Amidst the news that Chester County will transition to the green phase on Friday, United Way of Chester County has announced that it will shift its strategic focus on July 1 from COVID-19 rapid response funding to a new community impact and innovation phase with the launch of “Chester County Stronger – A Campaign to Rebuild Our Community Better Than It Was.”
This new effort will transition UWCC’s work from the highly successful Chester County COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to a new impact agenda centered around recovery, rebuilding, and reimagining a stronger community.
When COVID-19 reached Chester County, UWCC quickly recognized that it was critical to begin to prepare for, respond to, and ultimately help Chester County residents emerge from this global pandemic. A full week prior to the county being placed under a statewide stay-at-home order, UWCC launched the Chester County COVID-19 Response Fund, one of the earliest response funds in Pennsylvania.
With gifts ranging from $1.30 to $250,000, the community response was unprecedented, with contributions totaling $840,000 in just 88 days. As county residents began to feel the immediate impact of the crisis, so did nonprofits in Chester County through staggering increases in demand. UWCC’s early efforts allowed it to respond to these needs quickly, and by April 3, it began to rapidly deploy financial resources that were desperately needed to respond to this demand.
In just 10 weeks, UWCC distributed $612,758 to 83 nonprofits in every corner of Chester County to address food insecurity, maintain critical service delivery, provide COVID testing, supply critical PPE supplies, prevent homelessness, and help residents with financial stability services. This fund will continue releasing the remaining funds for direct COVID-related needs until 100 percent of funds raised are distributed.
It is now time for UWCC to pivot its efforts to the next steps needed to bring Chester County back.
While UWCC will continue to do all it can to mitigate the immediate impact of the virus, no one knows the scope of what will be required to rebuild Chester County in the near future and the long term. UWCC’s focus now must be to reimagine a new normal that results in a more equitable and resilient community for all.
For more than 75 years, UWCC has been fighting for this county. But the fight isn’t over; it’s just beginning. The bell rings on July 1.
Click here to learn more about the United Way of Chester County.
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