Pulling Together: COVID-19 Response Fund

By United Way of King County Posted on March 9, 2020 In News

As our community grapples with COVID-19 virus, the conversation starts with how do we take care of ourselves and moves quickly to how do we take care of each other. With people’s health at risk and our day-to-day activities changing rapidly, there are economic implications for so many of our neighbors who work in the service industry, may not have health insurance, and for those who may be living paycheck-to-paycheck.  

Over the weekend, a group of philanthropy, government and business partners joined together in an incredible example of just how we can take care of each other. A COVID-19 Response Fund has been created that will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations, getting dollars to where they’re needed most. 

Already, the lead partners have donated more than $2.5 million. Microsoft, Amazon and Alaska Airlines have led the charge and are asking other companies and individuals to follow suit and donate.  

“United Way knows that far too many people in King County are living just a missed paycheck away from hunger and homelessness,”  

Gordon McHenry, Jr., United Way of King County CEO & President

Hosted by Seattle Foundation, the COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible dollars for communities who are disproportionally impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak.  

Side-by-side with Seattle Foundation, United Way will work to get these dollars into the community quickly. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases.  

United Way of King County is well positioned for this sort of rapid response, With volunteer-led groups focused on identifying needs year-round coupled with staff expertise, we will be able to work with direct-service providers and get the dollars where they’re needed most. 

Kudos to lead partners Seattle Foundation, King County, City of Seattle, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Microsoft, and The Starbucks Foundation. We hope you’ll join them.  


March 11, 2020

I see lots of organizations posting links on how to donate to funds like this, but I don't find any links on where people can request these funds. I know plenty of performers in the Seattle community who will be significantly impacted by this pandemic. And those same people are posting all over social media that people should STILL come out to their shows because they won't be able to survive if people don't come. Those same performers need access to assurances and funds to help "convince" them that they will be able to survive.

March 12, 2020

YES - lots of where to donate and media coverage already...but where's the contact/detail info to access/request/get identified for grant funding?? Time is of the essence here - we are small indie biz that are striving to keep payroll going week to week and, in our case, even add health insurance coverage for our team. Please provide access details.

March 12, 2020

Thank you for reaching out. United Way is working with partners to get resources mobilized to help individuals.

We have a new blog post with links to resources that might be helpful to you.

We also recommend calling 211 to see what other resources you are eligible for.

Kiki Elfendahl
March 18, 2020

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