United Way Spearheads COVID Response

United Way Spearheads COVID Response

The United Way’s local COVID Response provided much needed support to non-profits during the pandemic.

On April 6, 2020, The United Way of Northeastern South Dakota established a local COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist area non-profits that were directly impacted by the pandemic. The COVID response was astounding! Within the week, the United Way had over $100,000 in commitments, including donations from the United Way Foundation, Knight Foundation, area businesses, and individuals.

Below is a list of funded programs along with quotes from the recipient agencies.

Donations have been distributed to:

  • Aberdeen Area Senior Center – Meals On Wheels Program to help assist with client charges ($8,073)
  • Area IV Senior Nutrition Program – to help cover an increase in meals for seniors ($12,500)
  • DTOM 22/0 Foundation – care support for the ranch and financial assistance for therapy ($3,000)
  • Journey Home – Food Box Program to help meet the higher need for food assistance ($7,000)
  • Salvation Army – rent, food, and utility assistance to individuals and families ($46,255)
  • Avera Foundation – purchase of medical grade thermometers to assist businesses and non-profits reopen ($10,000)
  • SPURS – care support for the ranch and financial assistance for therapy ($10,000)
  • Aberdeen Family YMCA – Youth Development Center conversion to add more classrooms to comply with CDC guidelines for reopening ($4,976.50)
  • Presentation College – food and material assistance for students ($8,400)
  • Child and Adolescent Services System Program (CASSP) – Flex Funding for families ($5,000)
  • Aberdeen Boys and Girls Club – HandBid Software to assist with virtual fundraisers ($2,500)
  • Ipswich Tiger Post – summer care assistance ($8,000).

“In the spring of 2020, the United Way COVID Response allocation was the only consistent funds we had coming in at that time.” —Becky Fischbach, SPURS

Boys & Girls Club staff member Allie Bauer takes the temperature of Alexander Quillen as a safety precaution before entering the Boys & Girls Club building.

“The Avera St. Luke’s Foundation had an idea to help safely open up and give back to our community. By the end of the week, the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund provided the seed money to begin the thermometer distribution program. To date, over 300 thermometers have been distributed to business, schools, and non-profits in the region.” —Amy Blackstone, Avera St. Luke’s Foundation

“We never really needed to buy food in the past, but with the shutdown of the NALC Food Drive this spring, we needed to figure out how we would provide our food boxes to people in need. The United Way COVID-19 fund quickly provided $7,000 dollars towards stocking our food pantry.” —Alex Miller, Journey Home

“The Meals On Wheels program has a number of clients that live on the edge of financial stability. With furloughs and reduced hours, the United Way COVID-19 fund ensured our clients would not need to worry about missing a meal during the pandemic.” —Jackie Witlock, Aberdeen Meals On Wheels

“This year, we are missing out on a least two of our largest fundraisers. The COVID-19 funds are being used to help us create a virtual platform for fundraising and making sure we can keep the doors of success open for this coming year.” —Mike Herman, Aberdeen Area Boys & Girls Club. // –United Way Staff

For more information on how you can help the Aberdeen Area during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact United Way of Northeastern, SD or Dial 211 to learn more.

Featured image: The Avera St. Luke’s Foundation partnered with United Way and the Boys & Girls Club in purchasing thermometers for local businesses and non-profits to utilize in the Aberdeen Area.

Pictured is Foundation Director Amy Blackstone of Avera St. Luke’s, Executive Director Aaron Schultz of United Way, and Executive Director Mike Hermann of the Boys & Girls Club.