06 Apr HFBC & UWBC Joint Message on COVID-19
March 31, 2020
At times it seems every article, TV broadcast or social media blurb starts off with: “This is an especially difficult time”; or “something like this has never happened before”; or “who knows when all this is going to end?”
These are constant reminders of how COVID-19 has changed almost everything in just a few weeks. We did not ask for this, and we don’t want to be here. But here we are. Friends, family and neighbors are hurting. They may be sick, unemployed or facing the loss of shelter, food or transportation. And it seems clear that things will get worse before they get better.
Charitable organizations are scrambling not only to operate in a new world of social distancing and telecommuting but more fundamentally in how to help meet a demand that is growing at astronomical rates as the country, state and local communities try to get ahead of the virus.
The government has taken the unprecedented step of sending stimulus checks to millions of Americans as part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act stimulus package. Some people receiving these checks are still employed. If you are one of these fortunate individuals, you have the unique opportunity to help by using some of that stimulus money to assist others in your community.
United Way of Bartholomew County’s COVID-19 Relief Fund is providing rapid release grants to get money to people in need. The fund has raised $300,000 in a few short weeks and already has mobilized $55,000. But the need is forecast to increase with every week that businesses remain closed and employees are furloughed.
A second helpful feature of the CARES Act is a universal charitable deduction. Any taxpayer, even those who no longer itemize charitable deductions, may deduct up to $300 from their taxable income in 2020.
So whether you are a first-time donor or a longtime community contributor, please consider making a $300 donation to the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund. Heritage Fund will match your donation on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to $20,000. If you are looking to do something to help – this fund is an easy way to effectively and efficiently put your generous contribution to work now!
United Way and Heritage Fund remain committed to working together to do everything we can to make sure that our wonderful network of nonprofit agencies remains strong and has the resources to make a positive impact for those who are suffering. Let’s keep working together to make tomorrow better than today.
Mark Stewart, President, United Way of Bartholomew County
Tracy Souza, President and CEO, Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County