The local fund for coronavirus relief has topped $3 million, less than a week since the fund was announced by Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and other local officials.
The Truist Foundation gave $1 million to the fund as part of its Truist Cares Initiative, and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust gave $500,000 to the fund.
Kate B. Reynolds also gave $1 million to the North Carolina Healthcare Association Foundation for statewide coronavirus efforts.
The local fund is called the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County, and has a website, at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/COVID19Forsyth, where people can donate to the fund or check on the growing total.
The fund is a joint project of the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County governments, the Winston-Salem Foundation, the United Way of Forsyth County and Community Organizations Active in Disaster.
“We know that $3 million is a tremendous start just a week into this,” said Scott Wierman, the president of the Winston-Salem Foundation. “We also know that the needs and demands of the community will far outstrip that $3 million. Our commitment is to leverage the generous gifts that have been given to us so that individuals who are impacted are helped as quickly as possible.”
Wierman said that the effort should also encourage others to “respond in ways that are appropriate to them.”
Dr Laura Gerald, the president of Kate B. Reynolds, said it is urgent to help people who will be the most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including people living in “marginalized communities who are less likely to have access to quality health care, and more likely to suffer long-term consequences” from the outbreak.
The Healthcare Association that the trust is helping is a membership organization of hospitals, health systems and clinics. As the medical facilities regularly see Medicaid, Medicare, and uninsured patients, the grant is intended to shore up the organizations and help fill gaps where state and federal funds fall short.
Of the $1 million in Healthcare Association funding, $500,000 will go to hospitals, $250,000 to the North Carolina Free and Charitable Clinics, and $250,000 to the North Carolina Community Health Center Association.
In Forsyth County, the application site was scheduled to go online Tuesday night for groups that want some of the money that is being raised by the local COVID-19 fund.
People who need help will not be getting money directly from the fund. The fund will distribute money to various nonprofit groups, which will then use the money to help people offset the coronavirus impact.
“I would anticipate that within the next 10 days or so we will be announcing the first grants,” Wierman said.
Individuals who need help should call 211, an information and referral service operated by United Way.