Nonprofits urge Congress to negotiate relief to support Kentuckians

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Close to a dozen nonprofits hosted a virtual meeting Thursday, to give an update on services being provided to Kentuckians and what help is still needed from Congress.

Danielle Clore, Executive Director and CEO for Kentucky Nonprofit Network, led the meeting. Clore said the CARES Act, enacted in March, was a lifeline for Kentuckians as well as the nonprofit and business communities.

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“At the time, everyone thought the virus would fade,” said Clore. With the pandemic ongoing, Clore said, “Our lives and economy remain at severe risk.”

Clore says the money has now run out and nonprofits are again facing layoffs and closures, “Nonprofits are businesses too.”

Clore says nonprofits are the fourth largest employer in Kentucky with $7.5 billion in annual wages.

For the consumer, Clore added that without help, “vital services and programs could disappear.” Clore says that can result in “life and death” situations for Kentuckians.

Clore, along with several other nonprofits, shared four asks of Sen. Mitch McConnell and the congressional delegation.

First, Clore hopes Congress will continue an emergency funding program by enabling a second round of paycheck protection rounds and appropriating funds to state and local governments that depend on nonprofits.

Second, Clore said they hope Congress extends loan programs to midsize and large nonprofits of over 500 employees. Third, they hope Congress strengthens charitable giving. And finally, Clore says they want Congress to provide full federal unemployment coverage by increasing it to 100% of costs.

Nine speakers, in addition to Clore, shared personal stories communicating the urgent need for federal relief to address food and housing insecurity, health care, child care, education and more.

According to the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, hundreds of state nonprofit organizations have sent letters to Kentucky’s Congressional delegation in April, June and July recognizing the important lifelines provided in the CARES Act and reiterated the need for more relief is urgent and critical to helping nonprofits continue to help Kentuckians in need.

Clore encourages nonprofits to continue reaching out to Congress and sharing their experiences on social media.

Thursday’s virtual meeting was hosted by: Kentucky Nonprofit Network, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges & Universities, Family & Children’s Place, Fund for the Arts, Goodwill Industries of KentuckyHomeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, Hosparus HealthKentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Kentucky Voices for Health, Kentucky YMCA State Alliance, LexArts, Markey Cancer Foundation, Metro United Way, Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, New Vista, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!