The United Way of Ohio Valley and the Green River Area Community Foundation are partnering to provide relief funds for organizations who 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.

The Green River Area COVID-19 Response Fund is available to “complement the work of local public health, nonprofit, faith-based organizations, and government entities to expand local capacity to support the influx of individuals and families experiencing hardships as a result of the COVID-19 virus and related economic disruption,” according to a release sent by Amy L. Silvert, executive director of the Green River Area Community Foundation.

Silvert said the funds are going to charitable organizations directly because they are already addressing these needs.

“We have a lot of experienced organizations out there that know how to get those resources to families,” Silvert said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

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.

Already included in the fund are $150,000 each provided by the city of Owensboro and the Daviess Fiscal Court.

Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said he was pleased to hear area organizations are joining forces at this time.

“For years I have encouraged our local non-profits to work together, to break down invisible silos, and this partnership between United Way and the Community Foundation does just that,” Mattingly said in the release. “I applaud the creative and selfless service of these two organizations.”

Mayor Tom Watson added, “This is what makes our community so special.”

Other partners include the Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation, the Public Life Foundation of Owensboro, and the Lawrence and Augusta Hager Educational Foundation. Before this launch, Owensboro Health, Independence Bank and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce also committed to supporting the efforts of the relief fund.

David Ross, president and CEO of United Way of Ohio Valley, said this relief fund is a way “to come together and to respond rapidly to community needs as they arrive.”

“This has been a very fluid crisis … that almost changes daily, so we have set this fund up to where it can be flexible and respond to the needs in our community,” Ross said.

He said this fund is available to any organization that is providing additional services because of the COVID-19 crisis, citing a food bank providing more meals than ever before or another entity that is providing services “out of their normal course of operation,” as examples.

Silvert said that 100% of the relief fund will go into communities with no costs going toward administrative fees.

“All dollars are going out into the community,” she said.

The two groups will provide more information Friday about how organizations can apply for the funds, as they are seeking additional partners from the business, philanthropic communities, as well as individuals and surrounding governmental agencies.

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.

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