Emergency relief fund set up for Kearney area employees

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - People in Buffalo County who are working fewer hours, or maybe not at all, due to COVID-19 have a new way to get some assistance.

The Kearney Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundation have set up an emergency relief fund for local employees struggling because of the coronavirus. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

Thanks to an anonymous $100,000 donation, the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce and Kearney Area Community Foundation set up an emergency relief fund for employees of local businesses who are struggling.

"The economy is going to take a hit obviously, but we feel the economy and big businesses, they're going to be able to recover. We don't want to lose our workers. So we're trying to find some avenues for them to help them out besides unemployment," said Derek Rusher, president and CEO of the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rusher said so far they've gotten about 100 applications, but expect to get well into the thousands.

In order to sustain the fund, he said they'll need 3,000 people to donate $100 each.

"Only apply for what you need so other people can use it. I know it's hard, because everyone's hurting. Hopefully this is going to help pay a bill: So $100, $200 is kind of what we're really gearing toward, and that's what the selection committee's looking at," Rusher said.

To qualify, you need to work and live in Buffalo County; demonstrate hardship and financial need; and be able to verify your employment and business status.

Approved applicants can receive up to $500 a day.

You can apply or donate to the KAEER Fund on the Chamber's website.