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible.

Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations?

This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle resourcing critical community activities during this outbreak. Rather it is working to facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community where it’s needed most. If the COVID-19 Relief Fund priorities align with your values, please consider making a donation. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community as we gain greater awareness of the depth and scale of the long-term ramifications of the outbreak.

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding?

We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address the both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. We recognize several upcoming challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work to evolve our funding strategies.

Based upon the charitable structure of the COVID-19 Relief Fund, our grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501c4, 501c5, and 501c6 organizations.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund?

The COVID-19 Relief Fund will support community-based organizations serving Winchester City, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Page Counties.

When will you share who you fund?

We anticipate making a first round of investments within the week, and will publish the list of selected grantees here on this website, along with short descriptions of the services and support they are providing. We hope that this will help the community navigate available resources.

Is there a fee to contribute?

With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground. United Way NSV is covering the cost of approximately 6 staff leading this effort.

How will the Fund shift gears if needed?

The Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. Crisis philanthropy recognizes the need to provide immediate resources for triage, as well as the importance of recovery resources to ensure community resilience.

Contact Us
General questions & inquiries about the Fund can be directed to info@unitedwaynsv.org
For interested community partners, please contact Jennifer Hall at jhall@unitedwaynsv.org
For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Elise Stine-Dolinar at estinedolinar@unitedwaynsv.org
To make a donation by using assets other than through text-to-give or online giving, contact Hilary Legge at hlegge@unitedwaynsv.org

Funding Criteria

Funds will not be limited to United Way NSV partner agencies. We understand the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancelations, as well as other challenges. Our goal is to make sure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

At this time we will not be funding organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services.

In order to move resources quickly and not further burden organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic, the application will be more streamlined than our standard fund distribution process. There will be a short application for agencies to complete. Applying agencies must also submit the following accountability documentation:

  • IRS 501(c)3 Letter
  • 2018 or 2019 IRS Form 990
  • Verification of being legally incorporated and registered in Virginia

If you are an agency interested in receiving resources from this fund, please contact Hilary Legge at hlegge@unitedwaynsv.org to make sure we are aware of your needs and can keep them in mind as the granting process progresses and needs become clearer.

If you are an individual who’s been affected by COVID-19, please reach out to United Way NSV’s Valley Assistance Network at van@unitedwaynsv.org or (540) 773-3178. The volunteers at VAN can help you find resources to assist you. Awarded grants will be posted on the COVID-19 Relief Fund Investment page. At that time, you can also check there for a list of organizations that may be able to provide assistance.

While the Fund will not go through the standard United Way fund distribution vetting process, United Way NSV is fully committed to protecting donor dollars and will do all that we can to be transparent in our funding decisions. To view the agencies that have been funded by the COVID-19 Relief Fund, CLICK HERE.

Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases. Due to the ever-changing nature of this crisis, agencies will be able to apply more than once. However, the re-applying agency must have completed the required grant report for their previous funding before becoming eligible to apply again.

If you live in Winchester City, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah or Page counties find out what resources are available to you and your family during these difficult times whether you work with a service provider already or not. 

See our resources.

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed in March 2020, is intended to help families overcome financial hardship due to the public health emergency (COVID-19). 

This program is being administered by United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley and Valley Assistance Network with funding provided by Frederick County and City of Winchester Governments through the federal CARES Act.

Read more about the program, eligibility criteria and how to apply here