United Way awards $100K to 13 nonprofits addressing evolving needs in the wake of COVID-19


COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund issues grants for education, income, health and essential needs

United Way Quad Cities awarded grants to 13 local nonprofits totaling $100,000. United Way’s COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund supports agencies who are providing essential needs and resources for Quad Citizens – access to food, sanitary supplies and emergency financial assistance – as well as those working toward longer-term recovery to strengthen education, income and health.

“As we navigate through this crisis, United Way is focused on recovery and rebuilding our community,” United Way President and CEO Rene Gellerman said. “We are working with community leaders and agency partners to find and fund solutions that address gaps in education, soaring unemployment and health and safety challenges that will have a long-term impact on our community.”

“Together with our partners, we will impact the lives of over 5,800 Quad Citizens with these grants,” Gellerman added.

The COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund was created by United Way in May to respond to evolving community needs throughout the year and into 2021. These funds, made up from gifts by individuals and corporate donors, will help our region recover from the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

“By recognizing where the need is greatest and applying our resources, we can identify and build the interventions that give people the opportunity for upward mobility, quality education and mental health supports,” said Jen Hunt, chair of the United Way’s COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund Distribution Committee.

The first 13 recipients of COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund grants were:

  • Handicapped Development Center – $5,396 for coronavirus protection supplies   
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Valley – $10,000 for coronavirus protection supplies and individual school and art supplies for participants
  • Community Action of Eastern Iowa – $5,000 for 500 hygiene supply kits   
  • GiGi's Playhouse Quad Cities – $990 for coronavirus protection supplies
  • Hand in Hand – $4,500 for increased staffing costs to implement social distancing guidelines
  • Humility Homes and Services Inc. – $15,000 for increased shelter costs and rent assistance/utility assistance for rapid rehousing
  • Iowa Legal Aid – $10,000 for legal services to prevent eviction due to the eviction moratorium being lifted in Iowa
  • One Eighty – $10,038 for food box distribution providing meals for 820 people / 7,100 meals   
  • QC Haven of Hope – $500 for coronavirus protection supplies
  • SAL Family & Community Services – $10,000 for touchless garbage cans to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • The Salvation Army – $10,000 for hygiene supply distribution
  • United Township High School District #30 – $15,000 for digital divide solutions
  • Youth Service Bureau of Rock Island County – $3,576 for coronavirus protection support

Needs Remain High

“The needs for community services United Way donor’s support have grown tremendously since March, especially among low- to middle-income families who were laid off over-night. We have to work together to put opportunity back in the hands of all Quad Citizens,” Gellerman said.

“We are proud of the generosity of our community for lifting up their fellow Quad Citizens in need by giving to the COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund,” Gellerman added. “These organizations are doing critical work, and helping reimagine a new normal that results in a more equitable and resilient Quad Cities.”

Funding recommendations were made by a volunteer review committee, based on organizations’ abilities to:

  • Provide essential needs like, food, shelter, hygiene items for our most vulnerable populations;
  • Get kids back on track for learning and succeeding in school and life;
  • Address the immediate economic impact for many workers – getting people back to work and financially stable;
  • Ensure the health and emotional wellness of our children and adults.

In total, United Way received $216,982 in funding requests from 19 Quad Cities organizations.

The COVID-19 Rebuilding Fund will continue to raise money and distribute grants on a quarterly basis for eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofits and 170(b) government entities through April 2021.