Press Release: Community Resilience Fund Update
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNITED WAY COMMUNITY RESILIENCE FUND ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE RELIEF, ONGOING NONPROFIT SUPPORT
BUFFALO, NY, March 24, 2023 – United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, who established the Community Resilience Fund in the wake of the December 2022 Blizzard, today issued an update on initial distributions of community support and emergency response milestones. Four organizations, including Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network, Buffalo Urban League, Delavan Grider Community Center and Resource Council of WNY, helped to mobilize a total of $125,000 for flexible resource crisis recovery. These partners, working in areas hit hardest by the December blizzard, were selected based on their capacity to quickly distribute resources directly to affected families, in amounts ranging from $200 to $1000 to meet immediate needs related to food, medical expenses, rent/mortgage payments, utilities, home repairs and household needs resulting from the blizzard.
United Way has also announced that, through the Community Resilience Fund, one year of Work/Life Solutions will be made available to employees at six local nonprofit organizations. Through this program, nonprofit workers will gain access to a Work/Life Solutions resource coordinator, financial education, and a short-term loan program to help meet unexpected expenses, with a goal of reducing stress, improving financial well-being and supporting the continued productivity of frontline nonprofit professionals. To-date, participating organizations include Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network, Buffalo Urban League, Resource Council of WNY, Say Yes Buffalo and VOICE Buffalo.
“Every day, in times of crisis and beyond, nonprofit employees are on the front lines providing support. We hear over and over that this group of essential workers needs support, too,” says Trina Burruss, President and CEO of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. “Thanks to the support of National Grid and other funders, United Way will be able to use Work/Life Solutions, a program made possible by Evans Bank, to relieve some of the stressors facing our nonprofit workforce, many of whom were significantly impacted on both a professional and personal level by the Blizzard of 2022 and 5/14.”
In its role as a convener, United Way has begun a process of co-creating a nonprofit emergency playbook as part of Erie County’s larger health and human services emergency planning efforts. United Way will also partner with Erie County to coordinate and assemble 5,000 Emergency Care Kits as part of this year’s United Way Day of Caring in June of 2023. These kits will be filled with essential emergency preparedness items for distribution to Erie County residents in vulnerable neighborhoods. To date, over $700,000 has been committed from local foundations, corporations and individuals, including grants from National Grid, the Buffalo Bills Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY, the James H. Cummings Foundation, the Western New York Foundation, Amazon and NYSEG. In addition to current blizzard response and strategic emergency planning efforts, The Community Resilience Fund will hold in reserve $150,000 to allow for greater agility in responding to future crises, as well as continue to invest in ongoing efforts to build lasting financial security in our region.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF BUFFALO & ERIE COUNTY
For over 100 years, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has fought to improve the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. By forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, and mobilizing the best resources, we inspire individuals to join the fight against our community’s most daunting social crises. We believe that to live better, we must LIVE UNITED. Learn more at uwbec.org.