With one in seven Americans losing their jobs over the past month and one in three Long Islanders unable to withstand a sudden loss of wages, United Way of Long Island recently launched United Together: A Response Fund for COVID-19.
The fund is helping Long Island families as the current health and economic crisis progresses. Aid will be used to help eligible low-income applicants who have become newly unemployed or furloughed meet their critical basic needs of food and household supplies via retail gift cards.
United Way started accepting applications at the beginning of April, and applicants must meet the monthly eligibility guidelines. With some economists predicting unemployment numbers possibly hitting 20 percent by the end of April, which rises to Depression Era levels, and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing the extended shutdown of nonessential businesses until May 15, this financial crunch only looks to worsen. The existence of the United Together program is now that much more crucial, according to the leadership of United Way of Long Island.
“We are committed to giving as many families as possible some relief in the form of a gift card,” United Way of Long Island President and CEO Theresa A. Regnante said. “When there is a lack of, or limited income, it can be very difficult to decide what you will have to give up. So we are pleased to be able to help our neighbors when every dollar counts. We are grateful to all of our generous supporters who make this fund possible.”
A number of corporate funders have stepped forward to help with the heavy lifting on this program. Organizations include Bank of America, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, City National Bank, GEICO, National Grid, Northville Industries, PSEG Long Island, The Countess Moira Charitable Foundation, The New York Jets, TriState Capital Bank and UPS, along with hundreds of generous individual donors.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, individuals can contact 211 Long Island for information and referrals related to support services. Visit www.211longisland.org, call 2-1-1, or outside of Nassau and Suffolk Counties dial 1-888-774-7633. The 211 Long Island exchange operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Interested philanthropic partners should contact Regnante at firstname.lastname@example.org or 631-940-3701, or Chief Development Officer, Craig Fligstein at email@example.com or 631-940-3752.
To make a contribution or to learn more about receiving assistance from United Together: A Response Fund For COVID-19, visit www.unitedwayli.org and click on COVID-19 Response. To give by phone, text “Help Now” to 313131.