PRESS RELEASE | ALBANY, NY – May 13, 2020 – At the beginning of this month, the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund granted an additional $225K to local nonprofit organizations. Co-led by United Way of the Greater Capital Region and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, the fund has awarded more than $715K in grants to frontline organizations addressing our region’s most pressing needs. The most recent rounds of funding provided grants to the following organizations:
• Battenkill Community Services, Inc. – Provide essential support services to adults living with disabilities and their families in Washington County and surrounding communities.
• Better Community Neighborhoods – Support low-income residents in Schenectady and Montgomery counties with family budgeting and rental assistance.
• Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area – Additional funding to support distributing meals to housing sites in Albany and Rensselaer Counties.
• City Mission of Schenectady – Provide shelter to nearly 100 homeless individuals and serve more than 600 meals daily.
• Equinox, Inc. – Continue providing essential services, including transitional housing programs, behavioral health services, homeless youth programs, and domestic violence services.
• The Fiqh & Dawah Center – Serve and distribute food to immigrants and families with specific needs to celebrate Ramadan.
• The Joshua Project – Reopen its weekly backpack program to help feed more than 250 families in Schoharie County.
• Northern Rivers Family of Services – Increase its ability to provide essential services to families experiencing trauma, abuse, neglect, mental illness, and poverty as well as support their therapy telemedical services.
• Redemption Church of Christ – Serve on 300 cooked meals to individuals in need every week and deliver 200 meals to seniors twice a month in Albany and Rensselaer Counties.
• Rensselaer County Department of Health Heroin Coalition – Support the distribution of Narcan and substance abuse services to reduce overdoses and relapse especially during an increase in stress from the pandemic.
• The Salvation Army - Empire Division – Support food and meal programs serving individuals in need in Albany, Glens Falls, Hudson, Schenectady, and Troy.
• St. Anne Institute – Hire additional staff to support the youth living in its residential homes.
• U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Albany Field Office – Increase interpreting services to assist refugees and immigrants who are non-English speakers and connecting them to resources.
• Vanderheyden Hall – Provide supplies for the direct service staff in its residential housing facilities.
• Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Center – Increase its capacity for mobile COVID-19 testing and support for its behavioral health services.
• YWCA of the Greater Capital Region – Additional support to continue providing programs for low-income women and children with safe and affordable housing, help with basic needs, such as food and clothing, victim advocacy, help with addiction, job training, and career counseling, and case management.
With support from the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund, the Franklin Community Center has been able to increase the amount of food they can purchase from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY to meet the rising need in Saratoga County. Franklin Community Center received funding in the first round of grants and shared a letter they received from someone who utilized their food pantry:
"My husband and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the generous service you provide the community. We have never needed such a service previously, and in fact, did not know much about this resource. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in New York, we have both lost our long-standing jobs, and find ourselves suddenly in a unique situation, with much economic uncertainty."
We found the Franklin Community Center online and never expected the generosity we received. The groceries you provided to us were a real gift that brought us help and relief. But, more than even the groceries, we were touched by your kindness, gentle words, and smiles. It is clear you all have beautiful hearts and are dedicated to helping others. That is a rare and precious treasure to find in this world! A famous proverb says: ‘The generous person will prosper, and whoever refreshes others will himself be refreshed.’ We sincerely hope this is the case for you all!'
The Community Foundation, United Way, and all of our funding partners are honored to continue supporting nonprofits like Franklin Community Center for stepping up their services for our region. Even though the impact of the fund has helped thousands of people in our area, it only addresses a fraction of the financial need nonprofits are facing during the pandemic. Since the fund was created in mid-March, the funding committee has been informed of community needs exceeding $7 million from area nonprofits. These needs occurred due to increased demand for their services, increased purchasing of supplies to stop the spread of coronavirus, loss of revenue from program cancelations, and decreased donations. The Community Foundation, United Way, and funding partners are actively fundraising for additional support for the fund, and encourage community members who can take action to do so in the following ways:
- Donate to the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund. Thanks to support from our community, the fund has been able to deploy resources quickly to nonprofits serving the most vulnerable populations. So far, the Community Foundation and United Way have received over $100,000 in donations from individuals and families throughout the region. Anyone in our community can donate. Contributions to the fund can be made online here or text COVID19 to 41444.
- Get Social. If you are active on social media, sharing information about the fund helps to spread awareness of the community’s needs and encourage people to support. Visit social media pages of the Community Foundation (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) and United Way (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube) and share your favorite posts with your friends and family.
- Sign up and Volunteer on 5.18 Day. Join United Way GCR and hundreds of volunteers to make an impact in the Capital Region on Monday, May 18. United Way has shifted its annual day of community service to virtual platforms with more than 45 virtual service projects and a variety of virtual events that will raise funds for the COVID-19 Response Fund. View the full schedule and register at www.unitedwaygcr.org/518-Day
As of today, the fund has raised over $820,000 and continues to fundraise to respond to the growing need. Over 33 corporate and philanthropic organizations have contributed to the fund including Arrow Family of Companies, Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, Bank of America, Berkshire Bank Foundation, BlueShield of Northeastern New York's Blue Fund, B'Nai B'rith Gideon Foundation, Callanan Industries, Inc., CDPHP, Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, GE Healthcare, Howard & Bush Foundation, Hunt Real Estate Charitable Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KeyBank, Mercury Screenprinting, MVP Health Care, National Grid, NYS Health Foundation, NYSUT, Plug Power, Price Chopper's Golub Foundation, Regeneron, the Schenectady Foundation, Sheehan Productions, Stephen McKee Foundation, Times Union, Tri-City Rentals/Massry Realty Partners, the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, United Way of the Greater Capital Region, United Way of Montgomery County, UPS, and Wells Fargo Advisors.
Interested donors and partners should contact John Eberle at email@example.com or Peter Gannon at firstname.lastname@example.org. The fund is managed by the Community Foundation and a 100% pass-through fund where all the money raised will be distributed to local nonprofit organizations. For more information, including an updated list of partners, please visit www.unitedwaygcr.org/covid-19
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF THE GREATER CAPITAL REGION
United Way of the Greater Capital Region is an organization that fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. It unites donors, volunteers, and community organizations in a common mission to strengthen our community and improve social conditions in the Capital Region and beyond. Learn more at www.unitedwaygcr.org or Facebook.com/UnitedWayGCR
ABOUT THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR THE GREATER CAPITAL REGION
Since 1968, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region has worked to strengthen the greater Capital Region through philanthropy. The Foundation collaborates with donors and community partners who share their vision for community transformation through stewardship of charitable endowments, superior donor services, effective grantmaking, and leadership to address community needs.
In 2019, The Community Foundation helped our fund advisors distributed over $6 million in grants and scholarships in the Capital Region and beyond. With assets currently totaling more than $80 million, the Foundation is comprised of more than 450 charitable funds created by a diverse group of individuals, families, and corporations. In addition, several local independent foundations (the Bender Family Foundation, the John D. Picotte Family Foundation, the McCarthy Charities, the B’nai B’rith Gideon Foundation, and the Review Foundation) contract with the Community Foundation for grantmaking assistance.