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story.lead_photo.caption Callaway County United Way recently distributed its first grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund. Those pictured include, from left, Emergency Management Director Michelle Kidwell; Megan Prenger, Callaway County United Way executive director; and Kelly Trigg, of Central Bank. Photo by Submitted

The Callaway County United Way has issued the first round of COVID-19 Response Fund grants.

Since the fund's launch in late March, the community has raised $4,000 to help support social service agencies facing increased demand for their services. Six CCUW-funded agencies will receive grants, including Our House, Callaway Senior Center, SERVE Inc., CARDV, Callaway County Extended Employment, and Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association.

The grants range from $250-$1,000 per agency.

The CCUW established the COVID-19 Response Fund to help alleviate the burden on funded agencies and continue supporting them to provide critical services. One hundred percent of all donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund will be used for direct support of Callaway County residents through those agencies.

"We are all feeling anxious and worried about what comes next, but if we can each pitch in a small amount, we can make a big difference for our family, friends and neighbors," said CCUW Vice President Jacque Brazas of the fund's launch.

With these funds, the agencies will be able to meet some of the most pressing community needs, including food for seniors, emergency shelter, utility assistance and much more, CCUW hopes.

Donors to the COVID-19 fund included individuals, local governments and local businesses.

"We are pleased to have donated $500 to Callaway County United Way to support their agencies within Callaway County who are providing services due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Michelle Kidwell, Callaway County Emergency Management director.

Without these donations, the first round of funding would not have been possible.

"While we support the Callaway County United Way year-round, we are happy to offer this additional assistance specific to the current needs of our Community. We know that every little bit goes a long way," said Marcia Lamons, Central Bank president.

In a news release, the CCUW thanked all donors for their contributions and continued support.

"It takes all of us working together to make a lasting change, even in the middle of a pandemic," wrote CCUW Executive Director Megan Prenger.

The CCUW COVID-19 Response Fund will remain open for donations to assist with long term needs in the future. You can donate to this fund by cash, check or credit card. Checks should be made payable to the Callaway County United Way to P.O. Box 793, Fulton, MO 65251, and indicate "COVID-19 Response Fund" in the memo field.

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