United Way of Southwest Wyoming has raised $25,360 so far for its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Donors include: Dominion Energy, $16,000; Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., $6,250; Genesis Alkali, $2,500; and individuals.
Funds received are allocated for Fremont, Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater and Uinta Counties. United Way’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund was created to support southwest Wyoming communities struggling in the wake of the new virus, by supporting local community resources.
To-date, United Way has made-contact-with at least one agency in the surrounding counties who do not currently have a community diaper bank. United Way has started shipping diapers and wipes to these locations.
“Not only are people in need of diapers, a basic necessity, because they have lost their job or have reduced hours, but store shelves are empty,” said Kelly Frink, Executive Director, United Way of Southwest Wyoming.
United Way’s Community Diaper Bank in Lyman, WY was open for an extra day last month to meet community needs. The building that houses the Community Diaper Bank in Evanston, WY is closed, but United Way staff and volunteers offered a drive-thru service this week to distribute diapers. The Evanston distribution for April saw record numbers with over 30 new families in need.
United Way is working closely with the Sweetwater Family Resource Center to provide relief to those effected by the Coronavirus pandemic. An application for assistance is on the United Way website at swunitedway.org/application-assistance. Funds are limited and are being released by county as donations are received.
Frink stated that they are keeping in contact with many agencies to determine what the emerging needs are, “Many of our Community Partners continue to serve our communities. This is new for everyone. They are doing their best and making adjustments as needed.”
The Food Bank of Sweetwater County is still on schedule for their regular food distribution in Rock Springs and Green River, but are offering a drive-thru. Clients need to stay in their car. The Food Bank hours have changed and they are now taking donations during distribution times.
Young at Heart Senior Center is closed, but is still delivering Special Diet Meals and Home Delivered Meals to their clients. Meals are now delivered contactless with staff and volunteers leaving the meals on doorsteps. The Young at Heart In-Home Services is still seeing clients, but are focusing on more essential services. Regular meals are being picked-up curbside.
The YWCA Center for Families and Children’s emergency housing is still functional and advocates are available for those in need. Victims of domestic violence can contact them through their crisis line, 352-1030 or 872-3253.
The Boys & Girls Club of Sweetwater County is closed, but is still receiving shipments from Food Bank of the Rockies and continues to supply their Club members with these items along with other donations.
The Young at Heart Early Learning Center and YWCA Early Care and Learning Center are both open to families that are considered “essential employees”. Both Centers are taking on new children for parents who are considered essential.
“The Response and Recovery Fund will help families and people in need access services like food, shelter and more. One hundred percent of these donations will provide relief to those left vulnerable by the pandemic,” said Frink.
To donate to the United Way of Southwest Wyoming COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund visit www.swunitedway.org/covid19, mail a check to United Way of Southwest Wyoming, 510 South Main Street, Rock Springs, WY 82901 or call 307-362-5003.