United Way giving supplies to childcare providers, raising money for community fund

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR News) – The Roanoke Valley United Way has been working with its community partners to help meet the needs of those impacted by COVID-19.

United Way staff have been working on a special community fund for agencies helping those impacted by COVID-19.

With schools being closed, one of the biggest concerns for parents who still have to work is child care.

United Way is also giving care packages to local child care businesses filled with cleaning supplies and other needed items.

Maria Ferrone owner and on-site director Creative Kids Childcare says the supplies from United Way have been crucial and really helped them stay diligent with cleaning to keep the children they look after safe.

“We definitely had to kick it into high gear overnight,” said Ferrone.

Ferrone says once the conoravirus pandemic started they immediately changed their protocol and started deep cleaning everything more than they already were.

“We’re just super diligent all day long, cleaning and spraying. So to be able to have the supplies to do that just allows us to keep a safe sterile environment for our children.”

Ferrone says milk and food became limited once the pandemic started and the United way helped them get food from local school districts. She says they were able to get food from Roanoke City Schools.

Some of those supplies are coming from United Way.

“Our ability to be able to support them during this time of crisis right now where they are staying open, they are also risking their own lives, and also making sure that they are maintaining their own businesses, it’s a critical support that we’re able to provide as United Way,” said Roanoke Valley United Way President and CEO Abby Hamilton.

Some of the supplies were donated by United Way partners and others were items they bought.

United Way is also raising money for its Covid-19 Community Response fund.

“It’s really intended to support the work of non-profit partners that are working directly with families that are impacted by COVID-19,” said Hamilton.

Since the fund was announced last week, they have raised more than $55,000.

“We’re waiting to reach kind of a critical benchmark of at least getting to about $100,000,” said Hamilton.

“That’s going to be intended to meet some of the most immediate needs like food, childcare, and even supplies and health care for those most impacted.”

The United Way will organize community and volunteer leaders to decide who will get money from the fund.

They are still about $40,000 away from their goal and are still accepting donations. You can find more information here.

Hamilton says smart2start is a resource for healthcare workers in need of child care.

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