Over the last week, COVID-19 has affected everyone in the United States in unexpected ways—forcing social isolation, shuttering many businesses indefinitely and costing thousands of workers the critical paychecks they need to pay their bills — with hospitality workers among some of the hardest hit by these mandated closures.

Winthrop & Weinstine’s Ryan Schildkraut and Michelle Johnson partnered with the owners and key employees of Utepils Brewing, to help create The Silver Linings Fund, which will be used to support hospitality workers and their families in the midst of closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we heard about the project, we were eager to step in and provide pro bono counsel to help navigate the challenges that came with setting up a 501(c)(3) non-profit to collect donations,” Schildkraut said. “The legal process should be the last thing standing in the way of critical charitable efforts during this uncertain time.”

The charitable fund, called The Silver Linings Fund, will pair with limited-run series of beers produced by a number of Minnesota breweries and sold under the Silver Linings name. Every dollar made from Silver Linings Series beers will be donated to the fund and distributed to hospitality industry employees and their families who are facing hardship as a result of COVID-19. Additionally, Utepils Brewing plans to announce streamed concerts to support the launch.

During this difficult time, companies of all sizes and industries are facing incredibly challenging decisions. We are proud to support Utepils and other craft brewers in their quest to create greater financial stability for those in the hospitality industry—and to inspire creative ways to get through these trying times.

To learn more about the project or to donate to The Silver Linings Fund, visit the charity’s GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/silver-linings-series.