United Way connecting donors & volunteers to help those impacted by COVID-19

Nonprofit exploring several ways to reach those most in need

MIAMI – The United Way is making a big push to help combat the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

In an email sent Tuesday, United Way of Miami-Dade President & CEO Maria Alonso said the nonprofit is currently working with funders to activate a Miami-Dade Pandemic Response Fund to help impacted individuals, charities, and small businesses.

Alonso told Local 10 News’ Christina Vazquez they are currently working with donors to activate a Miami-Dade Pandemic Response Fund to help impacted individuals, charities, and small businesses.

"The fund will allocate resources to service providers responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic in ways that address short-term impacts and build long-term economic resilience of our community," explained Alonso in an email to community members Tuesday. "More details to follow."

While that is in the works, United Way is already swiftly working to identify community needs. They called hundreds of seniors on Monday to identify who might need at-home meal delivery services.

United Way of Miami-Dade has also been working to assist Miami-Dade County Public Schools with the district’s meal outreach.

On Tuesday, United Way of Miami-Dade volunteers and staff helped sort, pack and handout meals to students and families of Comstock Elementary School, Miami MacArthur Educational Center, North Miami Elementary School and Santa Clara Elementary School. About 1000 families were served in total they explained.

United Way has a page set up for users to locate immediate volunteer needs and sign up to volunteer for future events, which can be found by clicking here.

Camilo Linares is a lighting designer for a South Florida audio visual company who lost his job last week.

He knew trouble was on the horizon following a flurry of event cancellations, eventually getting an email saying that he was being laid off last Thursday.

As social distancing measures example our community is expected to witness more people line Linares who are both out of work and uncertain about when they can get back to work.

According to the United Way of Miami-Dade, 59% of our community’s households are "living in, or one emergency away from, poverty," which makes potential COVID-19 public health measures, "such as reduced hours, business closures, and potential layoffs" especially worrisome. In the email, Alonso states it will "only heighten the existing needs of the families we serve."

United Way of Miami-Dade is also recruiting volunteers to help the most vulnerable.

They are working with the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), grantees, and nonprofit partners to identify the areas of greatest need and respond with volunteer opportunities.

More from Alonso’s email:

“In response to COVID-19, we have a few immediate volunteer needs posted on the VolunteerMiami site which will be updated with opportunities on an ongoing basis. Click here to sign up to help in the coming days and weeks.”

Information below provided by the United Way of Miami-Dade:


United Way encourages partners and community members to stay informed and get public health information from trusted and expert sources. The following sources are recommended:

Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County/Hotline: 305-324-2400

Florida Department of Health/Hotline: 866-779-6121 and Email: COVID-19@flhealth.gov

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

These and other information is referenced on United Way’s COVID-19 page on United Way’s website with materials in English, Spanish and Creole to help serve our diverse constituents and communities.

211 Help Line: We understand this may be a stressful time. If you or someone you know is are in need of assistance, 211 is the quickest and most comprehensive way to connect with the services and assistance available to our community.

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