~ April 2020 ~
The COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 is having a deep impact on all of us, as individuals and families, employees and employers and as community members. The weeks and months ahead will undoubtedly be a long and difficult recovery.
We are working quietly behind the scenes to offer our support. As your community foundation we know that our communities will benefit most by working together with other organizations and businesses to address the immediate and recovery needs in our community. Now, more than ever, the value of collaboration and partnership has never been so strong.
What we are doing now: Urgent needs grants
A profound impact of COVID-19 has been the increased demand for programs and services provided by our front-line agencies serving high need, vulnerable people and families. This need has never been greater.
We are providing immediate grants to organizations supporting people most deeply impacted by this pandemic, including those experiencing homelessness and poverty, isolated seniors and youth, and mental wellness services. See the list of grantees.
We made a $10,000 grant to the United Way Perth-Huron’s COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund and participate in the applicant review process. This Fund provides funding on a first come, first served basis to support our region’s critical needs such as food security, shelter and mental wellness.
We partnered with investStratford, Perth Community Futures Development Corporation, Stratford-Perth Centre for Business, Orr Insurance & Investment and Hyde Construction Ltd. to offer mental wellness support through Family Services Perth-Huron, at no cost, to small business owners in Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County.
We made a $1,000 grant to a local service club initiative to purchase personal protective equipment for front-line health care workers in long-term care facilities here in Perth County.
Planning for the road ahead: Response and Future Recovery
Recognizing that the impact of COVID-19 is unpredictable but will be prolonged, we established a Charitable Response Fund with a $30,000 commitment.
This pandemic will have long-term implications for not for profits throughout our region from intensified demand for services for some, to the reduction and closure of programs for others. This new fund will bridge gaps and complement existing efforts to provide support to community-based organizations and the vital services they provide, and support recovery needs in the weeks and months ahead. The Fund’s initial grants were made to the United Way Perth-Huron, Family Services Perth-Huron and Rotary District 6330 as above. For grants to follow we will use learnings from a charity survey we conducted last month and leverage partner networks.
Within the next 30 days we will issue annual grants that are ready for distribution from our Community Grants Program. Grants made possible by 63 legacy funds established by local families and businesses, ranging from $500 to $25,000, will support various community-based organizations throughout Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County. Together with our Charitable Response Fund we will distribute a minimum of $250,000 in 2020.
Because of you
Our work would not be possible without the kindness of donors and the leadership of our Board of Directors and committees, past and present. This extraordinary generosity ensures our Foundation can support our region during this time of uncertainty, and for years to come. We are deeply grateful.
Thank you to our government leaders, healthcare and front-line agency workers, and everyone committed to keeping our communities healthy. Please take care of one another.
Chair, Board of Directors