Six Summit County entities have joined together to raise and channel much-needed funding into the community.
United Way of Summit County is the public face of the Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund, which had grown to $400,000 in just two weeks. The fund then jumped to nearly $1 million after the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation contributed $500,000 Monday.
There is no application process, said United Way President and CEO Jim Mullen. The partners will work together to select the recipients for each round, with the first distribution totaling $170,000.
“We are going to, in our minds, give substantial dollars to specific organizations that are on the ground doing direct service work to those that been impacted by the pandemic,” Mullen said.
Organizations chosen to receive the assistance are experts in areas where there is an immediate need in the community, he said.
“One of the things that we are really adamant about is in a time of crisis like this, particularly unprecedented once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, nimbleness and flexibility around funds need to be the most important," he said. "We also know we need to get out of the way.”
Fifty-thousand dollars will go to the food bank. Another $45,000 will be divided between Summa Health, Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Akron Children’s Hospital for personal protective equipment for health care workers. The Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties will receive $20,000. Funds will also go toward childcare services, housing assistance and emergency personnel.
You can donate to the fund here.