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Donations needed for relief fund for those most affected by the economic challenges caused by COVID-19

The Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund was launched last week to begin collecting private funds to be used in the Southwest Florida region to help neighbors with food, shelter and basic human needs due to the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. The fund will complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address the outbreak as effectively as possible.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is administering the fund and are partnering with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to distribute the funding to nonprofits on the front line working with those most affected. The first distribution of $30,000 was made to the United Way for frontline food distribution to the nonprofits serving the public which is the greatest need based on informal research and community input by local nonprofits.

Donors can give online at FloridaCommunity.com or text GIVESWFL to 444999. Other ways to give include contributions from required minimum distributions (RMD) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). If you are 70 ½ and eligible to receive your RMD, you can gift up to $100,000 to charity, for more information email [email protected]

“Now more than ever we need to work and innovate together to help each other, ” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “Our neighbors are really hurting, and every dollar donated will stay in our community to help others.”

Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. One hundred percent of the funds donated through the Southwest Florida Community Foundation will be used to provide emergency funds to directly help people in Southwest Florida. Donors have the option to cover credit card fees.

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