Announcing the First COVID-19 Community Response Fund Recipients!

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, four nonprofits were recently awarded grants to assist their efforts as they respond to the unfolding public health emergency. Grants will continue to be awarded on an ongoing basis and published here.

Current grant recipients:

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin – The food bank supports its member network of food pantries, programs and homeless shelters that provide hunger relief to people living in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah/Menasha area of Winnebago counties. A grant of $50,000 will purchase additional food and distribute it to pantries; sanitize the food bank where food is stored, received and distributed; support critical staff who receive and transport food, and remove obstacles so pantries can receive food quickly.

Safe Haven – Domestic Abuse Shelter of Shawano County – A grant of $5,000 will allow the organization to provide emergency shelter and immediately needed food, hygiene products, gas cards, diapers and other basic needs.

Fox Valley Veterans Council – To help prevent local veterans from becoming homeless or entering a cycle of poverty, a grant of $5,000 will enable the council to sustain its Veterans Emergency Fund, which it uses to provide emergency basic needs assistance to veterans living in Outagamie, northern Calumet and northern Winnebago counties.

St. Vincent de Paul-Appleton – To help vulnerable people living in Outagamie and Waupaca counties remain safe in their homes and prevent homelessness, a $20,000 grant will help the organization respond to an increase in urgent requests for assistance with food, transportation, housing and other basic needs.

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 $500,000. Updated donor recognition will be made available on our website starting Friday, April 3. Recent corporate donors include Festival Foods ($30,000), Amcor ($25,000), and Meijer ($13,000).

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. Donate online here.

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 visit the COVID-19 Community Response Fund.