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United Way statewide partnerships leads to funds for COVID-19 relief

United Way of West Central Mississippi has partnered with statewide partners to accumulate funds for potential relief for COVID-19.

“Our community has continued to be knocked down by crisis. From backwater flooding to severe road damage due to huge amounts of rainfall and now combating COVID-19, one thing we never lose is love and hope,” United Way of West Central Mississippi Executive Director Michele Connelly said.

Connelly said it’s during times like these when friends, family and even strangers come together and ultimately persevere. 

United Way of West Central Mississippi is a part of the Mississippi Association of United Ways which is a state lead organization made up of nine United Ways leading the charge for the betterment of Mississippi. The association is pushing the #bettertogetherMS campaign.

The goal of this campaign, Connelly said, is to shed light, share an encouraging word, and to remind our great state of Mississippi that together we can make it through the pandemic.

The Mississippi Association of United Ways is working together on a fundraiser to support COVID-19 relief across the state by selling t-shirts with proceeds going to each United Way in the association.

Connelly said the idea came from the executive director of United Way of Southeast Mississippi located in Hattiesburg. She also said the local United Way will only receive the funds if people from our area put in our area zip code when purchasing their t-shirt.

An individual in Forrest County was the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Mississippi and the Hattiesburg Clinic started the #bettertogetherMS campaign at the beginning of the pandemic to spread positivity and hope.

Connelly said individuals can participate by purchasing a #bettertogetherMS T-shirt, and then post a video or photo sharing the story of what you are doing with your time at home using the hashtag #bettertogetherMS.

“We just want to spread awareness and positivity and to remind our great state that together we can make it through this; but first, we must continue to stay home,” Connelly said.

By purchasing a shirt individuals will help provide basic assistance to households who have lost income due to the COVID-19 virus. One hundred percent of the money from t-shirts will provide relief to those across Mississippi left vulnerable by this pandemic.

To purchase a shirt, visit: https://your-company-name-2f4020f1-b8b8-47f1-948d-a76befee5840.printavo.com/merch/better-together

“This is a wonderful statewide campaign that can potentially help thousands of Mississippians,” Connelly said.

She said United Way of West Central Mississippi also has partnered with Entergy Mississippi and United Way World Wide to bring relief dollars to Warren, Sharkey, Issaquena, Claiborne and Yazoo counties to assist with household essentials.

Beginning Monday, residents of those counties who have lost their job and who do not qualify for unemployment or had reduced hours due to COVID-19 are asked to complete an online application at https://www.123formbuilder.com/form-5407975/. The online application will be followed by a phone interview to qualify for an online gift card.

Please contact the United Way office at 601-636-1733 for more information.