COVID-19 Relief Initiative coming to United Way of Monroe County for Brown, Greene, Monroe and Owen Counties

United Way of Monroe County is pleased to announce that it has been approved to receive a $1.2 million COVID-19 Economic Relief Initiative Grant, made possible through a partnership between Lilly Endowment, Inc. and Indiana United Ways, the state professional association of which United Way of Monroe County is a member. These special funds will be used to boost the efforts of selected area human and social service nonprofits on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brown, Greene, Monroe and Owen counties.

United Way of Monroe County partnered with the community foundations in Brown, Greene, Monroe and Owen counties to apply for the funds, and will continue to collaborate closely with each so that funding is administered in a manner that meets local needs and priorities.

This award multiplies the generosity of local donors including individuals, local government entities, foundations and private businesses, which have raised nearly $400,000 to date, with $311,000 distributed in a first phase of response to emerging needs.

“The community response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been immense from both individuals and organizations. Because of our long history of meeting human needs, United Way of Monroe County was strategically positioned to step in as key leaders and coordinators of our community’s response,” said Efrat Feferman, Executive Director of United Way of Monroe County. “Even before this crisis, we knew that nearly half of our local population struggled to make ends meet with many relying on nonprofit agencies to make it day to day. That included one in three households in our area that were hovering right above the edge of poverty despite working. An additional 20 percent were living in full-blown poverty facing even more significant challenges,” Feferman continued.

“This crisis has meant that many more additional families are falling into these groups – visiting food pantries, seeking financial assistance and in dire need of support from our safety net. Thanks to generous support from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., we are now more strongly positioned to help our community’s nonprofits deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19.”

Kirsten Grønbjerg, United Way Board President added, “We are truly grateful to the Lilly Endowments for this critical initiative in these challenging times and its long history of substantial efforts to support local communities in Indiana.”

The COVID-19 Economic Relief Initiative Grant calls for United Ways that receive funding to leverage partnerships and relationships to better meet COVID-related essential and basic needs, which could include safe, emergency childcare, and to address other Covid-19 critical issues as they emerge. Specifically, United Way of Monroe County plans to focus on shelter, food, health and personal safety and childcare.

From the COVID-19 Economic Relief Initiative Grant award, United Way of Monroe County is allocating $44,142 to the Brown County Community Foundation, $185,483 to the Greene County Foundation, and $120,802 to the Owen County Community Foundation. In Monroe County, a committee including representatives from the Bloomington Health Foundation, City of Bloomington, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Monroe County Government, Indiana University and United Way of Monroe County will continue to support local administration of the funding for Monroe County.

United Way of Monroe County will begin accepting funding requests from area human and social service nonprofits in good standing beginning Tuesday, May 5. Interested organizations should consult United Way of Monroe County’s website at for guidance on funding intent and application instructions.

United Way of Monroe County is a nonprofit organization that improves people’s lives by addressing critical needs today and working to reduce those needs tomorrow. Through its Community Action Fund and grant initiatives, United Way works with 24 member agencies and community partners to ensure families have opportunities and everyone can meet basic living needs. For more information, contact Efrat Feferman, Executive Director, at

Lilly Endowment Inc., is a private philanthropic foundation supporting the causes of religion, education and community development focusing its work in Indianapolis and the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Judith Cebula, Communications Director at

Indiana United Ways is the state association for United Ways in Indiana that supports thriving United Ways through capacity building, shared services and partnering. For more information, contact Maureen Noe, President and CEO at

View article on Greene County Daily World website. (Subscription required.)