Prairieland United Way Awarded Grant in First Round from COVID-19 Response Fund

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 8, 2020 at 4:27pm

A local nonprofit has been named to receive one of the first grants from the new Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund.

The ICRF announced today the first round of grant distributions since the launch of the project last month, in which more that $5.5 million of grants has been distributed to 30 nonprofit organizations across the state.

Prairieland United Way Executive Director , Karen Walker says that her team had been notified they were potentially in the running for some of the first round grants, and found out this week that they had been selected.

Walker says they have been ready to start the application process for area agencies, and were waiting for the official announcement that included how much the grant would be for.

We actually were awarded $25,000. We have an application process ready to go, we were just kind of waiting to get that final confirmation that we were getting the funds. We will be reaching out to our nonprofit partners to apply for those funds.

It is all nonprofits in our four county area, it does not have to be a Prairieland United Way agency. As long as they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit they are eligible to apply, and the only restriction is that is for COVID-19 relief. We are very excited to get some extra funds out in our communities.”

Walker says any nonprofit agencies in the Prairieland United Way service area of Morgan, Cass, Scott and northern Greene counties that are serving individuals and families affected by the coronavirus outbreak can submit an application immediately.

We are working on getting the application up on our website, but definitely anyone who wants to reach out to me through email, I can send it to them directly. That would be at

They can start sending those in and as soon as I get word they are interested. And then we do have a steering committee that is put together of part of our board along with out board president who will look over those grant applications, and then make the decision on how to best get them out into the community, to be used to help those who are needing it.”

Walker says the funding will be able to help many in the area who are struggling with their day to day needs.

Just those basic needs that people might be struggling with in light of reduced work hours, or unemployment or whatever their situation might be. We fully expect to see a lot more than our normal population that are looking for some help.

So those would be for the basic things like shelter, food, keeping your utilities on, having a place to live, you rent. Those would be the primary things I think we will be looking at, those basic needs that we want to make sure are fulfilled.”

The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund Steering Committee also announced today, the fund has raised more than $28 million from nearly 2000 donors since its launch on March 26.

Nonprofit organizations in the four county area can apply for COVID-19 Response Fund grants by contacting the Prairieland United Way at

Applications submitted by 4 P.M. on Fridays will be considered for the next round of grants. Walker says the grant opportunity will roll over weekly as long as needs persist and fundraising for the COVID-19 Response Fund permits.