Make a Gift to the United Way COVID-19 Crisis Fund

It is in times of need that we discover the full impact of a community united.

The COVID -19 Crisis Fund aims to ensure resources for planning in times of instability and for recovery when disaster strikes. Dollars are directed to 501c3 organizations for use that may include direct services, coordination of relief efforts, coordination of relief volunteers, and costs related to building and sustaining relief infrastructure. 100 percent of your COVID-19 Crisis donation stays local to Montcalm and Ionia counties to basic needs supports.



Thank you to our partners who have come together from philanthropy, government, and business to support our community through the COVID-19 Crisis Fund.


Greenville Area Community Foundation



EightCap, Inc


Consumer's Energy

Tom & Chris Kohn

Greenville Youth Advisory Council

Jan Wheelock

Clifford Bedore

Linda Stafford

Kimberly & Mark Peck

Ionia Rotary

Ionia Community Foundation

Michigan One Credit Union

Jay & Liz McClellan

Greenville Lions Club

Mercantile Bank

Laurie Tissue

Kimberly Essenburg

Kenny Schoenborn

Cara Lindemood

Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors

Randall Tower

Toni Wenger

Caswell & Co.

Mary Miel

Faith & Kim Peterson

Jennifer Stauffer

Mary Schoenborn

Donald & Deanna Veitengruber

Linda VanHouten

Gerald Ritter

Kristi Zuverink

Joyce Zimmer

Sandra Miller

Janine Nierenberger

Cheryl Granzo

Jeff Blanchard

Suzanne Hoseth-Kreeger

Linda McKnight

Citizens for Montcalm Libraries

Don Lenneman

Grace Peterson

Kelly Dewald

Donald & Bertha Smucker

Haley McLean

Teresa Boike

Melanie Steiner

Cindy Hill

Steven & Susan Fish

Eric Linder

Deb Koepke

Tri-County Schools

Saranac Community Schools

Leppinks Food Center

Ionia Fairgrounds

Greenville Area Schools

Belding Area Schools

Central Montcalm Schools

Jorgi's Marketplace

Endeavor Center

Helping Hands

Saranac Community Church

Shiloh CommunityChurch

Zion Community Food Pantry

First Church of God

Barrie's House

Trinity Church



Feeding America Food Truck schedule for Montcalm and Ionia counties.

This schedule only includes trucks organized through United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties. If you would like to see a complete list of food pantries and food distribution through Feeding America please click here. Check back regularly as more trucks are added!

Food usually runs out with 45-50 minutes of start time so please make sure to arrive on time. You will stay in your car throughout the process.

  • Thursday, October 22nd at 4:30pm at Montcalm Community College
Thank you to our partner organizations that are helping to schedule and organize these food trucks: 
  • First Church of God
  • Helping Hands
  • Endeavor Center
  • Barrie's House
  • First Congregational Church
  • Zion Community Food Pantry
  • Shiloh Community Church
  • Saranac Community Church
  • Montcalm ISD
  • Ionia ISD
  • Feeding America West Michigan


If you need assistance finding food, paying household bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, dial United Way’s 2-1-1 to speak to someone who can help.

The COVID-19 situation in the United States is evolving rapidly as more becomes known about the virus, how it is spread, and how it affects people. For the most accurate and timely information, visit the CDC’s website or monitor CDC social medial channels. This page is being kept up-to-date as regularly as possible with answers to the most common questions 211 receives.

If you are looking for guidance about how to conduct business as a school administrator, non-profit or faith-based organization staff member, business owner, or event planner, the CDC has provided detailed information for different sectors.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.  

Health Insurance and Medical Expenses

If you have health insurance, visit the website for your provider or contact their customer support line with any questions about coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Many healthcare insurers are also making telemedicine available to customers for low or no cost.

If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for benefits through your state. Visit this website to explore options based on your household income, children in the home, and state.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, and shortness of breath) and are concerned that you cannot afford to seek treament or a test, contact your medical provider or the nearest Urgent Care facility to seek guidance. Free testing for COVID-19 is becoming available in many places, but medical care may still incur a charge. Be sure to ask questions about cost if you seek medical care or treatment.


Home Internet Access

If you do not have internet access at home, or cannot afford to maintain it, but need internet for work or school, there are several options available through providers:

Additionally, many internet providers have announced that they are waiving late payment fees, increasing caps on internet speeds, and will not disconnect customers for not paying monthly bills on time. If you have questions or concerns about your internet connection, contact your provider or visit their website for more information.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans for Small Businesses

SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. To learn more about the process for accessing SBA's COVID-19 disaster relief lending, please go here. For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY:1-800-877-8339) or e-mail

Michigan Economic Development Corporation resources for small businesses can be found here.

US Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist for Small Businesses and Nonprofits and live Q&A on Friday, April 3, at 2 p.m. ET on Zoom More information and register here

Nonprofit Organizations

We are constantly working to help nonprofits to meet the needs of the community. Please fill out the survey on a regular basis so we can ensure needs are being met.

Michigan Nonprofit Association resources for nonprofits during COVID-19:

Independent Sector: CARES Act Summary for Nonprofits

Unemployment Benefits

The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance for state unemploymnet insurance programs to extend benefits to individuals whose employment status is impacted by COVID-19. Use this tool to find the agency that manages unemployment insurance in your state and visit their website for more information about eligibility and how to apply for benefits. West Michigan Works! can be reached at:

Greenville office: 616-754-3611

Ionia office: 616-389-8525

Please note the website has been crashing frequently and to be expected, long wait times for the unemployment hotline. The website is being kept updated with several resources. Here is a guide to claiming unemployment benefits in Michigan.

Employee and employer resources from the State of Michigan can be found here.

Seattle Times: FAQ on “Recovery Rebates” and Unemployment Insurance Changes

Mental Health and Crisis

The outbreak of coronovirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about the disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Visit this CDC page to learn more about things you can do to support yourself and your loved ones. If you need to talk to someone, these resources are confidential and available for free 24/7:

Child and Educational Resources

Click here to access your free trial of Noggin Cares.

MDHHS has created a Communicating with Children During the COVID-19 Outbreak toolkit.

MSU Extension has an entire page dedicated to remote learning and resources.

Special Education and COVID-19

Additional Resources

All media questions and requests should be directed to Terri Legg, Executive Director, at

Videos on the Food Trucks

DW Video has created Reaching Out to Help Community - People Stepping Up and Howard City and Sand Lake are Stepping Up to Help Families about the work being done in the communities during COVID-19.

A time to give is now

By Brandon Shreur, The Daily News on May 5, 2020

For nearly everyone — not just in Montcalm and Ionia counties, but across the entire state, country and world — the past two months have been anything but normal in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
To recognize some of the medical professionals, grocery store clerks and other essential workers who have stepped-up during this time, United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties is teaming up with nonprofit organizations across the country to celebrate #GivingTuesdayNow today. Read more...

Stanton-based churches partner with United Way and Feeding America for food distribution

By Brandon Shreur, The Daily News on May 4, 2020

STANTON — Standing in Central Montcalm High School’s parking lot on Thursday afternoon, Beth Bellows and a number of volunteers from Trinity Church and First Congregational Church in Stanton gathered to hand out box after box of donated food to local families.
“Obviously, with COVID-19 and the loss job jobs, there’s an inability to have food on the shelves at all the stores, at all times,” said Bellows, assistant to the lead pastor at Trinity Church. “We wanted to make sure people didn’t go hungry. We wanted to make sure they have the resources to continue providing for the families with the food they needed.” Read more...

United Way and DTE partner to raise funds for Feeding America food trucks

By Brandon Shreur, The Daily News on April 14, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues over the coming weeks following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extension of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, families and community members may need help.
“We’re just starting to really see the need, honestly,” United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties Executive Director Terri Legg said. “Forty-nine percent of people between the two counties struggle to make enough for basic needs before COVID-19 hit. We know that, of that 49 percent, 43 percent of them don’t have a rainy day fund, so to speak.” Read more...

Increase in Mobile Food Bank Events Provides Relief in Wake of COVID-19

By Cory Smith, The Daily News on March 20, 2020

GREENVILLE — As a lifelong firefighter and resident of Florida, Don Ruiter has pretty much seen it all.
“I’ve been through dozens of hurricanes, the 1998 wildfires, the Parkland school shooting — I’ve been through tons of crisis events,” he said. In moving to Michigan a year ago, and having since built a house west of Greenville, Ruiter knows what it takes to overcome tragedy and a feeling of the unknown. Read more...

United Way CEO Chats with Jacksepticye


Apply for Funding 

In times of need we discover the full impact of a community united. 

