United Way of the Black Hills awards $46,300 to first grant recipients through UNITED We Stand COVID-19 Relief Fund

(RAPID CITY, SD) - United Way of the Black Hills (UWBH) announced the first wave of grant awards to nonprofit organizations in the amount of $46,300. The nonprofit organization recipients are as follows:

Salvation Army of the Black Hills - $20,000
The need: An increase in demand for their food pantry service as a result of lost or reduced employment.
While they usually assist with utilities, they have also begun assisting with rent payments in response to the pandemic. 
How these funds will assist the need: To provide utility and rental assistance to those in need. 
To purchase food, hygiene supplies (toilet paper and household cleaners when available) and boxes to continue serving their food pantry clients and delivery for vulnerable populations.
Meals on Wheels of Western SD - $10,000*
The need: They are expanding the capacity to provide hot, and frozen meals to seniors throughout the region which encompasses 49 communities. They have seen a 30% increase in the last 2 weeks. 25 new signups a day and growing
How these funds will assist the need: To purchase frozen meals that they will be preparing for Sturgis, Belle Fourche, Rapid City, Custer, Hot Springs and Edgemont (Approximately 15,045 meals)
*This amount will be matched by Black Hills Area Community Foundation to equal a $20,000 award amount. 
Black Hills Works - $8,500
The need: Increased operating costs associated with cleaning to comply with CDC guidelines. I.e - the purchase of additional cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, and other PPE. 
How these funds will assist the need: To purchase cleaning and protective supplies for employees, and provide meals to clients who are not receiving meals through their workplace. 
Club for Boys - $5,000
The need: Families enrolled are facing economic hardship due to job loss, reduced hours, etc. They want to assist these families in getting the emergency needs they require. 
How these funds will assist the need: To provide emergency economic assistance to enrolled families such as: Gift cards to local stores so families can purchase supplies needed during this emergency such as food, diapers, medical supplies, cleaning and household supplies.
Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills - $2,800
The need: Providing food and activities to kids while they are out of school and practicing social distancing.
How these funds will assist the need: To purchase meal bags and activity kits for kids staying at home. 
To date, the fund has raised $411,718.87 through individual donations, a generous corporate match of $25,000 by Black Hills Energy and Elevate Rapid City, UWBH’s allocation of $100,000 and a generous donation of $250,000 by an anonymous donor.
UWBH has received 13 applications thus far, and four applications are currently under review. 
“This is going to be a rolling application process. Nonprofit organizations may continue to apply for grants until we have dispersed all dollars from the fund,” says Jamie Toennies, Executive Director of UWBH.
Toennies anticipates an increase in grant requests, as well as an increase in requested amounts.
“$411,718.87 sounds like a lot of money, but the needs of our community will continue to expand and change over the coming months, and we need to be prepared to meet this growing demand for funds from nonprofits,” says Toennies.
Nonprofit organizations that have experienced an increased demand for services or resources due to the pandemic are encouraged to apply for the grant. (Link here: https://www.unitedwayblackhills.org/coronavirus-information)
100% of donations to the UNITED We Stand COVID-19 Relief fund will benefit nonprofit organizations that apply for a grant. If you would like to make a donation to the fund, you may do so by visiting our website: https://www.unitedwayblackhills.org/donate
For more information on the UNITED We Stand COVID-19 Relief Fund, please visit: https://www.unitedwayblackhills.org/coronavirus-information.