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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: United Way opens COVID-19 Response Fund

United Way of Central Oklahoma has launched a COVID-19 Response Fund with a large donation from Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores.

Love's is making a $100,000 donation to the fund, the United Way announced Thursday. The donation will be directed to United Way’s partner agencies that serve youth in central Oklahoma to address the needs of children that may arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as food insecurity.

“We are so grateful for the dependable generosity of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores,” said United Way of Central Oklahoma President and CEO Debby Hampton. “The philanthropic leadership of the Love family is a true gift for our community during this time of crisis.”

The fund will support partner agencies of United Way of Central Oklahoma, United Way of Logan County and United Way of Canadian County. It will be used to address the needs of those individuals who are experiencing COVID-19-related hardship primarily due to temporary unemployment, lost income or unexpected expenses.

For example, a partner agency called HeartLine guides people who call 2-1-1 to the appropriate services for their situation, and provides a compassionate voice during uncertain times, said United Way spokeswoman Jana Steelman. The number is staffed 24 hours a day and offers help in more than 200 languages, providing the public a place to turn for non-emergency needs during times of disaster.

"Agencies such as Skyline Urban Ministry are seeing an increase in clients visiting their Food Resource Center, Upward Transitions is serving an influx of people seeking rent assistance, Variety Care is working to expand their telehealth visits and NorthCare is working to meet increased requests for mental telehealth services," Steelman said. "These are just a few examples of Partner Agencies going above and beyond to meet evolving needs of our community’s vulnerable citizens."

Love's appreciates organizations that step up to help the community, said Executive Vice President Jenny Love Meyer.

“We know that this time is especially trying for the youth in our community who depend on school resources daily," she said. "We want them to know that they are not alone, and their community is here to support them.”

Dale Denwalt

Dale Denwalt has closely followed state policy and politics since his first internship as an Oklahoma Capitol reporter in 2006. He graduated from Northeastern State University in his hometown of Tahlequah. Denwalt worked as a news reporter in... Read more ›

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