Since March, the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund, a coalition of corporate, philanthropic, and government partners, has supported local nonprofit agencies addressing basic needs, tackling food security, and providing child care services and housing. The fund has raised over $1,085,000, and nearly all the funds have been deployed to over 100 organizations throughout 11 counties, which has helped meet the needs of over 500,000 local neighbors in need.
According to NYS ALICE data, 11% of households in the Greater Capital Region earn an income below the federal poverty line, and 30% of households are considered Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE), which are working families who earn more than the federal poverty level but do not earn enough to cover the basic costs of living. The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated existing challenges and inequities for these families across the Capital Region, and many of our neighbors have been severely impacted by this crisis.
The Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund focused on supporting frontline human service organizations with deep roots in the community and strong experience working with vulnerable populations. Since the community’s needs continue to persist, the review committee has continued to engage with local community leaders to learn how the fund can prioritize the needs of those disproportionately impacted by the virus. As of today, the fund has provided critical funding support to 101 local nonprofit organizations. The fund has deployed grants in the following areas:
- Basic Needs – 40 nonprofits supporting people with basic needs
- Food Access – 30 nonprofits addressing food insecurity
- Children – 11 nonprofits providing childcare and youth programs
- Health – 8 nonprofits delivering health and mental health care services
- Housing – 12 nonprofits ensuring vulnerable populations have access to safe and affordable housing
“Thank you to the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund for choosing Mom Starts Here as a grant recipient,” said Kyla Schmidt, Executive Director of Mom Starts Here. “Mom Starts Here has been connecting pregnant women, young moms, and families in need to resources available to assist their parenting journey, and the need has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will allow us to provide more diapers, wipes, toys, coaching, resource navigation, and much more to local mothers in need. We are grateful for their support.”
The most recent grant recipients include:
- Albany Barn: Free Food Fridge, Albany – Providing free food to lower-income individuals and families in Albany
- Albany Police Athletic League – Support for the Albany PAL Cares Daycare program serving 60 youth in the City of Albany
- Baby Institute – Providing basic needs and parent education for lower-income families in Albany
- Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area – Obtaining supplies for its youth programs in Albany and Troy
- Catskill Community Center – Support for its outdoor Summer Recreation program
- Center for Employment Opportunities – Providing supplies, resources, and basic needs to support individuals reentering society maintain their employment opportunities
- Colonie Senior Service Centers, Inc. – Serving seniors throughout Albany County by providing prepared meals, groceries, transportation, and other support services
- Colonie Youth Center – Purchasing supplies for its childcare programs
- Comfort Food of Washington County – Addressing food insecurity for people in need throughout Washington County
- Freehold Art Exchange for the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition – Support for distributing essential supplies and providing legal support to low-income and public housing tenants in Columbia and Greene Counties
- In Our Own Voices – Providing LGBTQ+ community members with basic needs services including food, grocery store gift cards, personal hygiene products, household items, and emergency funds
- LifePath – Helping seniors by providing basic needs, resources, and additional assistance
- Mission Accomplished Transition Services – Support for its community outreach initiatives, including packing and delivering groceries, conducting outreach to local youth and families, and providing technology to students in need
- Mom Starts Here – Assisting pregnant women, young moms, and families in need of supplies, resources, and coaching in the community
- Saratoga YMCA – Allocating funds to families underserved in Saratoga County who cannot afford childcare services
- Social Enterprise and Training (SEAT) Center – Purchasing technology and supplies for local young adults in its workforce development programs
- Tru Heart – Organizing a contactless grocery delivery program to provide families in need with free food and household supplies in Albany
- Wellspring – Adapting its workspaces to be able to provide confidential services to victims of domestic violence in Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties
Contributions to the fund are still be accepted, and interested donors and partners should contact John Eberle at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how they can be part of this regional response. Online donations to the fund can be made online here or text COVID19 to 41444.
Over 40 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, Freihofer’s Run for Women, GE Healthcare, Howard & Bush Foundation, Hunt Real Estate Charitable Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KeyBank, Mercury Screen Printing, MVP Health Care, National Grid, NYS Health Foundation, NYSUT, Plug Power, Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation, Regeneron and the employees of Regeneron, Rockefeller College’s Philanthropy and Civil Society Class Fund, SABIC, the Schenectady Foundation, Sheehan Productions, Stephen McKee Foundation, Times Union, Tokyo Electron Limited, 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.
The Community Foundation’s donor-advised funds increased their grantmaking to address needs during the pandemic. In addition to their generous giving to individual nonprofits, over 25 of the Foundation’s donor-advised funds have contributed more than $128,000 to the local COVID-19 relief effort. In addition to organizational giving, United Way has collected over $100,000 in donations from individuals in the community.
The fund is managed by the Community Foundation as a 100% pass-through fund where all monies raised are distributed to local nonprofit organizations. For more information, including an updated list of partners, please visit Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund.