Non-profits launch Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund, raise more than $900,000

United Way exceeds campaign goal

MADISON, Wis. — Several local non-profits launched the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund on Friday.

According to a release, the fund already has more than $900,000 dedicated to helping those affected by the pandemic.

It’s a joint effort, operated by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, United Way of Dane County and Selfless Ambition.

The fund was created to ensure that local non-profits have money to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“What we want to do is really help the community and those who lost their jobs and those who are food insecure and housing insecure get resources to help them bridge between now and whenever they can go back to work or get assistance from the government,” said Renee Moe, President and CEO of United Way of Dane County.

Non-profits can apply through United Way. Those applications will be reviewed to determine where the money will go.

Moe said the greatest needs right now are for housing, food and childcare.

Decisions on where the money is needed most are expected to be made by the end of April.

Funds will be split into short-term emergencies, including buying medical supplies, meals for kids during school closures and local shelters, or long-term emergencies, which could include eviction and homelessness prevention.

“If you’re somebody that maybe worked at a hotel and lost your job, you can go to a non-profit and say ‘Hey, I’m having trouble making my rent. Is there some assistance for me so that I don’t go into homelessness?’ We know that there’s been some wonderful work done to make sure evictions don’t occur over the next few months, but landlords still need to get paid. And we also know that by getting behind in rent for a couple months, you’re more likely to get evicted,” said Moe.

The Dan and Patti Rashke TASC Family Foundation, Madison Gas & Electric Foundation and UW Credit Union has each contributed a $100,000 lead gift.

If you’d like to donate, click here. You can also text help4covid to 40403.

United Way is also recruiting volunteers to help with food delivery, childcare for health workers, and temporary housing and food pantry support.