The United Way of Central Florida and GiveWell Community Foundation have formed a United Community Relief Fund at to “support local nonprofit organizations serving those most vulnerable to the economic and health-related impacts triggered by a community crisis.”

Here’s a news release the two organizations issued Friday evening:

LAKELAND, FL (March 20, 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  

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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