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April 28, 2020

Response to COVID-19

Thanks to the contributions from donors, volunteers and incredible partnerships we have across the community, United Way of Cullman has been able to quickly and decisively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new resources to address the urgent needs of our community. 

“Living UNITED, means helping ALL of our Cullman County neighbors, especially the most vulnerable, as we navigate this pandemic.” said Becky Goff, executive director, United Way of Cullman County. “Our staff, board of directors and volunteers have been working collectively to offer support and resources to our community and are proud to our accomplishments to date”.  “There is no doubt that this is a difficult time for our community, but we are doing all we can to make it better.” Goff Said. 

CommUnity Response Fund

In March, United Way created the COVID-19 Community Response Fund and committed $5,000 to establish the fund.  This fund provides Cullman County with an opportunity to give with the reassurance their donations will be responsibly invested and quickly deployed where they are needed most.   In addition to individual donations, we are thankful to Truist Foundation Grant (formerly Sun Trust/BB &T) for their donation of $2,600; The Daniel Foundation for their gift of $2,885, The Lion’s Club of Cullman, $1,000 and Regions Bank for their donation of $5,000 to support our COVID-19 Community Response Fund. 

The first phase of the grant process has already released $5,500 to provide a rapid-response to meet basic needs for local nonprofits. Thanks to the generosity of many, the following organizations have received a grant from United Way in the amount of $500 to support feeding programs in Cullman County. 

  • Cullman Caring for Kids
  • Pilot Light Home
  • Victim Services
  • Parkside Outreach Program
  • The Link of Cullman County
  • Daystar Church
  • First United Methodist Church
  • North Alabama Agriplex Foundation
  • Restoring Women Outreach
  • Cullman Little Pantry

In addition, United Way awarded a grant to Child Advocacy Center to assist with the purchase of technology to move evaluations and counseling to an online system.

Nonprofit resources and support

We have established the Food Pantry Forum which has been meeting virtually. These community conversations allow nonprofits across our community to connect, explore collaboration, share resources or find ways to support each other. 

Working with our corporate partners like Walmart DC 6006, we were able to supply cleaning supplies and other resources to nonprofits in our community.  We coordinated a food drive thanks to Coke of Cullman that resulted in over 1,500 lbs. of food for local food pantries.  We also facilitated a donation from a Golden Flake vendor to supply snacks to local pantries.

“These collaborations with our network ensure the continuation of services for our community, and help us to share the resources quickly.”  Goff said.   


United Way of Cullman has rallied local volunteers to support Cullman Caring for Kids and our homebound senior meal program through Commission on Aging.  We have distributed over 500 “thank you bags” to health care workers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities thanks to our Women United Board.  Volunteers have contacted us to share their skills and experiences to encourage and support our community.  Plans are underway for our Stuff the Bus event coordinated by our Young Professional Board to expand our ability to help prepare more students for the upcoming school year. 

“Whether students are participating in on-line learning or return to the class room, we want to be sure they have the tools they need to succeed”, Goff Said.    

United Way continues to fund our network of partner agencies including 211.  211- provides real-time accurate information to individuals needing assistance.  Anyone who needs help should start with calling 211, which is available 24/7. 

“Our community is at its best when we connect with one another and leverage strengths and partnerships for the greater good” Goff Said.  “Navigating the sometime-difficult landscape of public and nonprofit assistance can be challenging”.  “For many, the financial and emotion strife caused by COVID-19 represents their first time needing support from human services such as food banks, rent assistance and more”.   “We want the community to know are here to help,” Goff Said.   As we move to the next phase of the recovery process, we will need the continued support of everyone in the community.  If you want to help or have questions, call 256-739-2948 or visit our web site:  Nonprofit organization that need assistance please visit our website for details on how to apply for funding.