High schooler took photos to raise money for COVID-19 Relief Fund

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 14, 2020

SALISBURY — The Rowan County United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund generated $2,790 in donations last week, including one from a Salisbury High School sophomore.

The fund has now raised $219,328 for food insecurity, medical expenses and housing needs. The United Way, which is covering all costs associated with overseeing the relief fund, has also said money can be used to help nonprofits with disruptions to business. So far, the fund has distributed $68,184 to local 501(c)(3) organizations.

The funds have gone to help people like Megan, whose named has been changed to protect her identity. Megan is a single parent of a teenage daughter and has been recovering from lymphoma found in her neck. That previous diagnosis makes her at higher risk for a COVID-19 infection.

Megan says she’s an essential worker but has been afraid to work. She was recently hospitalized because of a stress-induced panic attack and has been encouraged by doctors not to work now.

“All of this has contributed to me getting behind on all of the bills,” she said. “Having the help from Main Street Mission (through the United Way grant) alleviated a considerable amount of pressure I was feeling. It also allowed me to have room to breathe and I was able to make my car payment without having to choose between rent, utilities, or car (my only source of transportation).”

Main Street Mission was one of the first five grantees from the COVID-19 Relief Fund. It has been using its money to cover the cost of food an hygiene products as well as expanding services that pay for housing and utility costs.

Meanwhile, among the latest donations was $265 from Riley Peltz, a Salisbury High sophomore who did porch photography in the community to raise money. David Post, a city councilman and attorney, also gave $1,500 to the fund.

Other donations include:

• Vickie Wallace, $150

• Women of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, $300

• Godley’s Garden Center, $350

• Edward and Susan Norvell, $200

• Wendy Fowler, $25

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so at rowanunitedway.org, text the word “RELIEF” to 704-286-1011 or mail a contribution to the United Way at 131 West Innes St., Suite 201, Salisbury, N.C. 28144. Those mailing donations should address them to the attention of the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Those making a donation online should include a note in the comment section saying it’s for the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Nonprofits can obtain more information about applying by visiting rowanunitedway.org or calling the office at 704-633-1802.