COVID-19 Daily News

Community Foundation Reports COVID-19 Response Fund Grows Past $3 Million

SPRINGFIELD — The COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley has topped $3 million in donations and is still growing, with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) reporting the latest donations to the fund. The foundation also announced another $255,000 in emergency grants, bringing the total to $1 million awarded from the Response Fund to local nonprofits serving the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic in Western Mass.

The most recent donations to the fund include $250,000 from the Barr Foundation in Boston; $107,000 from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; $100,000 from the Vertex Foundation, affiliated with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. located in Boston; $75,000 from an anonymous foundation based in Boston; $25,000 from Delta Dental of Massachusetts; and $25,000 from Berkshire Bank Foundation.

This week’s grants to nonprofits support health and other urgent services for vulnerable and underserved populations, including limited-English speakers, at Gándara Center, ServiceNet, Behavioral Health Network, Clinical and Support Options, Center for New Americans, New North Citizen Council, and Enlace de Familias. Clinical Support Options (for Springfield) and ServiceNet (for Greenfield and Northampton) also received grants to cover costs associated with social distancing in shelters they manage. Also, Grow Food Northampton received a grant for food distribution in Greater Northampton.

“I am awed that $3 million has been donated in the mere three weeks that the fund has been in existence,” said Katie Allan Zobel, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. “This outpouring of generosity from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a testimony to the goodness and generosity of our people. These donations go directly into the Response Fund and are quickly deployed into the community. Donors can feel confident that their gifts are supporting the critical work in our region of helping those most impacted by the crisis. Together, and working in collaboration with so many on the ground doing the work, we will get through this historic period of need.”

Zobel said the funding is targeted where resources have emerged and are desperately needed, including in the area of food security, where elderly individuals and others are not able to leave home to access food pantries; organizations challenged with obtaining masks and gloves in serving their constituencies; and lack of translation of critical information about safety measures during the pandemic. Resources are also being deployed to address diaper shortages for families with infants and those serving the disabled, and increased requests for mental-health supports.

Zobel also stressed that donors are encouraged to make donations directly to nonprofit organizations working to support populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing that this fund is not a replacement for direct donations to nonprofits.

In addition to donations from business and philanthropic organizations, more than 120 individuals have made donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund. The Community Foundation welcomes additional donations to the fund online at www.communityfoundation.org/covid19.

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