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Support still needed for COVID-19 Community Relief Fund

By Richard Rourk

The United Way of Unicoi County continues to seek donations for the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. The fund was established in early May by the local United Way Board to support Unicoi County residents and small businesses facing financial challenges due to the virus.

According to United Way of Unicoi spokeswoman Lynnsey L. Seagroves, a total of $20,000 in contributions were initially pledged by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Erwin Utilities, and the United Way of Unicoi County.

“The local United Way Board has asked the community to contribute an additional $10,000 in donations to the fund, which would bring the total community impact to a minimum of $30,000,” Seagroves said.

To date, the United Way of Unicoi County has received a total of $6,855 in community donations towards the $10,000 goal.

“I am proud to live in a community where neighbors truly care for one another,” United Way of Unicoi County Board President Lee Brown said. “This is evident in the outpouring of support that we’ve seen through generous donations to the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. The board sincerely appreciates the community’s response thus far, and we feel confident that the great folks of Unicoi County will help us in the final push to reach our $10,000 community fundraising goal.”

The United Way of Unicoi County distributes funds to local agencies, such as the Neighborhood Service Center and Region AHEAD, which ensure that disbursements are going directly to unmet, essential needs in the community. The Neighborhood Service Center provides financial assistance to residents who are experiencing difficulties paying for energy bills.

Unicoi County residents who are experiencing job reduction or loss due to the COVID-19 outbreak and need energy assistance are encouraged to call the Neighborhood Service Center at 743-4103.

Small businesses in Unicoi County are encouraged to complete an application through the Region AHEAD website at Region AHEAD will direct all contributions that are received from the United Way of Unicoi County COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to small businesses in Unicoi County. Questions about the Region AHEAD scope or application process can be emailed to [email protected] 

Those interested in donating to the $10,000 community fundraising goal are asked to mail a check to the United Way of Unicoi County at P.O. Box 343, Erwin, TN 37650 or contribute through the United Way of Unicoi County PayPal account available at The PayPal site will accept credit card, debit card, or PayPal contributions.