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United Way Distributes $160,000 in Gift Cards Around Cincinnati/NKY


About 4,000 people in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky received a total of more than $160,000 in gift cards to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds were distributed by the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and partner agencies, including the Newport-based Brighton Center.

Nearly three quarters of the recipients reported loss of wages and increases in expenses because of COVID- 19. More than 90 percent of the cards went to female-headed households. The average family size was four, a news release said. 

The relief included more than $94,000 in grocery gift cards to help families with food and other basic needs. UWGC also distributed 951 Visa cards totaling more than $66,000 through the organization’s partner agencies and United Way 211, a resource and referral line. 

The families expressed gratitude for the assistance: 

• “It helped... I am a single mom of 4, so losing my job has been really hard. This money helps a lot with household things I'm struggling to afford. Thank you.” 

• “I can buy diapers for my baby. I can buy detergent for my family to use.” 

• “Allowing me to buy food, toilet paper, and educational toys for my son.” 

• “This is helping us by me being able to use the money to pay our Duke bill and get food.” 

“United Way usually works through its partner agencies and other community organizations to impact Greater Cincinnati in a positive way; in this case, it was important to get money directly into the hands of families and children as quickly as possible,” said Moira Weir, United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s president and CEO. “The partnership with Hamilton County Job and Family Services shows how public-private partnerships provide meaningful results to families.” 

United Way of Greater Cincinnati worked with Brighton Center, Hyde Park Center for Older Adults, Meals on Wheels, and Mercy Neighborhood Ministries to distribute the cards to families hit hard by the effects of COVID- 19. That donation was made possible by Procter & Gamble’s Olay brand. 

United Way ensured no families received more than one gift card and connected all with other United Way resources. Weir said United Way would develop more public-private partnerships as it expands its community presence with goals of convening resources to tackle deep-rooted systems of inequity.

-Staff report

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