The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, announced that it has awarded nearly $1 million to an additional 47 nonprofit organizations, bringing the total grant amount from the Fund to $6.6 million, supporting a total of 156 nonprofit organizations.
This collaborative philanthropic effort was created in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and has been coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.
Grants were awarded to organizations serving all eight counties of Western New York that are addressing immediate needs in our community as a result of the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation, and other emergency services.
This is expected to be the final phase of grantmaking to individual organizations from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Additional funds raised will provide microgrants ranging from approximately $500 - $2,500 to grassroots organizations in all eight counties. Going forward, the collaborative effort is evolving into a “Build Back Better” initiative to support developing strategies focused on recovery efforts through collaborative systems work to address specific needs such as sourcing personal protective equipment for nonprofits and food security.
The following nonprofit organizations in Genesee County received a grant (amounts not specified) from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund in May:
- Arc of Genesee Orleans
- Project Stork
- YWCA of Genesee County
“The sudden arrival of the COVID-19 crisis necessitated an immediate response to meet the significant need in the community with everyone working together on solutions," said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, president/CEO of Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. "We are grateful that so many foundations, corporations, community leaders and individuals continue to generously contribute time and resources to support more than 156 organizations to date working on the frontlines at a time of great need."
Robert D. Gioia, president of The John R. Oishei Foundation added, “We are just at the beginning of this crisis and it will take a sustained, collaborative effort to continue to assess critical needs and find new, creative solutions to rebuild our community.”
"It’s clear that COVID-19 will have a long-term, serious impact on the people and communities of Western New York," said Nora OBrien-Suric, Ph.D., president of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. "We remain committed to supporting nonprofit organizations in our region as they work tirelessly to meet the evolving needs of the community."
"We are facing unprecedented need and are only just beginning to grapple with the effects caused by COVID-19," said Michael Weiner, president and CEO United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. "Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response and we will continue to support our community and the nonprofits on the ground throughout this unprecedented crisis."
To date, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund has raised approximately $7 million from 60 local foundations and private sector companies, more than 40 community leaders and approximately 1,900 individuals. To see a full list of contributors, or to join the effort, please visit www.WNYResponds.org.
On April 8, the Fund announced its first round of grants totaling just over $4.5 million to 74 organizations and on April 29, the Fund announced grants totaling $1 million to an additional 35 organizations. To see the full list of grantees, visit www.WNYResponds.org.