Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia – Seven United Ways in our region are raising funds as a united front to combat effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic with the launch of the Northeast Tennessee Southwest Virginia Relief Fund. The fund was established for businesses and individuals with a regional footprint to give at a regional level. An Advisory Council has been formed and the first distribution of funds will be released this week.
Participating United Ways include: United Way of Bristol TN/VA, United Way of Carter and Johnson Counties, United Way of Greater Kingsport, United Way of Greene County, United Way of Hawkins County, United Way of Southwest Virginia, and United Way of Washington County Tennessee. Donations to the Regional Relief Fund will be reviewed by an Advisory Council made up of the United Way Executive Directors and their Board Chairs. Individuals on the Advisory Council are as follows: Lisa Cofer, Beth Rhinehart, Crystal Carter, Kathy Campbell, Danelle Glasscock, Keith Parker, Wendy Peay, Gary Funk, Teresa Buttry, Pam Mayo, Travis Staton, Mary Begley, Kristan Spear and Donna Depew. Beth Rhinehart, Board Chair from the United Way of Bristol TN-VA and President of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce will serve as chairperson of the Advisory Council. Rhinehart said, “As the coronavirus epidemic continues to negatively impact our communities, the regional relief effort looks to positively impact those on the front lines of this crisis.” This committee will meet virtually on a weekly basis to oversee the distribution of funds.
These efforts will focus on immediate and longer-term response efforts on vulnerable populations, including children, families, and the ALICE population. (ALICE, an acronym coined by United Way that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed represents men, women, and families who work hard and earn more than the official Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living). Danelle Glasscock, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Kingsport, said, “We are committed to help our communities with immediate and long-term recovery efforts in the days to come.”
Those interested in making a gift to the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Relief Fund can visit www.netnswvarelief.org or text NETNSWVARelief to 41444. For givers who want to pay by check, please mail your gift to United Way, Regional COVID-19 Relief Fund, P.O. Box 644, Abingdon, VA 24212.