There was less than $1,000 left Thursday in the Green River Area COVID-19 Response Fund. Then Daviess County Fiscal Court awarded $150,000 to the Response Fund. The City of Owensboro followed suit with a matching donation.
A total of $787,237 had been raised and invested in agencies to meet area needs through the Response Fund. Local nonprofit agencies have been receiving funds to assist with COVID-19-related expenses and in some cases to provide food, housing assistance, after school care and other lifesaving services.
But the funds have been essentially depleted Thursday before County and City stepped in.
Daviess County Commissioner George Wathen, a member of the COVID-19 Response Fund Council, informed the members he planned to ask Fiscal Court for another donation to continue meeting local needs.
“There are always people in our community who are suffering, but this pandemic has magnified that suffering greatly,” Wathen said.
By unanimous vote, Fiscal Court approved the donation.
City Manager Nate Pagan later confirmed City Commissioners were in unanimous support of donating an additional $150,000.
“I know this pandemic has reached into the core of our community and I am pleased the City is in the position to help with assistance once again,” said Mayor Tom Watson. “We are working with state and federal officials to get as much aid into our community as possible.”
Amy Silvert, Executive Director for the Green River Area Community Foundation and a co-founding member of the Council, said they all want to help those who are most in need because of the ill effects of the pandemic.
“This pandemic affects more than the people who have it,” she said. “It has hurt our schools, churches and businesses and will continue to affect us for the foreseeable future. In the beginning we thought we might be wrapping up by the end of the year. However, it appears the major challenges may still be in front of us.
David Ross, President of the United Way, believes the most expensive portion of the pandemic so far will be in the first and second quarters of 2021.
“Many of the federal programs will reload with more money for rent and utilities right after the first of the year,” he said. “The needs for food, meals and afterschool programs will continue. Depending on the school schedules and child care needs, we could see the need for assistance spike exponentially in the first six months of 2021. With the increasing numbers of cases and deaths there will be more strain on those agencies providing services.”
He added, “When the fund started we raised almost three quarters of a million dollars in a very short period of time. Support came when we needed it and I believe it will come now again as the need remains”.
To donate to the Green River Area COVID-19 Response Fund, checks be sent to Green River Area COVID-19 Response Fund, PO Box 705, Owensboro KY, 42302.