Frankfort native and former Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen has been chosen to serve as a co-chair of the Team Kentucky Fund.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman contacted Luallen and several of Kentucky’s former lieutenant governors a little more than a week ago asking if they would help spread awareness about the state’s COVID-19 relief fund and encourage people to contribute.
Jerry Abramson, Steve Henry, Steve Pence and Dr. Dan Mongiardo were also recruited to be co-chairs.
Luallen said she was “delighted” to be asked to participate.
“I absolutely am willing to help any way I can,” Luallen told The State Journal on Thursday. “I think this entire pandemic is a test of our common humanity. We've seen the best come out in people who are all so willing to help each other and to support those workers on the frontlines in health care and first responders. But also concerned and looking for ways to help those who are hardest hit economically. So this gives us all as Kentuckians an opportunity to demonstrate our compassion and concern for our fellow Kentuckians as we work to weather the storm together.”
Gov. Andy Beshear launched the Team Kentucky Fund on March 23. The project is in collaboration with the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet.
The fund will provide financial assistance to Kentuckians who have been affected by COVID-19. Nearly $1.9 million had been raised as of Wednesday. Beshear said Wednesday that the majority of the donations have come from small donors, but the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels made the largest contribution at $1 million.
According to Luallen, Community Action Kentucky will distribute the funds through a voucher system.
“In other words, rather than cash distributions, people would receive a voucher to pay the utility company or their landlord or a voucher for food. So those are the main needs that we're seeing out there are folks who can't pay their utility bills or their rent or their mortgage payment. Or provide adequate food for their family,” Luallen added.
Qualified applicants can receive up to $1,000 per household, Luallen said.
Donations to the Team Kentucky Fund are tax-deductible and can be made online through the state’s COVID-19 information site at kycovid19.ky.gov. A red “donate” button about halfway down the page will take you to the donation portal.
Mail-in donations can be sent to 500 Mero St., 218 NC, Frankfort, KY 40601. Checks should be made payable to the Kentucky State Treasury with “Team Kentucky Fund” written on the memo line.
“I know the people of Frankfort and Franklin County will step up,” Luallen said. “They’re already doing a great job. You can look at the numbers here and see they’re taking (COVID-19 crisis) very seriously. But I know they will also be willing to step up and I hope they will continue to look at ways they can help, including a personal contribution to the Team Kentucky Fund.”