ABC21 WPTA: United Way launches ‘emergency relief fund’

Mar 24, 2020

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – A newly launched effort to bring together major funders and the general public — all to help nonprofits help local residents — is off and running.

The United Way of Allen County is coordinating an emergency relief effort that gets contributions where they need to be… quickly.

“We started the Allen County Emergency Relief Fund and our goal ws to align with other major funders in the community so that 100 percent invested is going right back into the community and no organization is taking a fee and every dollar raised goes right back into the community,” President and CEO Matthew Purkey told ABC21 on Friday. “Thus far the Community Foundation, Parkview Health, Meijer, the United Way of Allen County Toqueville Society and individuals have all given to that fund.”

Purkey said rules have been adjusted to streamline the distribution of money and that 100 percent of the funds coming in are now reaching nonprofit partners.

The demand, he said, was nearly overwhelming.

“We could not wait around for it to be said for us to do something. We had to act now.

“The United Way is uniquely positioned to raise the funds immediately, to form a mechanism in which we can distribute it back into the community quickly and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”

The United Way of Allen County’s Board of Directors, staff, committee members and volunteers have collectively developed the following:

Funded agency partners: United Way is releasing our funding restrictions to our partner agencies to allow flexibility of use according to their individual operational needs for the next 60 days as they respond to this community crisis.

Data-driven decision making: We, along with others, are working with the Parkview Mirro Center for Research & Innovation and Allen County Department of Health to analyze and prioritize needs that have been identified by the community readiness survey.

Local philanthropy: We are asking local funders and individuals to donate to United Way of Allen County’s newly formed Emergency Relief Fund which United Way is investing the first $100,000.

Contributions are being accepted online via a dedicated page on the United Way of Allen County’s website.