We are living through unprecedented and challenging times. While COVID-19 has caused us to maintain our social distance, it is critical for us to stay emotionally connected and to focus on what matters most… people.
At U.S. Bank, we are working to respond quickly to the needs of our employees, customers and communities. We committed $30 million to our communities to help with immediate and long-term COVID-19 relief efforts.
We put $4 million in grants in the hands of three key partners: LISC, the United Way, and Operation HOPE. Our grants are focused on support for small business owners and crisis relief. Our investment in LISC will contribute to flexible loan products and coordinated solutions to small businesses facing critical challenges. Our grants to the United Way Worldwide and to local United Way chapters will help add capacity to the 211 network, which has already experienced a 300% increase as individuals reach out for help, and to other health and human service programs. We are investing in Operation HOPE to provide critical financial education coaching and counseling with a focus on individuals, families and small businesses in low to moderate income communities.
We also created a $1 million COVID-19 Local Market Impact Fund to address unmet needs in local markets across the country.
By year end, we will provide $25 million to long term recovery including taking the balance of our Community Possible grant budget for the year and offering it as general operating grants for our partners. We know how many nonprofits are struggling and we want to make sure that our partners know that we trust them to use our grant dollars in whatever way is needed to sustain the life-changing work they do in our communities every day.
And we could not do any of this without our most valuable resource, our employees. That is why we are doubling our matching gift program and launching a cadre of Virtual Volunteers, employees who can leverage their specialized skills and talents to assist nonprofits as they manage through this unprecedented event.
Finally, I want to acknowledge that being able to make decisions like those we have made is a privilege. This crisis only deepens our commitment to drive even greater social impact by moving beyond philanthropy to bring the full resources of the company, including our investments, our products and services, and the expertise of all our employees, to help remove barriers and make a difference in the most underserved communities
We do not have all the answers and will continue to work hard to do the right thing for our employees, our customers and the communities we serve.
Reba Dominski, Chief Social Responsibility Officer, U.S. Bank