United Way of Central Florida and GiveWell Community Foundation have partnered to establish the United Community Relief Fund  


LAKELAND, FL (March 18, 2020) – To aid community organizations facing an unprecedented demand on resources, United Way of Central Florida and GiveWell Community Foundation are announcing the United Community Relief Fund.

Every day, thousands of individuals throughout Central Florida struggle to afford basic necessities like housing, food, transportation and clothing. With children out of school, businesses temporarily closing, community events being canceled, and workers being laid off, there has never been a time where community support and financial resources have been more critically needed.

The new fund will support local nonprofit organizations serving those most vulnerable to the economic and health-related impacts triggered by a community crisis. GiveWell Community Foundation and United Way of Central Florida will collaborate to raise critical dollars from individual donors, corporate partners and the community at large and work together to identify potential grant recipients and allocate funding.

“United Way and GiveWell Community Foundation are uniquely positioned to swiftly and effectively identify areas with the greatest need, activate and rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Christina Criser Jackson, president and CEO of United Way of Central Florida. “We are working closely with local nonprofits, community partners, and local officials to identify immediate priorities.”

“It is more important than ever that we come together to provide support to nonprofits addressing the most critical needs of our community,” said Terry Simmers, president and CEO of GiveWell Community Foundation. “Bolstering support of our nonprofits addressing these needs is essential, and we are working together to quickly support the residents and organizations on the front lines in our community.”

To donate to the United Community Relief Fund, go to unitedcommunityrelief.org 


Individuals and families impacted and in need of support can contact United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral Center for quick access to resources and aid available in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties. Connect to 2-1-1 by phone, text message, online chat or email. 2-1-1 is a valuable tool that is available 24-hours and 7 days-a-week. 

About the United Way of Central Florida
United Way of Central Florida works to improve lives and strengthen our community by identifying gaps in services and providing solutions. UWCF works with qualified partners to improve the health, education and financial stability of people in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties. United Way works to amplify donor dollars with local matches, convene partners to improve efficiencies and broker services that produce the best return on investment in the areas of most critical need. United Way believes no one can do their best if they are hungry, sick or in pain. To learn more, visit uwcf.org or call 863-648-1500. 

About the GiveWell Community Foundation
GiveWell Community Foundation works with individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits to build a stronger community throughout Polk, Hardee, and Highlands county and beyond through charitable funds and competitive grant cycles. The Foundation is home to more than 300 charitable funds and the Impact Polk and Empower Polk grant cycles. GWCF has awarded of $209 million in grants since its founding in 1997. To learn more about GWCF, visit givecf.org or call 863-683-3131.

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