United Way urges community & Congress to support charities during COVID-19 era

March 24, 2020 (El Paso, TX) – In the borderland, like in many regions across the country, nonprofits are responding to meet the needs of many but are being stretched to their limits as resources dwindle in the midst of a global pandemic. 

With the anticipation that an even greater dependency on nonprofits will arise as part of the recovery, United Way of El Paso County partnered with the Paso del Norte Community Foundation (PdNCF) to support its El Paso COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund aims to support nonprofit organizations serving the most vulnerable in our community - including the homeless and elderly populations. United Way expects to further support nonprofits through its Community Impact Fund, which allocates donor dollars to area agencies that provide services such as food, housing, utility, health care resources and more.

“The ability for our United Way and other nonprofits in our region to deliver much-needed services to vulnerable individuals now and in the future will dramatically change,” said Deborah A. Zuloaga, president and CEO of UWEPC. “We encourage all those who can donate to continue to consider the well-being of our fellow El Pasoans and support charities that are tirelessly working to provide resources during this uncertain time.” 

In addition to the funds, United Way is also filling gaps and building the capacity of agencies that are seeing an increase in requests. During the last couple of weeks, the organization worked to mobilize volunteers at food bank, pantries and meal distribution sites at senior centers. This week, UWEPC is preparing to share more than 4,500 educational and high-quality books with El Paso Independent School District to distribute during meal pick-ups. 

Thanks to a generous $5,000 and $3,000 grant from TFCU and the PdNCF’s El Paso COVID-19 Response Fund, respectively, United Way has been sourcing personal hygiene products and assembling more than 300 senior care kits to share with the current clients of the Area Agency on Aging. 

While the immediate need is great, it’s expected that in the weeks and months to come, the demand for assistance from charities will continue to increase. As part of a network of United Ways and in collaboration with more than 100 other nonprofits, UWEPC is advocating for Congress to provide #Relief4Charities through: 

·       A $60 Billion Emergency Stimulus aimed at helping adversely affected national and local organizations. 

·       A Nonprofit Payroll Tax Credit Relief that would allow additional employment-focused relief or stimulus legislation apply to employment at tax-exempt organizations by making tax credits and deductions applicable to the taxes nonprofits pay, such as payroll taxes. 

·       A Universal Charitable Deduction for Contributions to incentivize all Americans to support the vital work of America’s charities. 

·       A Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave to provide payroll tax credits to all charities, regardless of size, that provide such paid family leave and sick time pay as a result of the coronavirus

Charities are the backbone of our communities when crisis strikes. It is imperative that the community and Congress find solutions to ensure nonprofits can retain their staff, expand services, and provide effective relief as COVID-19 continues to impact our lives. 

About United Way of El Paso County

The United Way of El Paso County is an independent, locally governed and community-supported nonprofit agency that is focused on identifying and making measurable change in three areas: Education, Basic Needs, Health and Financial Stability through funding, advocacy, creating collaborative partnerships, and developing volunteer resources. The organization which has been in El Paso for more than 90 years, focuses on creating long-term, lasting change to make El Paso a better community for everyone. For more information, please visit: unitedwayelpaso.org

Media Contact

Elizabeth Gamez, VP of Marketing & Communications, (915) 276-7811or egamez@unitedwayelpaso.org