First Distribution of COVID-19 RESPONSE: Emergency Relief Fund

Today, Jackson County United Way made its first COVID-19 RESPONSE Emergency Relief Fund grant to Anchor House totaling $7,000.  Over the last month, UW has raised just over $33,500 to support immediate economic stability and basic needs throughout Jackson County.  The funds raised will be used to help individuals and families as they weather the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the days and weeks to come.

“This grant is just the first of many that will be made from the Emergency Relief Fund, as more applications come in, we anticipate additional resources being invested back into the community,” shared Tonja Couch, Executive Director. “These grants are available due to the generosity of 80 individuals; civic organizations like Tri-Kappa & 4H Junior Leaders; small businesses like Nacho Momma’s Burritos; and our corporate partners including: Cummins Foundation, SIHO, Old National Bank, Aisin Group Companies, Centra Credit Union, JCB and the Truist Foundation.”

“Our social service and faith based organizations have been in weekly communication to assess emerging needs and direct service providers to better understand their most pressing challenges,” said Couch. “With this information, the COVID-19 Fund Distribution Committee is able to make decisions on grants to organizations that serve vulnerable populations and provide flexibility to problem solve in a rapidly changing environment.”
The COVID-19 Fund Distribution Committee includes leaders from seventeen non-profit, faith-based, governmental and community leaders who are experienced in understanding emerging unmet needs and grant management focus on the following types of services:

  • Food supports, housing & utility assistance for those struggling to make ends meet
  • Childcare assistance for those returning back to work
  • Strengthening access to resources for seniors and other vulnerable populations
  • Disaster planning and infrastructure support to connect people to services

“At this moment, our community is feeling the impact of layoffs and other job losses, increased childcare needs due to school closures, and significant food shortages for our most vulnerable neighbors,” said Luke Nolting, JCUW Board President. “We hope that this first wave of funding can help Anchor House begin to address food insecurity, hygiene and cleaning supply needs.”

The purpose of the fund is to assist non-profit organizations helping individuals and families with immediate COVID-19 related financial needs not covered by government programs or other traditional relief sources.  Instead, the fund will provide financial assistance to non-profits organizations who are eligible.  To be eligible the organization must:

  • Be recognized by the IRS as a non-profit under IRS code 501(c)3.
  • Serve residents in Jackson County.
  • Have an emergent organizational need or have process to provide direct individual assistance for emergent needs.  If direct individual assistance is provided, the client will be asked to complete a Charity Tracker Release of Information and the organization complete an assistance record in the Charity Tracker system. 

Megan Cherry, Executive Director of Anchor House shared this, “We are very thankful for our ongoing partnership with United Way, and we look forward to using this support in continuing to join with them as we help families navigate their way to stability during these unprecedented times.”

Those organizations wanting to apply can request funds through a simple application process available at  United Way is partnering with nonprofits to make sure there is child care, food, and housing & utility assistance in place- while keeping an eye on future unmet and emerging needs. We are focused on ensuring support for those families that have been hardest hit.

Payments will not be made directly to individuals or families requesting financial assistance.  United Way is convening bi-weekly conference calls to discuss emerging and unmet needs and planning for future needs with over 40 non-profit, faith-based, governmental and community leaders.  In order to have one point of contact for multiple needs United Way has created a COVID-19 Assistance Referral Form to connect clients to needs to a variety of services.  The form can be completed online at

Every $100 donated will be matched DOLLAR for DOLLAR to the COVID-19 Response Emergency Relief Fund by the Indiana United Ways UNIN20 Grant up to $25,000. Special provisions have been made under the recent CARES Act. These allow for individual taxpayers who choose not to itemize their deductions in 2020 to take a qualified charitable contribution deduction of up to $300.  100% of what is raised will be directly invested back into Jackson County’s most pressing needs in regards to this pandemic. Your generous contribution supports Jackson County’s human service needs during economic distress associated with COVID-19.  Donations can be made securely at,  by calling 812-522-5450 ext. 7, or by mailing a check (Memo: Emergency Relief) to P.O. Box 94, Seymour IN 47274.