CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 27, 2020)- Last month, United Way of Greater Chattanooga launched the Restore Hope Fund to support our community’s response and resilience efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund supports individuals and households experiencing lost wages or other adverse circumstances due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Now, EPB and TVA are investing in the economic re-growth of our community by matching donations to the Restore Hope Fund up to $50,000.
Every dollar donated goes directly back to households and individuals to meet basic needs.
United Way has partnered with a group of nonprofit agencies that serve a wide variety of populations and are working to meet the most pressing, on-the-ground needs. These Restore Hope Partners have a history of successfully supporting our community and are prepared to adapt their services and rise to the challenge of quickly helping households in need.
United Way anticipates that basic needs will only increase in the coming weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects are prolonged.
“Losing a month or two of wages can be devastating for many of our neighbors, and in many cases will cost them the ability to pay the utility bill, rent or to afford many other basic needs.The Restore Hope Fund exists to help households walk through these stressful times with hope, encouragement and strength,” commented Lesley Scearce, CEO & President of United Way of Greater Chattanooga.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important that we provide assistance to our neighbors in need,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. “The people of Chattanooga are strong and, as evidenced by the recent tragic tornadoes, have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to overcome adversity with the support and encouragement of their neighbors. As a part of this community, TVA is proud to stand with EPB and the United Way to provide assistance that helps our neighbors and community recover from these challenging times.
“The financial disaster of the Covid-19 crisis will continue long after our community begins to move again,” said David Wade, CEO & President of EPB. “People who have never asked for help need it now. In working with United Way and its non-profit network, we’re making an investment in our community’s re-growth by providing real assistance to help our neighbors in need get back on their feet again.” EPB is also engaging its employees in support of the effort.
Thus far, because of the generous efforts of many donors as well as partners like Truist, Maclellan Foundation, Chattanooga Whiskey and First Horizon we are grateful to have received over $180,000 in donations.
Individuals can approach our nonprofit partners for one-time assistance with basic needs like rent, utilities, and other areas of increased financial strain due to COVID-19. The Restore Hope Fund partners will connect them with available resources and meet direct needs on a case-by-case basis. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please view our list of Restore Hope Partners here.
There have already been more than 100 applications for assistance from households all over the greater Chattanooga community. One request came from a woman who has been on furlough from her job in the hospitality industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to pay her rent and utility bills. However, she was able to connect with a Restore Hope Partner who utilized the fund to provide financial assistance for her April rent and electricity payments. This also gave her breathing room as she and her family plan for the months ahead. Read more stories of how donors have already made a direct impact for our neighbors here.
We hope that you will become a champion of hope for our neighbors in the days ahead. To donate and learn more, please visit www.unitedwaycha.org/restorehope or text “RestoreHope” to 40403.
About United Way of Greater Chattanooga: Since 1922, United Way of Greater Chattanooga has fought to make sure every person in the community is educated, healthy and stable. We win that fight by Living United; by forging unlikely partnerships, by finding new solutions to old problems, and by mobilizing the best resources. We ignite social change through a powerful network of partners, donors and volunteers who share a common passion: making our community a better place for all. In support of our mission to unite people and resources to build a stronger and healthier community last year, we mobilized more than 10,000 volunteers and 19,000 donors at 295 companies to give more than $11 million back into our community. For more information, visit our website www.unitedwaycha.org.