The United Way of the Ohio Valley and the Green River Area Community Foundation’s Green River Area COVID-19 Response Fund has risen to more than half a million dollars in less than a week.

The groups will begin accepting applications for area community agencies in need of funds beginning Friday, March 27.

The two partnered to provide relief funds for organizations that are assisting community members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Green River area, which spans Daviess, Ohio, Union, Webster, Hancock and McLean counties. It is available to complement work already being done for public health, nonprofit, faith-based organizations, as well as government entities who are experiencing hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and related economic disruption.

Amy L. Silvert, executive director of the Green River Area Community Foundation, said the funds are available to those charitable organizations directly because they are already addressing these needs and that this area already has a lot of “experienced organizations out there that know how to get those resources to families.”

She said nonprofits have an extra demand right now because of the influx of families and individuals needing resources in the midst of the pandemic.

Donations to the Green River Area COVID-19 Response Fund can be made online at www.uwov.org/donate/ or checks can be made to Green River Area COVID-19 Response Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 705, Owensboro, KY 42302.

Doug Eberhart, executive vice president of the United Way of the Ohio Valley, said in a release sent Thursday by Silvert that the organization already knows that needs in the area have “risen dramatically.”

“Some of our agencies are experiencing a 300% increase in services and have had to turn people away. More help is needed,” he said.

Interested nonprofit agencies can find application information at https://uwov.org/covid-19-request-funds/.

The fund is available to provide “general operating support grants to nonprofits whose operations address the basic needs of vulnerable populations that are under additional strain due to the pandemic, and are not to supplement regular agency operations or supplement agencies that have had to close because of the Governor’s orders,” the release said.

Silvert added that if fund partners continue to contribute to the fund that “we will be able to broaden our grant focus to address further needs of our local charitable organizations.”

So far both the City of Owensboro and Daviess County Fiscal Court have contributed $150,000 each to the fund, and other donors include the Marilyn & William Young Charitable Foundation, Public Life Foundation of Owensboro, Lawrence and Augusta Hager Educational Foundation, Green River Area Community Foundation and Owensboro Health.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315

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