United Way of Lebanon County has awarded four grants to nonprofit organizations that are helping the community get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the second round of grants in United Way’s initiative to help community organizations continue to provide essential services during the pandemic.
The grants distributed a total of $16,130 to the Lebanon YMCA, Lebanon Family Health Services (LFHS), Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center (SARCC), and Lebanon Valley Volunteers in Medicine (VIM).
“These organizations are critical in supporting community members, utilizing their already limited revenue, in response to this community crisis,” said the United Way in a press release.
By awarding these grants, United Way hopes to help these organizations in their respective efforts to safely reopen childcare facilities, reintroduce in-person medical services, update technology to support sexual assault victims and replenish personal protective equipment (PPE).
“We recognized when we established this fund that we didn’t know what to expect when this unprecedented pandemic reached Lebanon County,” said Brooke Smith, CEO of United Way of Lebanon County. “We knew we needed to remain flexible to our community’s needs as they arise.
“The state and federal government stepped in with aid for agencies addressing these basic needs, so we are now looking at the overall health and wellbeing of our neighbors who are struggling.”
The first grant gave the YMCA $5,000 to help them reopen their childcare programs for children with parents who work.
This money will go towards PPE for children and staff and signage to encourage hygiene and safety. It will also be used to ensure that the YMCA will not need to turn families away if they cannot afford childcare if there is a lack of state-provided assistance because summer camps cannot be held in school facilities.
Another $5,000 grant was given to LFHS to help them safely reintroduce in-person visits with their patients, who are primarily women, infants and children in low-income households. The grant would cover the cost of PPE, Plexiglass dividers and other tools to keep LFHS’s clients, patients and staff safe.
The next grant awarded $3,065 to SARCC to update its technology so that counselors, advocates, therapists, and educators can continue to provide virtual support to victims of sexual assault. This money will allow SARCC to install the necessary software on laptops they recently received to provide their services virtually.
Lebanon Valley VIM also received $3,065 so that the medical professionals there can continue to provide their services in a safe manner. VIM was the only free clinic in Lebanon County that continued to offer free, in-person primary care since the beginning of the pandemic, which puts them in high need of PPE.
The money awarded will be used to ensure the clinic remains sufficiently stocked with PPE, medication and other essential supplies.
These grants were funded by the Lebanon County Community Support Fund, which was established in March to assist organizations during the pandemic. The fund is entirely composed of donations. Those who would like to donate to the fund can visit the United Way website.
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