To our friends, family, funders, and followers:
We hope you're staying safe and well. Without question, your health and the health of our community is our top priority. Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation and United Way of Greenbrier Valley share similar missions: to improve the quality of life in the Greenbrier Valley through charitable giving. While we’re monitoring this unprecedented situation, we remain committed to that mission, which is why we are teaming up to respond to COVID-19 and the impact it is having in Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas Counties.
To do so, we will identify the primary needs in our communities as a result of the pandemic and address them through strategic community partnerships and funding opportunities, much like we did in response to the flooding in 2016. While this situation is new, the foundation of it is familiar. We will use our learned experiences to identify the needs in our community, bring together the organizations that can best address those needs, and help find the funding to make that happen.
During this uncertain time, it is our goal to provide relief, comfort, and a sense of stability to the communities we serve. Our top priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are:
- ensure students out of school have access to food
- guarantee the safety and protection of our senior population
- provide basic needs assistance to our largely tourism-based workforce
Currently, our county boards of education and several nonprofits have partnered to facilitate food options for students in our three-county service area. Every community, including our most rural, currently has a facility where volunteers and school support staff are helping to prepare and distribute meals daily/weekly. We will provide support to participating nonprofit organizations to help cover the cost of food, transportation, and background checks required for participating volunteers.
According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, West Virginia has one of the largest senior populations in the country. We must ensure our most vulnerable population is safe and cared for in this crisis. In order to do so, we will provide assistance to the organizations in our region serving seniors through meal and essential need delivery services.
As with much of West Virginia, our local economy relies heavily on tourism. In both Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties, major resorts are the county's largest employers. The majority of jobs at these resorts are hourly, therefore a significant percentage of our population is now without an income indefinitely. In order to help alleviate some of the financial burden this pandemic is causing our community, we will provide basic needs assistance to those currently out of work.
As these needs present themselves, the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation and United Way of Greenbrier Valley will rise to meet them. We can do this with your help. Visit GVFoundation.org/donate-contact and specify in the comments section “Disaster Recovery Fund.” If you have a service area of preference (students, seniors, or workforce), please note that as well. Checks can be made out to GVCF and mailed to P.O. Box 1682, Lewisburg, WV 24901.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your continued commitment to the Greenbrier Valley.