Local Coronavirus Response Fund Sets $1 Million Goal, Awards $370,000 to Area Nonprofits

April 21, 2020

April 21, 2020 – Lexington, KY   United Way of the Bluegrass and Blue Grass Community Foundation today announced a fundraising goal of $1 million for the Coronavirus Response Fund. The two organizations joined forces last month to launch the Coronavirus Response Fund to provide critical support to vulnerable populations across their joint service area adversely affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The Fund is supporting local and regional organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic to ensure that more people experiencing hardships can access basic needs like food, healthcare, childcare and transportation.

The Fund announced raising over $630,000 in cash and commitments thanks to corporate donations, grants, community donors, local businesses and BGCF fundholders. Over the last five weeks, it has awarded over $370,000 to local and regional organizations on the frontlines of the crisis.

“We know that to support our communities during the crisis and response phase of this pandemic, we will need to raise additional dollars,” said Timothy Johnson, president and CEO of United Way of the Bluegrass. “Setting a $1 million goal is bold, but I believe that our community will rise to the challenge and help meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents and neighbors.”

Officials estimate that the $1 million goal must be accomplished to ensure adequate funding and support is available through the response phase of the relief effort, projected to continue through the end of May or longer.

“We are thankful for every gift and the many donors whose generosity has made so much good possible,” said Blue Grass Community Foundation president and CEO, Lisa Adkins. “But there is still important work to be done and critical needs that must continue to be met. Our hope is that everyone who can, will join us in supporting the Coronavirus Response Fund.”

Donations received by the Fund to support response efforts include awards of $100,000 from Toyota and $100,000 from the Truist Financial Corporation, among other generous corporate and foundation gifts. Support from leading partners, individuals and local businesses has helped the Fund quickly deploy critical resources to organizations providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lead coalition partners include: Toyota, Truist Financial Corporation, the Fund for Greater Lexington community endowment at BGCF, the Jenna and Matthew Mitchell Family Foundation, Valvoline, Coca-Cola Consolidated, LG&E and KU Energy, the CVS Foundation, Southland Christian Church, Kentucky for Kentucky, Alltech Foundation, Immanuel Baptist Church, Council of State Governments, Keystone Financial Group, Dupree Mutual Funds, Kentucky Bank, Papa John’s Bluegrass, iHeartMedia Lexington, WKYT, FOX-56 and Smiley Pete Publishing.

The Fund has awarded $370,000 in rapid response grants to 28 partners across 13 counties, including:

  • God’s Pantry – Region wide
  • Community Action Council – Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison, Nicholas, Scott & Madison
  • FoodChain – Fayette
  • Urban League of Lexington – Fayette
  • Childcare Council of Kentucky – Region wide
  • Mission Lexington – Fayette
  • ITN Bluegrass – Fayette & Jessamine
  • Greenhouse17 – Region wide
  • Harrison Memorial Hospital – Harrison
  • RadioLex – Fayette
  • Bluegrass Families First – Fayette
  • Amen House – Scott
  • Red Cross, Wheels – Fayette
  • Kentucky Refuge Ministries – Fayette
  • The Lee Initiative– Fayette
  • The Nest – Fayette
  • Clark County Community Services – Clark
  • First Baptist Winchester – Clark
  • Lexington Leadership Foundation – Fayette
  • Gateway Helping Hands – Rowan
  • The Share Center – Fayette
  • Packin’ the Pantry – Jessamine & Fayette
  • Frankfort Food Pantry – Franklin
  • Sterling Food Coalition – Montgomery
  • God’s Outreach Food Pantry – Madison
  • Open Hands Food Pantry – Anderson
  • River of Life Food Pantry – Bourbon
  • Food Pantry for Woodford County

The Fund awards grants on a weekly basis based on the available Fund balance. Grants are issued from the Coronavirus Response Fund, housed at BGCF, and managed in partnership with UWBG.

To donate online, or to learn more about the Coronavirus Response Fund, please visit

About United Way of the Bluegrass:

United Way of the Bluegrass fights for the Basic Needs, Education and Financial Stability of every person in Central Kentucky. Investments support programming in Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jessamine, Madison, Montgomery, Scott, and Woodford counties. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Blue Grass Community Foundation:

Blue Grass Community Foundation creates more generous, vibrant and engaged communities, growing charitable giving throughout the Bluegrass and Appalachia Kentucky. To learn more about the Community Foundation, visit or contact President/CEO Lisa Adkins at 859.225.3343.