Just weeks after the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia activated the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund as a way to rapidly raise funds and align resources where they are needed most, the fund announces its first round of grants totaling $1.1 million to 25 organizations providing immediate support to those most impacted by the pandemic.
While the region is in the early response phase of this crisis, the fund is initially focused on ensuring support for those most likely to contract the virus or those whose health could be further compromised during this time because of barriers to food access, healthcare or stable shelter.
“While the pandemic has impacted the operations of virtually every organization in our community,” says Scott Blackwell, Chief Community Engagement Officer at the Community Foundation. “We are currently targeting those on the frontline that need to pivot and adapt quickly to an ever-increasing demand for their services. Some organizations have repurposed their buildings, others require additional staffing to make up for fewer volunteers, and others need to purchase additional cleaning supplies and PPEs to ensure the safety of their staff and clients.”
An advisory committee from the philanthropic, business and public sectors is reviewing and distributing grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund on a rolling basis. The first round of grant recipients includes:
- safety net clinics to help with increased staffing, conversion to telehealth delivery and coordinating safe access to appointments and medication
- homeless service providers for staffing, supply costs and new shelter options
- staffing costs and cleaning supplies for a domestic violence shelter and the Essential Personnel Childcare Center
- the distribution of meals to food-insecure individuals, including children and seniors
“By working in collaboration with local officials and our many fund partners, we are tapping into deep community knowledge to ensure we are doing the most good for the most people throughout every phase of this crisis,” said Ben Ruppert, finance chair of the Emergency Management Alliance and a fund advisory committee member. “As funds are available, we will remain flexible to the evolving needs as the situation continues to unfold.”
To date, the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund has raised $4.25 million in contributions from foundations, businesses and individuals across the region. This includes a $100,000 matching grant from the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg to incentivize new donations made through their website.
“Organizations stepping up to help will continue to need funding,” said James Taylor, President & CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “We are pleased to support this first round of grants, but we know there is a lot more to do. I encourage everyone in our region to join our local United Way in donating to the COVID-19 Response Fund.”
The campaign to raise funds and enlist support from the public continues as the impact from the crisis will likely stretch out for weeks and months. To learn more about how the fund works and how you can help response efforts, please visit www.togetheroneregion.org.
For a full list of grants awarded thus far, click here. Examples include:
Chesterfield Educational Foundation
To purchase and distribute food to children and families at high risk of food insecurity in the Chesterfield County school district.
Communities in Schools of Chesterfield
To support the purchase of food, cleaning supplies and gas cards for case-managed students, and their families, in Chesterfield County Public Schools.
Communities in Schools of Petersburg
To support the purchase of food, cleaning supplies and gas cards for case-managed students, and their families, in Petersburg Public Schools.
Communities in Schools of Richmond
To support the purchase of food, cleaning supplies and gas cards for case-managed students, and their families, in Richmond Public Schools.
To provide staffing support for the Bayard Community Kitchen, which supplements a decrease in volunteer shifts while continuing to support the nutritional needs of vulnerable children and seniors in our region.
To support a COVID-19 testing site for existing clients and individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as additional staffing costs and fees for conducting patient appointments via telehealth where feasible.
To help transition the organization’s operations to a telehealth platform allowing staff to conduct medical and mental health appointments remotely.
Jewish Family Services
To provide In-Home Health Aides to assist senior clients with daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, and cooking. Services will be provided to clients whose routine care is provided by a health aide who is unable to work due to loss of childcare or other COVID-19 related reasons.
To support a new home delivery system that increases safe medication access for clients of local safety net clinics while they shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Studio Two Three
To produce 10,000 protective face masks for home and public health care workers, bus drivers, and other nonprofit essential workers.
To support additional staffing and supply costs as individuals experiencing homelessness shelter-in-place at CARITAS shelters.
To expand shelter options for individuals experiencing homelessness, secure transportation for individuals needing medical assessment, and to provide planning support for the creation of a COVID-19 recovery shelter.
The Salvation Army To support set up, staffing, and supply costs for an isolation shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness who are most at risk for complications from COVID-19 due to age or underlying medical conditions.
Richmond Public Schools To support the purchase of 10,000 Chromebooks for students who need them to access learning opportunities while schools are closed.
Read more about grants awarded thus far, click here.