United Way of Northern California (UWNC) is committed to serving our North State communities in times of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic. UWNC has invested nearly $1 million into COVID-19 response in the North State. When the virus entered the United States in 2020, UWNC responded swiftly with grants, emergency aid, and funding for essential programs like food banks, personal protective equipment for frontline workers, and more. We also established the Coronavirus Relief Fund, aimed at helping North State residents impacted by the virus.
We help address the immediate needs of our community members, such as meals for seniors sheltering in place, food & sanitation supplies for the unhoused, and expanded access to our 2-1-1 NorCal resource & information service. Realizing that things were not returning to normal as quickly as we all hoped, we launched campaigns such as Essential Heroes and United We Mask.
As COVID-19 further impacts our communities, we continue to work with local agencies to identify and address needs as they arise. Check back for updates on how your local United Way is helping the North State recover. Additionally, find detailed lists of North State organizations we partnered with in our Press Room.
Local COVID-19 Information
Find all COVID-19-related information at 211norcal.org, including how to schedule your vaccine appointment. Residents in Butte, Glenn, Shasta, and Tehama counties can dial 2-1-1 anytime to get information on the crisis. Residents in those counties and Lassen, Siskiyou and Trinity can also receive information by texting CORONAVIRUS to 211-211.
Dial 2-1-1 (Butte, Glenn, Shasta, and Tehama counties )
Text CORONAVIRUS to 211-211 (Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Tehama, Lassen, Siskiyou, and Trinity counties)
Or visit https://211norcal.org/novel-coronavirus-outbreak-info/
UWNC received grants through the Public Health Institute to provide education and incentives to individuals in Shasta County who had not received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated.
In partnership with Level Up NorCal, UWNC provided two COVID-19 vaccine in clinics to Latinx and Hmong communities in Shasta County in 2021 and 2022. UWNC also partnered with AndersonRx in Anderson, CA, to hold a COVID-19 and flu clinic where almost 100 individuals received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Through a partnership with Pit River Health Service in Burney, CA, members of the Pit River Tribe and other residents received their COVID-19 vaccines and incentives from February to April 2022. The Pit River Health Service reported an upward trend of COVID-19 vaccines from February – April 2022, and attributed this increase to UWNC’s partnership. In total, UWNC helped facilitate 301 COVID-19 vaccines in Shasta County from December 2021 through April 2022.
With grants from the Sierra Health Foundation and the California Department of Public Health, UWNC provided over half a million dollars to 37 partnering agencies to promote outreach and education on COVID-19 and vaccine safety. As a result, over 35,000 meaningful interactions have taken place since November of 2021 with over 1,400 COVID-19 vaccines facilitated to the diverse population in our 9-county region.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
On March 15, 2021, the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program began accepting applications for rent and utility support, helping Californians hit hardest by the pandemic. Income-qualified tenants and landlords were able to request up to 18 months in assistance covering the time between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2022. These efforts enabled low-income households to stay in their homes and prevent displacement. This assistance was crucial to an equitable recovery. The program is now closed and is no longer accepting applications.
United We Mask
During the week of November 2nd, 2020, residents in Redding, Red Bluff, and Chico had the opportunity to win a $50 gift card as a reward for wearing a mask while in public. Staff and board members hit the streets throughout the week to distribute $1,500 to mask wearers.
“United We Mask is a fun way to get the community to come together and continue to fight against COVID-19,” said Larry Olmstead, President & CEO of United Way of Northern California. “This has been a long battle, and it’s not over yet. We want to lift the spirits of our community members while reminding them of the importance of wearing a mask for public health, which is why we decided on surprising random mask-wearers with $50 gift cards.”
In June 2020, United Way of Northern California launched a campaign to honor essential workers in the North State called "Essential Heroes." Dozens of North State residents from Siskiyou County to Butte County were identified and awarded $100 checks to thank them for their service to their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out who we awarded on our Facebook page!
Business Relief Grant Program
In order for our communities to thrive, businesses must recover. We partnered with local chambers of commerce to fund business relief grant programs in Butte County, Shasta County, and Tehama County. (Videos below.)
Red Bluff - Tehama County Chamber of Commerce received $20,000 for a business relief grant program.
Paradise Chamber of Commerce received $15,000 for business recovery efforts.
Redding Chamber of Commerce received $25,000 for Shasta County Business Relief Grant Program.