The COVID-19 Community Response Fund provided support to individuals and families through grants to nonprofit organizations.  The Fund officially closed on July 31, 2020. 

Waco Foundation and United Way of Waco-McLennan County partnered together to create the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to provide support to individuals and families in our community. The fund provided grants to five local agencies: Caritas of Waco, EOAC, Mission Waco, Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children, and Salvation Army. Each organization used its existing processes and protocols to distribute funds directly to individuals and families for needs such as food, housing, utilities, childcare, and prescription assistance.

One hundred percent of COVID-19 Community Response Funds went to individuals and families in need due to circumstances related to the pandemic.

COVID-19 Community Response Fund FAQ

Updated – August 3, 2020

What is the fund’s priority giving/focus?
All dollars generated from the Community Response Fund went directly to serving vulnerable McLennan County individuals and families in need. Neither United Way nor Waco Foundation used these dollars for costs related to operating the fund.

What are the geographic boundaries of the fund?
The fund was intended to expand the capacity of nonprofits that are serving the residents of McLennan County, Texas.

When were awards be made available for Phase 2?
Grants have been distributed to Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children, Caritas of Waco, and Mission Waco in early August 2020. The COVID-19 Community Response Fund is now closed.

What activities or needs were eligible for consideration?
Distributions were primarily used to provide one or more of the following services to vulnerable populations: shelter, rent/mortgage assistance, utility assistance, grocery purchases, and/or prescription assistance.

How was assistance to these populations be administered?
Funding was directly distributed to organizations providing services to families in need. All agencies distributed 100% of the money they received to individuals and families; the funds were not be used to cover the operating/administrative expenses of recipient agencies.

Who contributed to the fund?
Waco Foundation and United Way originally seeded the fund with $125,000. United Way’s initial contribution came through their corporate partners, which include The Allergan Foundation, L3, Texas Mutual, Truist, and Wells Fargo. This second phase of funding was made possible with donations from First National Bank of Central Texas, The Allergan Foundation, and numerous philanthropic individuals and families within the Greater Waco community. Cumulative giving to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund totaled $220,000.

What was the size of the grants?
Grant sizes were determined by a number of factors, including community support through dollars raised for the Community Response Fund, as well as the continued emerging needs for individuals and families served by local nonprofits.

Individuals and Families Seeking Support FAQ

I am an individual who needs support. Where should I go?
Individuals and families in need should connect with the designated agencies to seek assistance. The following agencies were selected as recipients to help with the initial distribution of funds:

  • Caritas of Waco
  • Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Childre
  • Mission Waco

Do I have to work with these groups to get help?
There are a number of organizations in the community working to provide assistance to individuals and families during this time of need. We encourage you to connect with the agency or agencies in which you are most comfortable.

Money from the Community Response Fund, however, was only directed to the aforementioned agencies. United Way and Waco Foundation identified a set of agencies that quickly received money from the Community Response Fund and in turn, through their case management support staff and programming, facilitate its’ distribution out to area residents.

Agency FAQ

Can my organization be considered for funding?
Award recipients have been selected.

My nonprofit is also in need of support but does not meet the criteria for becoming a distributor of Community Response funds or a recipient of individual/family support. Where can I look for help?
Local funding organizations are working to understand area needs and lend support to fill remaining gaps. We encourage you to connect with each funding agency to learn more about their COVID-19 related funding priorities and application processes.

  • Cooper Foundation
  • Rapoport Foundation
  • United Way of Waco-McLennan County
  • Waco Foundation

Donor FAQ

How much of my gift went back into the community?
100% of your gift went directly to individuals and families. Waco Foundation, United Way, and the partner agency did not withhold any fees for administrative purposes.

How can I keep up with the fund’s status?
The community can keep track of contributions received and distributions made, on the following websites/webpages and their accompanying social media accounts: and

How can I make a gift to the fund?
Donors will be connected directly with non-profit agencies should we receive additional interest.

For more information, contact:

  • Stephanie Mabry, Sr. Director of Resource Development & External Affairs, United Way of Waco-McLennan County:, 254-752-2753 ext. 204

low-income children access to
Early Childhood Education
classes and quality afterschool and summer programs
low/uninsured families with access to
Medical Screenings and Health Exams
as well as prescription assistance and other therapy needs
children, adults, and families with
Meals and Bags of Groceries
over 46,000 eligible children, adults and families
low-income pregnant girls and women
Pregnancy Related Care Needs
including prenatal care, resource assistance, and parenting classes
families and individuals with
Family and Domestic Violence Care
including access to shelters, resource counseling, and case management