$115,000 From Fund Provides Critical Support To Local Nonprofits During COVID-19

by Amy Spreeman

Thanks to gifts generously donated to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund established by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities, 10 nonprofits were recently awarded $115,000 in grants to assist their efforts as they respond to the unfolding public health emergency. Four nonprofits received $80,000 in grants last week.

Grants from the fund support nonprofit organizations engaging in immediate basic needs relief, short-term response and longer-term recovery of many types of nonprofits in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties.

The current Phase One of granting is focusing on the Fox Valley region’s most vulnerable populations and the nonprofit organizations providing urgent basic needs support such as safe shelter, food, childcare and financial assistance.

Grants will continue to be listed here on an ongoing basis as they are awarded.

Latest grant recipients:

COTS — The transitional homeless shelter in Appleton will use a $20,000 grant to continue providing basic needs and other essential services to its residents from Calumet, Outagamie and the Neenah/Menasha area of Winnebago counties, most of whom have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Foundations for Living — Following the Waupaca-based organization’s temporary expansion of its warming shelter’s open time from overnight to 24 hours, a $10,000 grant will help it care for people experiencing homelessness and financial crisis in Waupaca County.

SAM 25 — A $5,000 grant will enable the Shawano Area Matthew 25 homeless shelter and resource center to provide basic needs support to people in Shawano County.

Mission of Hope House — To ensure the New London-based shelter continues providing care and services, a $10,000 grant will help people primarily from Waupaca and Outagamie counties who are experiencing homelessness.

Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs — A $10,000 grant will help ensure proper staffing coverage for providing essential services to survivors of domestic abuse primarily from Outagamie and Calumet counties who are living at the shelter.

Christine Anne Domestic Abuse Services — A $5,000 grant will help crisis advocates provide emotional and basic needs support and safety planning to individuals in crisis in Winnebago County, which includes the Neenah and Menasha area.

Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley — A $10,000 grant will be primarily used to support young child and school-age care at its Appleton and Menasha locations for health care workers, public safety personnel and other essential workers, and to provide free meals to kids each weeknight.

Jake’s Diapers — A $5,000 grant will help the organization purchase diapers that are distributed to agencies helping Shawano County families meet their basic needs.

CAP Services — With a mission of transforming people and communities to advance social and economic justice, the organization will use a $5,000 grant to provide basic needs support to people living in Outagamie and Waupaca counties.

YMCA Fox Cities — A grant of $35,000 supports early childhood programming that’s operating at three childcare centers in Appleton and Neenah, serving children of health care and other essential workers during the pandemic crisis.

Donors to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund:

Since the Community Foundation and United Way established the fund March 17 with $50,000 each, many individuals, funders and businesses have stepped up very generously to contribute more than $540,000. Updated donor recognition is available here.

The needs of local nonprofit organizations are and will continue to be significant during the public health crisis and beyond. Ongoing donations to the fund, as well as direct donations to nonprofit organizations from individuals with a passion for specific organizations and causes, are critical now and during the weeks and months to come. .

How to donate to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund:

The Community Foundation is waiving all credit card and administrative fees for this fund. Every dollar donated into the fund will be put into action in the community.

Checks can be made payable to the Community Foundation/COVID-19 and mailed to Community Foundation, 4455 W. Lawrence St., Appleton, WI 54914.

About the COVID-19 Community Response Fund Granting Approach:

The fund supports local nonprofit and other community organizations engaging in response and recovery efforts in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Currently the fund is in Phase One of granting, addressing immediate basic needs for people who are disproportionately affected by the crisis. This phase includes proactively identifying potential grant recipients and using input, guidance and research from organizations and others in the community to make grant decisions.

In order to move resources quickly and not further burden nonprofit organizations, during Phase One there will not be a formal application process. Nonprofits providing immediate basic needs relief can email United Way to share their needs so they can be considered during the granting process.

As the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities will continue to assess and consider evolving the granting approach into subsequent phases for many types of nonprofit organizations. The grants committee meets on a weekly basis to understand needs and make decisions. To learn more about the fund, please click here