$204,157 From COVID Fund Provides Critical Support To 15 More Nonprofits

Posted on Aug 27, 2020, by Amy Spreeman

The F.R.E.S.H. Project at the Shawano County Farmer’s Market. Large sections of Shawano County are “food deserts,” areas with low household incomes and limited access to food. A grant from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund will help the nonprofit establish a new food pantry.

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, 15 nonprofits were recently awarded $204,157 in grants to assist their efforts as they respond to the unfolding public health and financial emergency. That brings the total awarded to 91 nonprofit organizations from the fund to $1,210,557.

Currently 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, health and financial assistance in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties. Grants will be awarded on an ongoing basis and listed on our COVID -19 Grants page.


The F.R.E.S.H. Project – An $8,500 grant will help start a new all-volunteer run food pantry serving people in the Gresham area of Shawano county.


Community Child Care Center – This Kimberly-based center serving families in Outagamie, Calumet and the Neenah and Menasha area of Winnebago counties will use a $2,000 grant to improve WiFi bandwidth to support multiple devices that will be used with distance learning activities for elementary students who are onsite for before and after school care.



Catalpa – A $25,000 grant will help this provider of mental health services for children and youth in the greater Fox Cities and Waupaca areas to make COVID-19 safety improvements that will allow them to resume psychological testing with patients under age 12, enable its team members to become certified in tele-mental health, and provide technology to improve and continue delivering telemedicine.

Innovative Services – A $7,500 grant will help the staff continue to safely provide support services to people with developmental disabilities and other varying needs living independently in their homes and in the organization’s facilities in the Fox Valley area.

Oxford House, Waupaca – A $4,800 grant will help the organization keep its three sober living houses open for people in need of transitional housing while in addiction recovery.

Rawhide – A $20,000 grant will help the organization safely provide residential and counseling services and financial assistance to at-risk youth and their families in the Fox Valley Region.

Samaritan Counseling Center – A $12,557 grant will help its wellness screen team safely conduct emotional wellness check-ups with students from 10 K-12 school districts in the tri-county area and purchase HIPPA compliant Zoom accounts for therapists engaged in providing services online.

Tri-County Dental Clinic

Tri-County Dental – Due to COVID-19, this all-volunteer clinic based in Appleton has struggled to engage enough volunteers to remain open five days a week to serve people in Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago counties whose access to dental care is limited due to low income or receiving Medicaid benefits. A $20,000 grant will assist with hiring a dentist to work in the clinic two days a week to continue meeting the needs of its patients.


Bridge the Gap – This provider of services for families with youth, teens and adults on the autism spectrum in the Shawano County area will use a $20,000 grant to safely continue to offer services and programs in new ways due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Bletzinger Rehabilitation House  – This Neenah-based provider of transitional living for adults diagnosed with both mental illness and substance abuse issues from Outagamie, Winnebago, Shawano and Waupaca counties will use a $10,000 grant to support residents’ needs while living in its apartment- based group home.

Compassionate Home Health Care – A $5,000 grant will provide personal care, hygiene and cleaning supplies to children, elderly individuals and those with disabilities or special needs through partner agencies in Outagamie, Calumet and the Neenah/Menasha area of Winnebago counties.

Forward Services Corporation – This provider of employment and training services for low-income adults and youth starting their careers will use a $15,000 grant to purchase laptops, technology equipment and high-speed Internet access tools to lend to participants in its Wisconsin Works and FoodShare Employment and Training job training programs in Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah and Menasha areas of Winnebago counties.

Sexual Assault Crisis Center – A $3,800 grant will help the organization’s staff continue to provide services and support remotely and safely in-person to sexual assault survivors and their families primarily from Outagamie and Calumet counties.

Vivent Health – A $10,000 grant will support people living with HIV in the Fox Cities area with home HIV testing kit items, food and supplies to help prevent accidental drug overdose deaths.

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation  – A $30,000 grant will be used to develop a business financial assistance program within WWBIC to support small and micro business owners who are single mothers and racial and ethnic minorities in rural areas of Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano or Waupaca counties of Wisconsin who are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. In addition to financial assistance, WWBIC will provide in-depth one-to-one education, training and business coaching to support and guide these business owners through current pandemic challenges and longer term recovery.


Foundations for Living – While its warming shelter closed in May, this mostly volunteer run shelter in Waupaca has remained open for daily crisis intervention and counseling with very few volunteers and reduced revenue. A $10,000 grant will help the organization continue these services.

Donors Step Up for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund:

Since the Community Foundation and United Way established the fund March 17 with $50,000 each, 380  individuals, businesses and foundations have stepped up generously to contribute $1,548,905 to the fund.

Updated donor recognition is listed on our COVID-19 Donor Page.

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.  To donate online, please visit our COVID-How to Help page.

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.

The fund’s granting is addressing immediate basic needs for people who are disproportionately affected by the crisis. In order to move resources quickly and not further burden nonprofit organizations, there is not 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 as needed.

We invite you to donate now to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. You can also learn about who has given to the fund, the fund’s grant recipients, and check out our latest news and updates.