For nearly 130 years United Way has been working to connect people, organizations and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone. United Way is committed to investing in critical basic needs services. As we all face growing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission and purpose remain the same. This includes raising and deploying funds effectively during times of emergency. The United Way COVID-19 Crisis Fund proactively supports response and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic affecting individuals and families below the ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) threshold in Montcalm and Ionia Counties. 
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Montcalm and Ionia Counties, United Way has established the COVID-19 Crisis Fund to support local nonprofits and community groups working with populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic faced with immediate, emergent and unanticipated community needs.

Quick Facts About the Fund

  • 100% of fund contributions will be distributed for disaster recovery in the areas of emergency food and shelter efforts in Montcalm and Ionia Counties. 
  • No fees will be taken by United Way Montcalm – Ionia Counties for this work
In keeping with UWMI’s vision and mission, we will continue to prioritize organizations and groups:
  • Whose work benefits ALICE households with low incomes and historically and/or systematically marginalized people 
  • Whose primary program participants or services are offered in Montcalm and Ionia Counties
 In addition to the above, we are supporting organizations and groups:
  • Whose primary program participants are high-risk for contracting COVID-19 (e.g. older adults and those with chronic health conditions)
  • Who have experienced a decrease in critical volunteer capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Who have experienced an increase in staffing demands as a result of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Frequently Asked Questions

*Last updated 4.22.2020
When will the application for funding be made available? The application will be made available on or before Friday, May 1st, 2020 on the United Way’s website.
What is the period of time that the funds will be available and what time period with the grants cover? Grants funds will be available immediately. They are intended to cover costs for a period of up to three months.
What restrictions has the Fund placed on how agencies and groups can use grant funding? In recognition of the fluid nature of this crisis and the strain that puts on service agencies, we are putting a priority on flexible spending. The grant agreements will have basic stipulations on spending guidelines.
This Fund will be used to meet unmet needs, not duplicate or fund programs that other larger funding programs could cover, or needs that could be met by a federal or state program. Fund to reach organizations and groups that might not have access to resources otherwise will be prioritized.
Who will make funding decisions? The UWMI funding committee is the Emergency Food and Shelter Board for Montcalm and Ionia Counties. This committee is comprised of United Way Executive Director, United Way Program Manager, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Montcalm Area ISD, EightCAP Inc., Greenville Area Community Foundation and a community member. 
When will grant award decisions for individual agencies be made? Grant applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis. In recognition of the rapidly-evolving nature of this crisis, grant award decisions will be made weekly for the time being.
Are funds available only to human service nonprofits? No. Food pantries, shelters, and community collaboratives/groups using a fiscal agent are invited to apply. Government entities and schools/school districts are not eligible to apply for this funding. Unfortunately, UWMI is not able to provide funding directly to individuals.
How soon will UWMI make funds available? Once signed terms of grant are returned to UWMI, we will process ACH payment in 1-2 business days.  
If my organization’s application is approved, what will be the next steps? Once approved, your identified point of contact will receive an email that will verify your application has been approved, including the award amount, and will have instructions on how to submit your organization’s W-9 and steps to finalize the grant agreement. Funds will be dispersed as one-time ACH payments within 1-2 business days after signed terms of grant are received.
How will UWMI maintain transparency in its fundraising and distribution of funds? In activating this Fund, UWMI will take the following actions to remain transparent and accountable to our community:
  • A dedicated page on our website for the COVID-19 Crisis Fund
  • Track all donations to the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund in real time on our webpage;
  • Track all grant investments from the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund in real time on our webpage; 
  • Issue detailed reports on the three-month and six-month mark;
  • Share stories of the Fund’s impact on people, organizations and our community
Over what period of time will you be disbursing funds? Because the Fund’s purpose is to address immediate needs, we will be working to invest all allocable dollars between May 1 – July 31.  Based on fundraising efforts and community need, after six months we will check in with nonprofits and groups to see whether the Fund’s purpose and use needs to shift based on community need.
How many times can my organization/group apply to the fund?  Organizations and groups may submit up to two (2) requests to the Fund between now and July 31, 2020.  Organizations and groups may only apply for the second request after the first request funding has been completely used by the organization. While UWMI continues to raise funds in our community for relief efforts, it is possible that available funds may be fully disbursed prior to this date.
Is the COVID-19 Crisis Fund only for organizations that have remained opened or is there relief for those that cannot remain open and are taking a hit because of it? We know that many nonprofits have reduced or temporarily halted service provision as a result of COVID-19.  The Crisis Fund is intended to support the needs of ALICE households most impacted by or vulnerable to COVID-19.  We presume that this support will take place through nonprofits and groups who are still operating programs and services.