Last Updated on Saturday, 30 May 2020 19:49
The Jefferson Regional Foundation recently announced that it has awarded $341,000 from its Jefferson COVID-19 Emergency Fund in eleven initial grants and is now opening the Fund applications to the 96 member organizations of the Jefferson Community Collaborative. The Fund was created by the Foundation Board to address critical and strategic aspects of community health and wellness that the virus has and will continue to impact.
Nonprofit organizations can receive awards related to the Fund priorities which include: equipment and supplies for essential services, access to food, impacts on essential services for families, communities of color and/or low income experiencing particular effects of the virus, services to residents without health insurance, or residents with language and hearing access limitations. These short-term emergency grants range in size from $5,000 to $35,000. Guidelines and applications are being distributed to the Collaborative this week and more information is available at www.jeffersonrf.org.
The Fund was first opened to a group of key organizations serving the South Hills/lower Mon Valley area whose services match the priority areas. Grants awarded in the initial round included:
- 412 Food Rescue-$35,000 for food distribution at homes, bus stops and to partners
- AHN/Jefferson Hospital-$35,000 for critical preventive/protective equipment for staff
- Beverly’s Birthdays-$25,000 for its partnership with Diaper Bank to distribute infant crisis kits
- Bhutanese Community Association-$35,000 for laptops, grocery cards and senior chats
- Blood Science Foundation/Vitalant- $35,000 for donor campaign and site COVID updates
- Cribs for Kids-$24,000 for new model of cribs & safe sleep supplies direct to family homes
- Economic Development South-$35,000 for food deliveries to homebound Clairton residents
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank-$35,000 to fund local partnerships for food delivery in Jefferson area
- Squirrel Hill Health Center-$35,000 to support shifts to telemedicine, tele-counseling and check-ins
- Turtle Creek Valley-$35,000 to fund technology for onsite staff support and training
- Veteran’s Breakfast Club-$35,000 for equipment and technology to shift to virtual meetings
Charles Modispacher, the Foundation’s President observed, “The COVID-19 Emergency Fund is an extension of our efforts to support the capacity of local organizations to serve both the current and future needs of residents in the Jefferson area. We are grateful for the dedication and agility of the nonprofit sector to provide a front line of services to residents in this unprecedented era”.
The Jefferson Community Collaborative is an active-96-member network of community-serving
organizations committed as change-makers to positively impact the health and vitality of
communities south of Pittsburgh through serving as an incubator for promising ideas, improving the capacity of its organizations and facilitating group action on community aspirations. In addition to holding five member meetings each year, the Jefferson Community Collaborative hosts monthly action teams, distributes a resource guide called the Jefferson Community Directory, and has three current priorities: behavioral health, civic engagement, and workforce development. The Collaborative is hosted and staffed by the Jefferson Regional Foundation.
Mary Phan-Gruber, the Foundation’s CEO sees the Emergency Fund as one element in the
Foundation’s effort to support the front-line organizations meeting the current and evolving
needs of residents during the pandemic. “The Foundation efforts to convene and share
information have shifted,” said Phan-Gruber. “We are now offering a Virtual Forum workshop series on topics such as self-care, technology, advocacy and fundraising, and an Executive Circle cohort which
includes huddles and individual consults in partnership with Bayer Nonprofit Center, as well
creative outreach strategy sessions to promote Census 2020 participation.” She added, “Our nonprofit
organizations are stepping up in new ways –and we know they will continue to be a critical factor for the resilience of our community.”