Thanks in part to several area businesses, United Way of the Coastal Bend has raised over $65,000 to support its local COVID-19 response and relief fund.

"Everything we raise here will stay here in the Coastal Bend," said Libby Averyt, President & CEO of United Way of the Coastal Bend. "A lot of folks don’t know that United Way of the Coastal Bend is a local, independent organization. We serve communities in Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio Counties."

This allows the organization to focus its support efforts exclusively on those being impacted in the Coastal Bend. "100% of all the money that we raise will go toward relief efforts such as food assistance, rental and utility assistance, mental health services—some of the funds are designated for particular agencies helping in those areas, but we will work with programs and agencies that are on the front lines delivering that kind of help."

Among those who have contributed to the COVID-19 fund are local businesses like Truist Financial and Kleberg Bank.

"It’s important that we do what we can to support the community, and I hope other businesses will join me in supporting this relief fund," said Gabe Guerra, President & CEO of Kleberg Bank. "We’re grateful for partnerships like United Way of the Coastal Bend because, through them, we’re able to help our neighbors with the greatest need."

"We want to thank the individuals and companies that have already made donations," said Libby Averyt. "There's a lot of need right now, and we're in this together."

To donate to the COVID-19 fund, you can visit the United Way of the Coastal Bend website at