Community organizations continue to collaborate on recovery efforts | Covid-19

Elena Anita Watts |

The COVID-19 Relief Fund is up to $112,300.

The fund received $15,000 from a corporation, said Brooke Garcia, executive director of the Victoria County United Way, at a Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) meeting.

The organization has distributed $67,000 with just under $47,000 remaining, she said.

“We plan to meet next week to discuss what to do with the remaining money,” Garcia said. “We’re moving from rapid response to relief and recovery efforts, and we’re looking at needs not being covered by other funding sources to cover gaps.”

Up to six volunteers worked at several events throughout the United Way’s Week of Caring, May 18-22. Organizations that benefited include the YMCA, the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach, Perpetual Help Home, the Boys and Girls Club of Cuero, Christ’s Kitchen, Hope of South Texas and Restoration House.

“We’re seeing people really wanting to be out in the community helping,” Garcia said.

The Victoria County Long-Term Recovery Group received 50 cases of hand sanitizer through the work of State Rep. Geanie Morrison and Rick McBrayer with the Office of Emergency Management. The group has started delivering the bottles to COAD partner organizations, said Rick Villa with the group.

Kenny Jones with the Salvation Army reported the distribution of $47,000 in rental and utility assistance.

“It’s incredible how many people have needed that assistance,” he said.

The Salvation Army is offering in-house dining again with 6-foot distancing guidelines in place.

Vicki Smith, with the Community Action Committee, reported the organization is awaiting state funding to help with rental assistance. The organization continues to help with utility applications as it can.

Johanna Rohan, with the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission, reported that the Area Agency on Aging received funds from the CARES Act to provide rental and utility assistance for people over age 60.

Dan Williams-Capone, with Meals on Wheels, said the number of people they are serving has stayed stable over the last several weeks. They are working on the dining room in anticipation of reopening.

Christ’s Kitchen is down to about 500 meals a day from 700, said Glen Dry, head of the COAD.

“They (Christ’s Kitchen) are still getting a lot of support from the community, so they are doing well in that regard,” he said.

Elena Anita Watts covers arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate. 

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