Partners announce formation of Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund

EMPORIA, Kan. – The Emporia Community Foundation, Emporia Main Street, KVOE, and United Way of the Flint Hills have announced the creation of the Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund. The four partners joined forces to broaden the reach of the existing Lyon County Disaster Relief Fund to support the needs of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage, Wabaunsee, and Woodson counties surrounding COVID-19 relief.

Of the collaboration, United Way Executive Director Mickey Edwards said, “One of the things I love most about our community is our willingness to come together and support those in need. The collaboration of the nonprofit and for-profit communities joining forces in this way demonstrates that perfectly. The United Way is eager to be a part of disaster relief efforts. We are proud to be able to serve our community when needed.”

As one of the creators of the original Lyon County Disaster Relief Fund, KVOE saw the need, and worked with Emporia Main Street to start the fund to help with COVID-19 relief. “KVOE’S Live and Local mission is to serve our community, so we are excited to collaborate with Emporia Main Street, the Emporia Community Foundation and the United Way,” said Ron Thomas, general manager of KVOE. “The Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund will be able to help many in need during this difficult time and beyond.”

All donations will be used to help respond to COVID-19 in the region. The Emporia Community Foundation, where the funds will be held, is waiving administrative fees for the fund. “With the exception of fees charged by PayPal or credit card companies, 100 percent of your gift will be used to respond to needs brought on by COVID-19 in our community,” said Becky Nurnberg, Emporia Community Foundation executive director. “The cost of processing the donations, sending letters to donors, and disbursing funds to those with needs is the ECF’s gift to the Greater Emporia community.”

Organizations and businesses needing assistance and interested in applying to the fund can apply through the United Way or Emporia Main Street websites. Businesses should apply through Main Street, while nonprofits should apply through the United Way. Through grants from the fund, resources will be moved as quickly as possible to community-based organizations that are directly supporting those who are most affected. Casey Woods with Emporia Main Street said, “We know that this pandemic is taking an extreme toll on the area, and we are excited to work with these partners on a fund in which 100 percent of the dollars donated will help our local medical professionals, citizens, businesses, and organizations through this disaster. Setting up a disaster relief fund for this area will have immediate positive impacts, and will give our region another tool to compensate for future struggles.”

The Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund will have multiple phases of funding to address both the immediate and longer-term needs related to this crisis. The initial focus is on the medical community. Future phases will focus on economic needs. Priority will be given to local organizations working to meet the basic needs of those most significantly impacted by this crisis.

Those interested in donating to the fund may give online at emporiacf.org/make-donationunitedwayoftheflinthills.org, or emporiamainstreet.com. Donors can mail contributions to either the United Way or the Emporia Community Foundation. Until the statewide stay-home order is lifted, both United Way and Emporia Community Foundation offices are closed to the public, so donors are asked not to make donations in person.

For more information, contact Mickey Edwards, 620-342-7564 or [email protected], Ron Thomas, 620-342-1400 or [email protected], Casey Woods, 620-340-6430 or [email protected], or Becky Nurnberg, 620-342-9304 or [email protected].

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