BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Southern Kentucky announced a strategic collaboration to focus on both business and citizen recovery from the pandemic. The chamber and United Way will coordinate the efforts of the Strategic Council and the recently formed Nonprofit Council, which puts people first while recovering from the pandemic.
“United Way is happy to be partnering with the chamber on this important project for the community. Along with business, the nonprofit sector is foundational to recovery and success for our area. Given the challenges and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the partnership of these two key segments is even more critical,” said Debbie Hills, president & CEO of United Way of Southern Kentucky.
“We understand that COVID-19 impacted the entire community and feel strongly about ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to recover fully and quickly. By bringing the business, nonprofit, and agency communities together, we can identify needs and develop solutions to meet them,” said Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ron Bunch.
The Bowling Green business community and area nonprofits are working hand in hand to ensure that the Bowling Green community has the tools, resources and support they need to fully recover from the effects of the pandemic.
To further the recovery efforts, United Way has created the Nonprofit Council and selected 15-nonprofit leaders representing multiple sectors. These include representatives of the Salvation Army, HOTEL INC., LifeSkills, Inc., Housing Authority of Bowling Green, Community Action of Southern Kentucky, Bowling Green Human Rights Commission, Community Education Bowling Green & Warren County, Barren River Child Advocacy Center, Kentucky Legal Aid, BRASS, CASA of South Central Kentucky, Boys & Girls Club of Bowling Green, International Center, Family Enrichment Center, and Hope House. “These organizations are on the frontline of serving diverse groups of community members. Having them at the table will enable us to make better and more informed decisions regarding our COVID-19 recovery efforts,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.
This initiative is also supported by our state elected officials, including Sen. Mike Wilson, and State Rep. Patti Minter, Steve Sheldon, Steve Riley, Jason Petrie, Wilson Stone and Michael Meredith. Hilda Legg, the state director of Kentucky for USDA Rural Development, is also in support of the initiative. “I am delighted to see my fellow elected officials standing together in support of every person who calls Bowling Green home,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon.
The non-profit council of United Way first met Aug. 24 with the goal of identifying systemic problems and challenges that could inhibit recovery for nonprofits and the individuals and families that they serve. Their goal is to work together to overcome these challenges thereby impacting nonprofits to ensure long-term sustainability.