For Kenya Dawkins and her family, a partnership between United Way of the Piedmont and Bank of America offered the timely resources needed to regain financial stability as a result of challenges faced during the coronavirus pandemic.
United Way of the Piedmont has supported over 720 households in the Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union region with financial assistance for rent and mortgage payments along with utilities, lodging and other expenses such as transportation, as part of ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts. Bank of America’s contribution of $30,000 assisted 21 families.
Dawkins, a breast cancer survivor and mother of five, has two biological children and three of her younger cousins that she’s taken into her home. Before the pandemic, she felt secure but as time went on, it was clear she needed to find a new place for her family to live.
With schools closed because of the virus and no childcare, Dawkins found herself unable to work. When forced to move, she and her children first took refuge in her car. United Way helped them find a new home, covering the initial expenses to move in and assisting with furniture and other supplies.
“I’m so grateful and I cannot thank United Way enough.” said Dawkins. “My children are so happy and excited – they still can’t believe it. They can enjoy being themselves. Where we live now is so much better than where we lived before.”
Nearly 89 percent of households helped with COVID-19 related challenges by United Way of the Piedmont have either never received financial assistance before or had not received assistance in over a year.
“Many families felt ashamed of their need for assistance, as most were employed and working full-time before the start of the pandemic. Several even asked how they could pay back the assistance or if they could pay it forward in some way.” said Libbie Cheek, United Way of the Piedmont Community Resource Coordinator, who worked with Dawkins and her family.
Bank of America shares over 25 years of partnership with United Way of the Piedmont and includes support for the United Way’s Opportunity Center. Addressing the needs of local families being furloughed or losing their jobs entirely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, aligns with Bank of America’s commitment to economic mobility.
“Bank of America has a clear purpose to help make financial lives better. As we navigate these times of increased need, we recognize the private sector can play a pivotal role to help our communities,” said Stacy Brandon, Upstate Market President for Bank of America. “We are committed to partnering with United Way of the Piedmont to help individuals find long-term paths to success.”
United Way of the Piedmont continues to directly assist community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across their three-county footprint and is also helping to support local and small business in the area through a partnership with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
About United Way
United Way of the Piedmont is a local nonprofit that fights for the education, financial stability, and health of every member of our community. Our mission is to connect, engage, and inspire people to transform our community. We are more than fundraisers. We forge unique partnerships, find new solutions to old problems, and mobilize the best resources by inspiring others to join the fight. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to not just survive, but to thrive. For more information on United Way of the Piedmont, please visit our website: uwpiedmont.org
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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