Communities around the world are grappling with the lasting economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting new strain on community support organizations like United Way of West Florida.
To help support the nonprofit’s community response, Gulf Power Foundation donated $250,000 to the organization to help members of our community impacted by COVID-19.
United Way of West Florida President and CEO, Laura Gilliam praised the donation Thursday in a press release.
“Gulf Power has always been a leader in our region,” Gilliam said. “During these unprecedented times, they are once again showing their commitment to the health and well-being of our community and the entire Northwest Florida region with this very generous contribution.”
Gulf Power’s contribution will be used to support those economically impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as local organizations providing critical services to those in need and most at risk according to the release.
Services supported by United Way of West Florida’s COVID-19 Relief Fund will include assistance with rent, utilities, food, childcare, as well as programs serving the elderly and disabled in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
As impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak continue to develop locally, the scope of the fund’s impact may expand to provide relief to those most in need.
Gulf Power is committing $500,000 to United Way organizations across Northwest Florida to help members of the communities impacted by COVID-19. The emergency assistance is part of a larger $1.5 million commitment from NextEra Energy, the world leader in wind and solar energy, and its family of corporations.
“As part of the fabric of Northwest Florida, Gulf Power has a long history of helping out customers and our communities during difficult times. This crisis is different from anything we have ever experienced before and we must pull together as a community to lend help to those most impacted,” said Gulf Power President, Marlene Santos in the press release. “We are committed to working with United Way to assist those most vulnerable and hope that other companies will join us in this effort.”
For Gulf Power customers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19, Gulf Power has resources available at www.GulfPower.com/Help, or they can connect customers with resources available from federal, state and local authorities. To further assist their customers, Gulf Power is also suspending disconnections and providing payment extensions for those facing hardships.
To donate to this fund, text 850Respond to 41444 or visit www.uwwf.org/covid19fund. United Way leaders emphasized gifts of all sizes will improve the community’s ability to respond during this unprecedented time.
Individuals in need of immediate assistance accessing food, paying housing or utility bills, or other essential services are urged to dial 211 from their phones or visit www.211nwfl.org. 211 Northwest Florida, powered locally by United Way of West Florida, provides information and referral services to the following counties: Escambia, Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Santa Rosa and Washington.