By Jessica Mathews/

The Livingston County United Way has created a Community COVID-19 Relief Fund.

After emergency meetings were held with local non-profit partners, the United Way created the fund to help families weather the continuing crisis. As things continue to change daily, officials say the coming weeks will uncover additional needs. 100% of the funds raised will go toward helping local no-profit agencies meet the basic needs of those most vulnerable and at-risk families during the crisis.

Executive Director Anne Rennie says Livingston County is a remarkable community – stressing all local social services organizations, hunger councils, pantries, churches and others pulled together immediately for the emergency response. However she’s worried if people are still out of work three or four weeks from now because that’s when a last paycheck might come through and people will really start to feel the financial pinch. Rennie says they’re accepting donations to the fund via their website and will then channel funds to agencies working on basic needs. Rennie tells WHMI they wanted to have a have a longer term approach for people who are tapped from trying to make everything happen with limited resources and for families that might go without a check and other with reduced hours. She stressed this initial push is one piece of it, but there will be more experiencing tough times soon because basic needs and things like rent payments don’t just go away. Rennie added that thank-yous are also very important and owed to all of the social services agencies that pulled together immediately along with healthcare providers, emergency responders, nurses and doctors. She says the United Way remains open to help those in need and a separate platform is being developed to gather standby volunteers in preparation for ongoing at evolving needs.

Donations have been made to help jump start the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan made a $10,000 donation and the Pritchard-Johnson Family Charitable Fund has also donated $5,000 to help support local individuals and families.

Those who would like to donate to the fund can click on the provided link, text Livcohelp to 41444 or mail a check payable to Livingston County United with “Community Relief Fund” noted in the memo line. Mail checks to LCUW at 2980 Dorr Rd, Brighton, MI 48116.