We hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. As you know, when our community faces challenges, United Way of York County plays a key role in helping people recover and rebuild. In the face of COVID-19, our community has come together to offer invaluable resources for its members. It is essential during these trying times to reflect on stories of hope and small victories.
A big thank you is owed to the frontline workers that continue to show up to keep essential services going. It is because of them that our hope and well being can continue. Healthcare professionals, food industry workers, law enforcement, delivery drivers, public safety, and so many others have put their health at risk to keep our community running.
One huge victory is the school districts continuing meal service to students across the county. For many students, food insecurity is a daily reality. The closing of school meant these students might go hungry. But thanks to the staff and faculty at schools across York County, this was one worry amid the pandemic they could control.
Local companies have also come together to serve. Media companies like Comporium and TruVista have offered their internet services free of charge to families whose students need internet to continue their coursework. York County Natural Gas, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, York Electric Cooperative, the City of Rock Hill, York County Sewer and Water, Town of Clover, and other utility providers have postponed account disconnections. Local restaurants are providing discounts or free meals to student-age children.
Another resource that has been instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic is 2-1-1. SC 2-1-1 or 866-892-9211 connects people with important community services to meet everyday needs and the immediate needs of people in crisis. Trained operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is confidential and free. Individuals are able to tell their story to one person who can then connect them with the resource or resources they need. A barrier to getting help is knowing who to reach out to, and 2-1-1 fills that role.
We know that even in the most stable of times, a single, unexpected expense is enough to send many families into a financial situation from which it is difficult to recover. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more evident the need for our Bold Goal of financial stability.
With this in mind, we have launched the United Way of York County COVID-19 Family Fund to help meet financial stability needs to aid in the recovery in our community. UWYC will aide families along the path to financial stability by supporting working individuals who have experienced lost wages or decreased hours at work associated with COVID-19 by supplementing their major household expenses through emergency grants to our vetted and experienced non-profit partners. The Fund will focus on assistance in three areas: Housing (rent or mortgage assistance), Utility Assistance, and Supportive Services for dependents.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Little to no savings means one event can cause a working individual financial hardship. This economic reality has left many vulnerable, sending them into even greater economic distress as a result of COVID-19.
Minimum wage and hourly jobs do not always pay enough for an individual or family to meet all of their needs without assistance. This reality is why our mission is to lead individuals and families on a path toward financial stability. By assisting our community through addressing underemployment and the need for financial literacy, we can help families become financially stable.
When one individual succeeds, our community as a whole succeeds. It is evident that York County is a community of helpers and we must continue to come together to lift our neighbors.