United Way of Greater Nashville aims to support nonprofits through coronavirus and beyond

United Way of Greater Nashville supports nonprofits in Davidson, Williamson, Robertson, Cheatham and Hickman counties. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
United Way of Greater Nashville supports nonprofits in Davidson, Williamson, Robertson, Cheatham and Hickman counties. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)

United Way of Greater Nashville supports nonprofits in Davidson, Williamson, Robertson, Cheatham and Hickman counties. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)

As many local nonprofits were still dealing with the fallout from a tornado that hit the Nashville area in March, the region was quickly hit with its first cases of coronavirus. The illness soon spurred an unprecedented public health emergency, causing widespread unemployment and creating greater need for health care funding.•On March 17, officials with the United Way of Greater Nashville announced the launch of the COVID-19 Response Fund to help provide financial support to local nonprofits that are helping to provide health care as well as to address some of the unforeseen effects of the coronavirus.

To date, the UWGN, which has been in Nashville for nearly a century, has received approximately $5 million in donations to its COVID-19 Response Fund and has distributed more than half of that to local nonprofits, including FiftyForward and Graceworks Ministries Inc. in Williamson County.

“The key thing has been distributing the funding as quickly as possible,” UWGN President and CEO Brian Hassett said. “Initially, the focus was on helping people pay their bills—people that had lost their jobs and, in many cases, [people who] had never had to ask for help before.”

To decide how funding is distributed, the United Way uses data compiled from its 211 help line as well as from community partners to determine where dollars are needed, according to Chief Community Impact Officer Erica Mitchell.

“We’ve been looking at a lot of different data sources to inform the process. 211 has been a great source of data for us. We’ve had friends from [the Vanderbilt University Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion] who have really helped us put together trend data using 211 so that we can see what the top needs are across the community,” Mitchell said. “We knew for a period of time that housing insecurity was one of the top needs—people needed assistance with rent and mortgage—but then, there were also conversations and signals around things like ... people being able to have personal protective equipment so that they would feel safe.”


Mitchell said another trend has been an increase in demand for mental health care.

“We have seen lots of spikes in mental health and crisis counseling needs, so organizations that have been able to pivot to telehealth counseling have also been very high on the support list,” she said.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

WCS Superintendent Jason Golden said the district will announce a schedule next week for parents to decide how they want their students to learn next semester. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Williamson County Schools to survey parents on learning preferences for next semester

WCS Superintendent Jason Golden said the district will announce a schedule next week for parents to decide how they want their students to learn next semester.

Communication Director Carol Birdsong and Superintendent Jason Golden discussed the asynchronous pilot program during a livestream event Sept. 22. (Screenshot via YouTube)
Williamson County School testing asynchronous program to give teachers more planning, training time

District officials have said they may schedule more asynchronous days throughout the school year, depending on how the pilot program goes.

Active cases numbers in the county have remained largely stable. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19 cases dip in Williamson County plus more local news

Read the latest news from Williamson County and Franklin Special School District.

Sal’s Family Pizza is located at 595 Hillsboro Road, Ste. 311, Franklin. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Franklin pizzeria adds outdoor dining and more local news

Read the latest business and community news from Franklin and Brentwood.

Williamson County school districts working to address COVID-19 learning loss

Compounded with school closures from the coronavirus, education experts predict losses in learning could be higher than average this year.

Active cases numbers in the county have remained largely stable. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County coronavirus cases down 3% from last week

Active cases numbers in the county have remained largely stable.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
See how Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District compare to neighboring districts, state data

Our special Public Education Edition takes a look at districtwide data in Williamson County.

Sal’s Family Pizza is located at 595 Hillsboro Road, Ste. 311, Franklin. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sal's Family Pizza in Franklin adds outdoor seating

Just in time for fall weather, Sal's has added outdoor seating to its eatery on Hillsboro Road.

1892 in Leiper’s Fork is named for the year the house in which it operates was built. The historic home sits on Old Hillsboro Road, right in the middle of the small community.  (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
1892 turns to farm-to-table roots in pandemic

“Luckily, we have this beautiful little pocket that is Leiper’s Fork, the preservation that’s out here. That’s something we really like to hold close to our core beliefs.”—Dylan Morrison, owner and chef at 1892

Lynn Harnen and RJ Chesna opened Spark: An Art Studio in late August at Hill Center Brentwood. (Photos by Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
FIRST LOOK: Sister-brother team aims to encourage creativity at Spark: An Art Studio

In need of a creative project to get you out of the house? Spark: An Art Studio is now open in Brentwood.

Superintendent Jason Golden said all communication about quarantine requirements will now come from the health department. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County Schools to stop quarantine calls next week

Superintendent Jason Golden said all communication about quarantine requirements will now come from the health department.