COVID-19 Response

United Way Emerald Coast helps our community every day - and especially in times like these.


Thanks to contributions and incredible partnerships across the community, United Way Emerald Coast swiftly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by creating resources to address the new, urgent needs of our community. Living UNITED means helping all residents across Okaloosa and Walton counties, especially the most vulnerable, as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.



In April, as the world was addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, United Way Emerald Coast quickly pivoted our plans, but not our approach. With guidance and input from our Board of Directors, donors, and partners, we quickly mobilized resources and relationships to ensure our health and human service providers had the resources to meet the urgent needs of Okaloosa and Walton counties' most vulnerable families, children, and individuals.

Like many organizations and businesses across the nation, local nonprofits are feeling the severe economic impact of the health crisis at the same time that requests from struggling individuals and families are at record highs.

To support the critical nonprofit services needed, United Way Emerald Coast launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund; Gulf Power Foundation quickly seeded it with a generous $125,000 investment. By investing in UWEC, you are investing in a whole network of vetted, trusted nonprofit organizations. The fund was launched to offer local businesses, foundations, and individuals an opportunity to give with the reassurance their donations will be responsibly invested and resources will be deployed where they are most needed.

This isn't just a public health crisis. It's an economic one, too. We know many families across Okaloosa and Walton counties will be stretched in the coming months and our partner agencies will continue to see an increased demand for services. Now, more than ever, we need your support to do what we do best in the aftermath of disasters - help Okaloosa and Walton counties respond, recover, rebuild, and reimagine for the long term.

The fight is not over. We're asking you to join us and support this critical cause. Every dollar raised in Okaloosa and Walton counties will stay here, serving this community and supporting our neighbors in need.



To date, twenty local non-profit organizations were supported by our first four phases of grants. This is an efficient and effective way to stretch resources since contributions support multiple agencies working in their field of expertise. Agencies are vetted by UWEC and meet high standards of financial accountability, governance, and performance. We are measuring success through regular reporting; you may read more about the results below.

To date, more than 22,000 individuals have received support through United Way Emerald Coast's COVID-19 Relief Fund.

UWEC has the partnerships in place to quickly mobilize the caring power of our community and ability to direct resources to areas that will have the most positive impact. We are using data to identify our region’s greatest needs and to drive our funding decisions. We are flexible and have the ability to adapt to address the community’s needs even as they change overtime as we continue responding to the impacts of COVID-19.

In addition to supporting grants for local non-profits, we are also regularly hosting virtual conversations with nonprofits across the region. This opportunity allows nonprofits to connect, explore collaborations, share resources, and find ways to support each other during this time. Additionally, we have launched several virtual volunteer opportunities for those who are looking for other ways to give back.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many in our community, the relief fund has raised nearly $300,000, as of July 28, 2020. 100% of the donations raised stay here in our local community.


Breakdown of Grant Funding Based on Needs

58% Rent, Mortgage Assistance, Shelter, and Utilities

24% Food

11% Healthcare

7% Child Care

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Grant Recipients






Thank you, COVID-19 Relief Fund supporters!



and more than 40 individual donors