Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston Salem Foundation Announce Creation of COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND





March 18, 2020 – Winston – Salem, NC United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston Salem Foundation Announce Creation of COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND

Today, officials from United Way Forsyth County, The Winston Salem Foundation, the City of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County and Community Organizations Active in Disaster announced that the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County has been established to support local community members impacted by the novel coronavirus.

Flexible resources will be provided for immediate, emerging, and long-term needs to organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. The fund is designed to complement the work of government and public health officials to address all aspects of the outbreak in Forsyth County.

Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO of United Way Forsyth County said, “The creation of this fund began as a conversation between the Winston Salem Foundation and United Way of Forsyth County and we’ve been fortunate enough to have the City of W-S and Forsyth County join us as partners in this endeavor. We could not ask for better partners and our community could not ask for better services than the ones they are delivering.  This fund will help to ensure the work continues. “

Scott Wierman, President of The Winston Salem Foundation notes, “The Winston-Salem Foundation is fortunate to be part of this caring, generous, and resilient community. We know there will be health and economic implications due to COVID-19, and by establishing this fund we will have the ability to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak in Forsyth County.”

The first phase of proactive and responsive grants will fund nonprofits with one-time general operating support in order to assist with the immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19. United Way of Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem Foundation will administer the fund.

An advisory committee of local funders and community institutions working directly with impacted populations will oversee the application process.

The advisory committee consists of: Deborah T. Wilson – United Way of Forsyth County, Nora D. Ferrell and Jason W. Baisden – Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Peggy S. Reingold -Wells Fargo, Mamie Sutphin – Reynolds American, Inc., Cheryl Lindsay – HanesBrands, Brent A. Waddell – BB&T now Truist, Reginald McCaskill – Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, Sandra Fishel-Booth -Winston-Salem Foundation

More specifically, initial funding will benefit disproportionately impacted individuals and families including:

  • Residents without health insurance and/or access to paid sick leave
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Healthcare workers
  • Hospitality and service industry workers
  • Unauthorized immigrant populations
  • Communities of color, and in particular, residents with limited English language proficiency

An application process for organizations to request funds will be available by March 27.

Additional phases of future funding will be developed by evaluating the funds available, community needs, and government response.

How to Give:

  • Credit Card: visit
  • Checks: payable to the “COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County,” c/o The Winston-Salem Foundation, 751 West Fourth St, Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
  • WSF donor-advised fundholders: request a grant transfer via myWSF to the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County
  • Corporations and foundations: to make a donation, contact Meridith Whitaker, Director of Philanthropic Services at The Winston-Salem Foundation, at (336) 604-5032 or