Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council Announces Second Major Disbursement of Funds

(Abingdon, VA) – The Southwest Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Council announced today the second major disbursement of funds raised. In partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), the Advisory Council will provide a total of $85,000 that will be available to Southwest Virginia families beginning in June.

The council has set aside $5,000 for each of the 17 local departments of social services (LDSS) agencies in the official United Way of Southwest Virginia footprint to provide assistance that is not currently met with existing government resources, specifically benefitting the ALICE population.

ALICE, an acronym coined by United Way that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed represents men, women, and families who work hard and earn more than the official Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living.

In order to provide the most vulnerable families in the region with aid, the LDSS will require an application to assess the eligibility requirements for emergency funds. Emergency needs are defined as food insecurity, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, diapers and wipes, baby formula, medical needs, rent or mortgage, and utilities.

The local department of social services will make payments to landlords, mortgage companies, medical providers, or other community organizations directly. Funds will not be given directly to individuals.

VDSS Commissioner S.Duke Storen stated, “We are thrilled to partner with United Way of Southwest Virginia to provide funding to meet the emergency needs of individuals and families who will benefit the most. It is our hope that these efforts will help provide our families and communities with the critical support needed during these challenging times.”

According to Travis Staton, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia, “We know that this crisis is putting thousands of individuals in our region in an economic and financial strain. Through this partnership, we are able to assist the most vulnerable citizens in our region and provide both immediate and long-term relief.”

Counties and cities to receive funding include: Bland County, Buchanan County, Carroll County, Dickenson County, Giles County, Grayson County, Lee County, Pulaski County, Russell County, Scott County, Smyth County, Tazewell County, Washington County, Wise County, Wythe County, Galax City and Norton City.


United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life.  Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change.  With a footprint that covers nearly 20% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia programs and initiatives serve the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, Norton, and Radford.

For more information about United Way of Southwest Virginia, visit