The United Way Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Relief Fund has announced its first distribution of funding that will go to purchase an estimated 1,400 Food City gift cards to be distributed to families in the region who have been affected by COVID-19. This release of donations was made possible by a generous donation from Eastman Credit Union in the amount of $35,000.
Travis Staton, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia stated, “Through our strategic partnership with Food City, we were able to stretch this donation even further, thanks to the ability to purchase these cards at a reduced rate. As an organization dedicated to fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our region, we not only see the public health implications of COVID-19, but also recognize the economic toll this virus will take on the financial well-being of every person in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.”
“Eastman Credit Union is focused on working with both our members and communities as we face these unprecedented times. Our pledge of ECU Beside You has never been stronger and feeding families in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia until they can return to work is part of that promise. ECU is contributing $35,000 to help ALICE families in our primary service area as part of a collective pandemic response. Together we will get through this and be stronger and, in the meantime, our commitment to serving our members and communities and taking care of our employees is still our number one priority,” said Kelly Price, ECU’s President and CEO.
ECU is also offering payment relief and other customized opportunities to assist members in need. In addition, ECU has extended service hours, added more staff to answer phones and support online chat, and provided online resources to assist members with their questions.
The fund was established for businesses and individuals with a regional footprint to give at a regional level. Participating United Ways include: United Way of Bristol TN/VA, United Way of Carter and Johnson Counties, United Way of Greater Kingsport, United Way of Greene County, United Way of Hawkins County, United Way of Southwest Virginia, and United Way of Washington County Tennessee.
Those interested in making a gift to the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia Relief Fund can visit www.netnswvarelief.org or text NETNSWVARelief to 41444. For givers who want to pay by check, please mail your gift to United Way, Regional COVID-19 Relief Fund, P.O. Box 644, Abingdon, VA 24212.