COVID-19 Disaster Relief Funds


United Way Disaster Relief Funds

Our mission is to assist those affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic by distributing much needed funds to nonprofit partners, emergency management, and public health organizations to help meet the immediate needs not covered by government programs or other traditional relief sources. Donations will be used to alleviate need within the counties of Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago, and Worth Counties. Please note: United Way will not be giving direct assistance to individuals.  Disaster Relief Funds will be distributed to nonprofits, emergency management, and public health orgs as need arises. 


Your charitable contribution matters now more than ever. The CARES Act creates a $300 "nonitemizer" deduction for 2020

  • Is in full effect as of Friday, March 27, 2020, and will apply to donations made for all of 2020
  • Only for people who do not itemize their taxes
  • Donors who itemize their taxes are eligible for the existing charitable deduction
  • Only for cash donations (not in kind and not for stocks)
  • Can be used by the charity for any purpose (not limited to COVID-19 relief efforts)

Agency Requests

To request COVID-19 Funding is currently closed. Funding will be awarded at the beginning of June.  Any questions regarding the fund can be directed to Jen Arends at

First Round of Funding Announced

United Way of North Central Iowa Announced today that it has awarded the $12,900 in the first round of grants from the United Way of North Central Iowa COVID-19 Fund. The fund provided relief to nine local agencies to provide increased services as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The initial round of awards was distributed as direct grants by the United Way of North Central Iowa COVID-19 Community Relief Fund Unmet Needs Committee. These grants ensure rapid funding for organizations on the front lines meeting emergency needs for those affected by the pandemic, such as food, shelter, and emergency financial assistance. 

United Way of North Central Iowa CEO Jen Arends said that in addition to the immediate grant cycle, the committee will continue to look at the developing needs of the community. “We are approaching this from multiple angles because the most important thing now is that we act quickly and get the money flowing,” she said. “This fund will support our neighbors most impacted by COVID-19.” 

Direct grant recipients from the United Way of North Central Iowa COVID-19 Community Relief Fund include: 

  • Floyd County Emergency Management-$1,000 Food Assistance
  • Mohawk Market Food Pantry-$3,000 Food Assistance
  • TLC Child Care Center $800 for increased sanitation materials
  • Elderbridge Agency on Aging-$100 for rent assistance
  • North Iowa Community Action Organization-$1,500 for Food Assistance
  • La Luz Hispana-$2,000 for emergency assistance
  • Hampton Senior Center-$2,000 for emergency rent and utility assistance
  • Iowa Legal Aid-$2,000 to establish legal hotline
  • Lutheran Services of Iowa-$500 for software to connect with clients

Second Round of Funding Announced: 

  • Food Bank of Iowa, $3,000.00 for emergency food assistance
  • Charlie Brown Preschool & Child Care, $3,000.00 summer activities for children
  • Lake Mills Community Preschool and Daycare, $1,000.00 for increased sanitation needs
  • Mosaic in Northern Iowa, $3,446.00 for increased sanitation needs
  • Greater Iowa Youth For Christ, $500.00 for increased sanitation needs
  • Kossuth County Child Assistance Resource Education Team, $750.00 for client assistance in Kossuth County
  • 43 North Iowa- $2,500.00 for increased sanitation needs
  • YSS Francis Lauer- $2,000.00 for increased sanitation needs
  • North Iowa Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program-$1,000 for technology to provide remote visits with children in need of assistance.
  • One Vision-$3,999 for increased sanitation needs

Special thanks to our corporate supporters of the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund: 


United Way of North Central Iowa Response

United Way of North Central Iowa leads the fight for the health, education, and financial stability of all north central Iowans. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread across our country and the world, we want you to know that we have established business continuity plans and practices to ensure we can continue leading that figh, and supporting those in our community who are most vulnerable and need our help. In uncertain times like these, it is our highest priority to ensure the health and safety of our staff, donors, volunteers, partners, and those who need help. Below you will find a few updates about what our team is doing to continue serving the community while keeping everyone as safe and healthy as possible. 

Small Business Recovery in North Iowa

To help small businesses through the impact of COVID-19, the Cities of Clear Lake and Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, and the North Iowa Corridor EDC have launched the Small Business Recovery & Continuity Fund for companies in Cerro Gordo County. Businesses that have experienced business disruption and revenue losses will be eligible for grants up to $5,000 to help ensure business continuity. This assistance will provide businesses with immediate, short-term cash flow that can be deployed for a variety of uses; including working capital, inventory, lease/mortgage payments, etc.

The goal of the program is to assist as many eligible businesses in maintaining operations or reopening after the pandemic to limit the negative economic impact as much as possible. Applicants will need to provide standard business ownership information that the review committee will use to identify how to best distribute funds to provide immediate assistance to businesses experiencing the most impact and pressing needs. To learn more visit:

To donate to the Small Business Recovery and Continuity Fund click here.

211 Statewide Coronavirus Hotline

211 and the Iowa Department of Public health operate the statewide hotline for general information about the coronavirus and its impact on our state. Individuals are encouraged to call 211 if they have questions. 

2019 Day of Caring

The 2019 Day of Caring, originally scheduled for May 19th, 2020 will be postponed until the fall.

Find out about COVID-19 resources here.