Press Releases


June 25, 2020


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Catawba Connect: COVID-19 Relief Fund grants $100,000 to 14 local organizations

Grants awarded to nonprofit organizations serving critical COVID 19 related needs for residents of Chester and Lancaster Counties

Lancaster – Catawba Connect has awarded $100,000 from the Catawba Connect COVID-19 Relief Fund to 14 local organizations who are providing public health education direct assistance to members of the community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“As residents, it is critical that we all do what we can to support our neighbors struggling with resources like food, shelter, healthcare, and utilities during this difficult time,” said Ashley Shannon, co-chair of Catawba Connect. “These grants will allow organizations to make an immediate impact, and we are grateful to all community partners who have made this possible.”

Catawba Connect: COVID-19 Relief Fund is designed to complement the ongoing work of public entities and to expand the capacity in Chester & Lancaster counties to address emerging needs due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Since launching in late March, the Fund has raised over $117,000 for relief funding in Chester & Lancaster Counties. Donations and pledges have come from over 100 individuals, corporations, churches, and other organizations.

“I am very excited to see funds being dispersed from Catawba Connect and more importantly, the positive impact this will have on our local communities,” said Steve Sherrill, co-chair of Catawba Connect. “The collaboration of all parties involved from the J. Marion Sims Foundation, United Way of Chester County, United Way of Lancaster County and the 40+ community volunteers has been tremendous. This grantmaking effort has been thoughtful, inclusive, and collaborative to create a meaningful and lasting impact on our communities during this time of need.”

The latest round of grants includes:

  • $3,000 to Christian Services for food distribution
  • $10,000 to GRASP for food, utility, and/or prescription assistance
  • $10,000 to HOPE in Lancaster for food distribution and financial resource counseling
  • $10,000 to KARE for food distribution and financial resource counseling
  • $10,000 to Lancaster County Council on Aging for food distribution
  • $5,000 to Lancaster County Partners for Youth for food distribution
  • $10,000 to Upper Midlands Rural Health Network for education on healthy behaviors
  • $2,000 to Unique Hair Design for education on safe practices for hair salons/barbers
  • $7,500 to Counseling Services of Lancaster for mental health support
  • $7,500 to Children’s Attention Home to assist in providing safe environment and mental health support
  • $5,000 to Keystone for mental health support
  • $7,500 to Hazel Pittman Center for mental health support
  • $7,500 to Turning Point of Chester for food distribution
  • $5,000 to Good Samaritan Medical Clinic for distribution and use of personal protective supplies

Established by the United Way of Chester County, United Way of Lancaster County, and the J. Marion Sims Foundation, the Catawba Connect: COVID-19 Relief Fund launched on March 20 and will continue raising funds through the summer. Grants are awarded by an advisory group of over 40 local leaders. For details regarding grantmaking and how to apply, please visit www.CatawbaConnect.org.

“Our community has a history of coming together during times of crisis,” said Susan DeVenny, President & CEO of the J. Marion Sims Foundation. “I am proud to see over 40 volunteers working together to help Chester and Lancaster stay strong through the pandemic.”

To give to the fund and learn more about the Catawba Connect: COVID-19 Relief Fund, please visit www.CatawbaConnect.org. Corporations and foundations that would like to make a donation may contact Susan DeVenny, President & CEO, J. Marion Sims Foundation, at sdevenny@jmsims.org or Amber Jackson, Executive Director at United Way of Lancaster County, at exec.director@uwaylcsc.org.

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United Way of Chester County
The mission of United Way of Chester County is to help people by uniting contributors, citizens and agencies in a common effort to determine, develop, support, deliver and monitor effective human programs and services that are responsive to current community needs and wants in Chester County.

United Way of Lancaster County
The mission of United Way of Lancaster County is to improve lives by bringing citizens and resources together to identify and respond to human service needs in Lancaster County.

J Marion Sims Foundation
Dedicated to the health and wellness of all residents of Lancaster County, Fort Lawn, and Great Falls, SC for 25 years, the Foundation joins with partners to work together so that all people can thrive.