Two local nonprofit organization are combining efforts to help the community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

United Way of Central Ken­tuc­ky announced it will merge its disaster relief fund with the Central Kentucky Community Foundation’s Central Kentucky Cares to support those directly affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The fund is expected to attract and provide financial assistance to help communities, households and individuals disproportionately impacted by the virus and its economic consequences, an announcement about the partnership said.

“Through this partnership, we can better serve our community by looking collectively at the needs and aligning our joint resources to in response to those unmet needs,” Davette Swiney, Central Kentucky Community and Foundation president and CEO, said in a news release. “We are fortunate to have strong community partners to work with in situations like this. Together we can make a bigger impact in the communities we serve. We are excited to do this work alongside United Way.”

The 211 hotline had a record number of requests in the last month, the release said. Requests were for assistance with rent, utilities and food.

Christa Shouse, director of development for United Way, said combining the funds can streamline the giving and grant application process and remove additional barriers.

“By joining forces, we will reduce the need for agencies to apply to multiple sources for funds, get money where needed quicker and forge a working partnership with CKCF to better meet the needs of our community,” Joe Fowler, president and CEO of United Way of Central Kentucky, said in the release.

Nonprofits can apply for grants at The online grant process is streamline to help the foundation deploy dollars quickly. A grants committee reviews requests to make award determinations.

Grants are available for nonprofits in Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Hart, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties. Gifts can be directed to specific counties if requested.

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