United Way of Southern West Virginia works to actively fund partner agencies during pandemic

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – Ron Cantley is the Executive Director of Raleigh County Community Action. The organization has a strong relationship with the United Way of Southern West Virginia, receiving annual funds to help make the community a better place. Due to the ongoing pandemic, however, those funds are not as much as they typically receive.

“Our capacity is our capacity and we adjust our services to the capacity to what we have,” Cantley said. “When we lose capacity from any organization such as the United Way we feel it.”

COVID-19 forced United Way staff to cancel all major fundraising events, resulting in less donations from the community. They then had to restructure allocations originally promised to Raleigh County Community Action, which are then outsourced to Pine Haven Homeless Shelter.

Assistant Director of Pine Haven Shelter, Lisa Tyler, told 59 News the money given to the shelter is used towards client services, such as bedding and food. They also support operating expenses, such as utilities and salaries for the nearly 15 full time employees who work there.

“There are actually several churches that outsource to Pine Haven,” Tyler said. “Besides the United Way, different charity organizations will outsource to us, but it’s been a little slow.”

While the money is not as much as before, partnering agents are grateful for organizations like the United Way that are giving them the opportunity to still help people help themselves.

“Our United Way is a good barometer of how well we retain our ability to do good things well together,” Cantley added.

People can help the United Way continue to support partnering agencies by donating on their website.

The organization will also build pop-up tents to serve Krispy Kreme Donuts in the next few weeks as part of their ongoing fundraiser. Locations will be announced soon.

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