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Grants awarded from two COVID-19 community funds

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Funds managed by four local philanthropic organizations distributed $440,000 to 18 Delaware nonprofits on April 9 and 10.

The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund on April 10 awarded $350,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state, bringing its total to $700,000 in its first two rounds of grants. The Delaware Community Foundation and Philanthropy Delaware said they will award an additional $350,000 in grants on April 17.

The grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are:

  • First State Community Action Agency: $40,000 to provide for basic needs of low-income families statewide.
  • Colonial Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America: $5,000 to provide supplies for veterans with spinal cord injuries statewide.
  • Green Beret Project: $10,000 to support at-risk youth and their families in Kent County.
  • Ingleside Homes: $49,000 to pay for personal protective equipment, as well as staff and supplies for additional cleaning and individual meal delivery to residents.
  • Jewish Family Services: $30,000 to provide remote counseling and support services statewide.
  • La Esperanza: $18,000 for technology upgrades to better provide emergency services to the Latino community in Sussex County.
  • Little Sisters of the Poor: $40,000 to fund personal protective equipment, cleaning and additional staff to control the virus and care for residents of the Newark facility.
  • Milton Community Food Pantry: $1,000 to provide emergency food to families in Milton and surrounding communities.
  • Nanticoke Senior Center: $32,000 to purchase, package and deliver food to seniors in the Seaford area.
  • Project New Start: $25,000 to provide remote case management to individual reentering the community after incarceration statewide.
  • Planned Parenthood of Delaware: $40,000 to fund personal protective equipment and staffing to provide reproductive health services statewide.
  • TRIAD Addiction Recovery Services: $25,000 to provide remote counseling to individuals in recovery in greater Wilmington.
  • YWCA: $35,000 to provide isolation for infected families at its Home-Life Management Center in Wilmington and provide remote counseling for survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

In this second round, 119 applicants requested a total of $4.5 million. The fund will award an additional $350,000 in grants next week.

Stuart Comstock-Gay

“As the pandemic continues, the needs are growing and evolving,” said DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay, who chairs the fund’s decision-making council. “We are calling on the community to help local nonprofit organizations get food, shelter, medical care and other essential services directly to the people who need it most. We also must support our workforce, arts community and other sectors to restore our quality of life post-COVID-19.”

The Longwood Foundation, which previously gave $1 million to the Strategic Response Fund, has pledged an additional $500,000, contingent upon the DCF raising a matching $500,000 from the community.

To date, the fund has received $2.3 million, with another $1.1 pledged. Among the new contributions to the fund last week is a $50,000 contribution from M&T Bank.

The deadline for the next round of awards is Monday, April 13, at noon. The application is open at delcf.org/covid-grants.

The Delaware Does More COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, managed by United Way of Delaware (UWDE) as part of a coordinated statewide relief effort, also released an additional $90,000 in community investments aimed at helping Delawareans struggling to find food, shelter, utilities and rent assistance, and other critical services in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The second round of funding followed an initial $150,000, which was disbursed on March 27th.

Second round recipient organizations were selected by a committee of funders including United Way of Delaware, the Santora Group CPAs, Delmarva Power, DuPont, Chesapeake Utilities Corp. and Highmark Health. Recipients were chosen for the strength of their on-the-ground operations in key population areas across the state, and because each has the scope, scale and experience to manage emergency relief efforts. Recipients were:

  • Catholic Charities ($25,000)
  • First State Community Action Agency ($30,000)
  • Latin American Community Center ($25,000)
  • Modern Maturity Center ($5,000)
  • Delaware 211 ($5,000)

“More than three weeks into this crisis, the Rapid Response Fund is helping close resource gaps as an increasing number of Delawareans are turning to the Fund for assistance with critical human needs, said United Way of Delaware President and Chief Executive Officer Michelle A. Taylor.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Delaware Fund for Women re-directed a $200,000 gift that had been earmarked for programming impacting women and girls, into support for both the Rapid Response Fund ($100,000) and the Strategic Response Fund ($100,000).

“While we recognize that these programs are vitally important to women and girls in Delaware, we also acknowledge that because of the COVID-19 crisis, we are in a very different environment today,” said Fund For Women Chair Lynn Kokjohn. “We decided to dramatically change course and to re-direct this year’s funding into the critical community work being managed by United Way and the Delaware Community Foundation.”

Also as part of its COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, UWDE is coordinating with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, the state Division of Social Services, and the Department of Public Health to provide free access to the Delaware 211 Helpline, now expanded to seven days per week.  The 211 Helpline is available to connect residents, including the newly unemployed, with resources to address food insecurity, assistance with housing and utilities expenses, and other critical service needs. And for those who are able to assist in this crisis, UWDE is also providing volunteer matching services through its UVolunteer web portal 

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