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Pay It Forward Mid-South Campaign Aids Workers

All donations through January 30 will support workers affected by health directive

(Dec. 22, 2020) As the newest Shelby County Health Department directive places significant restrictions on area businesses, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and campaign co-chairs Reginald Coopwood and Erica Stiff-Coopwood announce the Pay It Forward Mid-South campaign, running now through January 31, 2021. During this timeframe, all donations to the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund will be directed to agencies supporting hospitality and service industry workers who lose employment, or whose work hours and pay are decreased, because of the health directive.

Regional One Health, Baptist Memorial Health Care, and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare made the leadoff gifts, totaling $100,000, to the campaign. The Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund advisory committee anticipates making grant awards to Welcome to Memphis, MIFA, and other agencies who will directly allocate funds to individuals.

“The Health Department is doing what it needs to do to try to combat COVID-19, but unfortunately these restrictions mean businesses and their employees that have been deemed nonessential will suffer severe economic hardship,” said Erica Stiff-Coopwood and Dr. Reginald W. Coopwood, president and CEO of Regional One Health. “We invite Mid-Southerners to come together to support fellow Mid-Southerners in need.”

“The coronavirus crisis continues to take an enormous toll on our community, and the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund is committed to providing timely, vital relief to those hardest hit,” said Robert Fockler, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. “We have built a distribution network with trusted agency partners that will allow us, through the generosity of concerned Mid-Southerners, to act quickly to get money in the pockets of workers in need.”

To donate to the fund, click here.

To learn more or apply for financial assistance, follow the links below.


Welcome to Memphis COVID-19 Relief Fund
Welcome to Memphis COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide individual relief funds to hospitality service employees. Eligible recipients are hourly workers of hotels, restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, convention services, or tour operators. For more information or to apply, visit or call (901) 543-5327. 

MIFA Emergency Services Program
MIFA’s Emergency Services program provides rent, mortgage, and utility assistance for Memphis and Shelby County residents who have experienced a temporary crisis due to COVID-19, such as a job loss or reduction in pay. For more information or to apply, please visit

The Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund is the unified community relief effort to support organizations impacted by novel coronavirus and the economic consequences of the pandemic. To learn more about the fund, click here.