WTOC’s Day of Giving raises over $200,000 for United Way’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

WTOC Day of Giving to benefit United Way’s Coronavirus Rapid Response Fund

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - WTOC hosted a Day of Giving fundraising event to benefit the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Coronavirus Rapid Response Fund.

The fund is being used to help needs throughout the community and also residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

At final count, the WTOC Day of Giving virtual telethon raised $209,000 from more than 350 donors.

“Everyone has been impacted by this pandemic, and United Way and its funded agencies are meeting the challenge head-on at home, helping those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak,” said Larry Silbermann, Vice President and General Manager of WTOC-TV and United Way of the Coastal Empire Board Chair. “WTOC-TV never hesitates to lend our support to our community in good times and bad. This COVID-19 crisis is no exception. It’s affecting all corners of our region and we’re proud to be a part of helping our friends and neighbors.”

Brynn Grant, president and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire, says the organization is filling key needs in our area.

“The highest need we are seeing through our 211 and county service centers is rent and mortgage assistance," Grant says. "To help people stay stable in their housing has been the largest demand on us.”

“As a grantor to 53 of our community’s highest performing nonprofit agencies, United Way was designed by the leaders of the community for the benefit of our community. Funds raised during the fall fundraising campaign help maintain a safety net of non-profit social services year after year for our community’s long-term stability,” said Grant. “Programs offered by our funded agencies are essential not only to help local families survive this crisis but also to ensure that they will thrive long after COVID-19 is a distant memory. While we are hopeful a return to business may not be too far off, our recovery will be a longer-term effort.”

Takilla Cheviler is a volunteer with the United Way through her employer, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. She’s spent the past few weeks helping children in need.

“We were giving out bags on the weekend supplying kids backpacks on the weekend so they were still getting food, nourished while this pandemic is going on,” Cheviler said.

Like millions of other Americans dealing with the financial hardships of this pandemic, she too needed some help. And of course, the United Way stepped in.

“I took advantage for it, they paid my rent for the month of May,” she said. “It’s a struggle right now, I have four children, virtual learning, so we have to get laptops, and worry about our bills and everything at the same time.”

Phone lines are closed as of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, but you can still donate online by going to uwce.org,

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