Valley of the Sun United Way gives 1st grants for COVID-19 fund


Valley of the Sun United Way and Arizona Community Foundation will distribute more than $410,000 to Maricopa County nonprofits  with urgent needs due to COVID-19 to assist growing numbers of Maricopa County families and individuals.

As the health and economic pressures of COVID-19 mount,  so has increased demands on local nonprofits working to help  meet basic needs while experiencing significant challenges from event cancellations and other revenue loss due to COVID19.

Likewise, Valley of the Sun United Way has partnered with Arizona Community Foundation to issue its first round of grants from its United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund to help nonprofits meet the growing demand, according to a press release.

The initial organizations receiving grants are:

  • Child Crisis Arizona -- Providing food, diapers, wipes, cleaning and sanitizing supplies as well as
  • "Learn at Home" kits for families and children living at or below the federal poverty level.
  • Homeward Bound -- Providing housing assistance, food, diapers, baby wipes, cleaning and sanitizing supplies for families experiencing or transitioning out of homelessness, and basic learning supplies for their children.
  • UPWARD for Children and Families -- Providing food to children with special needs and their families, program staff assistance and organizational utilities and insurance support.
  • Valley of the Sun YMCA -- Providing childcare programs and staff assistance for essential workers, first responders, and other working families at seven Valley locations.

“Today is a special day for United Way and our donors as we begin turning their generosity into much-needed support for our nonprofit partners at the front lines of the COVID-19 response and for our Valley neighbors most impacted,” said Valley of the Sun United Way President/CEO Carla Vargas Jasa in a prepared statement.

“We are thrilled so many of the Valley’s leaders stepped up quickly to support our community at this critical time, including individuals, corporations and foundations.”

Recently, ACF distributed the first grants from its COVID-19 Community Response fund to nonprofits in Maricopa County and throughout Arizona.

Combined, United Way and ACF have raised more than $8 million and continue fundraising efforts to meet the escalating needs, plus prepare for a long-term community recovery, the release said.

United Way and ACF will continue to accept and review grant applications on a rolling basis and coordinate funding support in Maricopa County as community needs evolve.

Organizations that did not rceive funding this round need not apply again and will be added to ongoing funding rounds, the release noted.

“While we continue to work on the immediate relief needed within the community, we recognize the importance of the long term recovery for our nonprofits across the state,” said Arizona Community Foundation President/CEO Steve Seleznow in a prepared statement.

“We will continue to work with our donors and philanthropic partners to address these needs in the coming months.”

For 95 years, United Way has partnered with businesses and its employees to solve pressing issues facing the community. Fittingly, many businesses are supporting the United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund, providing in-kind donations and leadership to keep  the community strong.

So far, corporate contributors to the United Way fund include: APS, American Family Insurance, Desert Financial Credit Union, Freeport-McMoRan Inc., Helios Education Foundation, Intel Corporation, Nationwide, Salt River Project, USAA, Walmart Foundation and Wells Fargo.

To learn more about Valley of the Sun United Way’s United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund, or to make a contribution, visit or text Unitedfund to 51-555.

Learn more about ACF’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund, or to make a contribution, at