LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Project SOS, or Share Our Stimulus, is an initiative by United Way of Lancaster County to redistribute excess funds from individuals’ stimulus checks to those in need of financial assistance.
Just over one week after launching, Project SOS has raised about $23,000 from community members, and a further match fund of $42,500 from corporate sponsors, toward their initial goal of $100,000, explains Kevin Ressler, president and CEO of United Way of Lancaster County.
As of last Friday, the organization has received over 100 applications covering about 360 individuals. Ressler says, “One of the concerns that I have is, can we keep pace with the fundraising to the need?”
He says so far they’ve been able to help all the eligible applicants requesting aid, and a boost of donations over the weekend is helping sustain the project, but he hopes more people will consider donating.
Donations can be made at uwlanc.org/Stimulus. Ressler encourages anyone who is able to donate any amount they are able. “If you were making more money than qualifies for a stimulus, you can still donate. If you can only donate $25 out of the stimulus that you get, that’s fine, too” says Ressler.
Applications to receive a Project SOS grant can also be submitted at that same website. Funds will be distributed following ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) guidelines. Individuals with an income of about $25,000 and families with an income of around $50,000 are eligible to apply, Ressler explains.
“What we’re really trying to do here is find a way to take the shared pool of resources coming to the county through this stimulus, and encourage individuals who have a need to apply and those who have an abundance to share,” says Ressler.
Ressler says Project SOS will continue “as long as there’s that need and that energy in the community.” He’s looking ahead to a second possible stimulus that has been discussed by President-elect Joe Biden, and also mentions that there is still great need in the community as COVID-19 continues to pose challenges.