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Agency is seeking donations to add to $50K from PacificSource; promises all money will stay in Central Oregon.

United Way in Central Oregon has established a local Community COVID-19 Response Fund — seeded with a donation of $50,000 from PacificSource Health Plans. The fund is delivering immediate help to those who need it right now, a press release from the nonprofit said.

United Way's COVID-19 response funding mobilizes nonprofits across the region — including Jefferson County, the lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, as well as Crook and Deschutes counties — to help individuals and families, the release said. Funds are being distributed to local nonprofit organizations that are providing emergency assistance and essential services to those who are most impacted by economic consequences caused directly by COVID-19.

"The partnership between our local United Way and PacificSource is a natural one in this time of crisis," said Ken Wilhelm, United Way's executive director. United Way's primary role and responsibility is to ensure community members are cared for. And as a community-based health plan, PacificSource cares deeply about the communities where their members work, live, and raise their families, the release said.

To donate to the fund, go to The organization says 100% of donations to the local Central Oregon Community COVID-19 Response Fund will be distributed to community agencies, and no administrative fees will be deducted from donations to the fund.

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