United Way helps Michigan organizations respond to coronavirus (COVID-19)

United Way has provided funding through more than 200 grants

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – In Southeast Michigan, 44% of families struggle to afford their basic needs. One minor issue can turn into major financial hardship.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, those families are in even more financial danger. In response, United Way has launched a community fund to help partner organizations respond to the virus.

United Way has already provided funding to organizations through more than 200 grants.

United Way of Southeastern Michigan is giving back to the community in a variety of different ways, thanks to donations.

Testing is available for local firefighters, and that’s important because testing first responders can slow down the spread of COVID-19.

“What we are worried about is we don’t have any asymptomatic people walking around and working here,” Clinton Township fire Chief Tim Duncan said. “We want to make sure we’re testing that whole group to ensure and kind of give some peace of mind to, you know, not only our firefighters, but the public.”

The testing at the Clinton Township Fire Department is drive-thru or walk-up testing, which takes about 15 minutes.

The walk-up testing was made possible because of the recent donations made to United Way of Southeastern Michigan. Donations are making a major difference, but the organization still needs more money for similar safety measures.

“When we started, our goal was $10 million,” said Darienne Hudson, the president and CEO of United Way of Southeastern Michigan. “With all of the requests that we have today -- we realize that we really need to get to $12 million, and we’re talking about funding for testing sites, funding for shelters.”

While testing sites remain a major priority on United Way’s funding list, it’s also focused on providing relief in a variety of different ways.

“We’ve been able to give 221 grants out to the community,” Hudson said. “That includes 76 childcare providers, those who are helping those frontline employees’ children get through this crisis, as well as serving 145 nonprofits that are focused on food distribution. They’re focused on providing shelter.”

About the Authors: