April 28, 2020

Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund Deploys Additional $200K to Nonprofits Supporting Under-Resourced Communities

ALBANY, NY April 28, 2020 – Since its creation in mid-March, the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund has deployed nearly $500K in grants to frontline nonprofit organizations throughout the region. These nonprofits have seen a significant increase in the need for services due to the pandemic, including food insecurity, help connecting to resources, serving homeless and meeting basic needs. Co-led by the United Way of the Greater Capital Region and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, the fund continues to respond quickly to the pandemic by providing general operating grants to local 501c3 organizations providing services to communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak.


Nearly $200,000 was deployed in late April to 19 organizations responding to meet the needs of under-resourced communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for specific populations, including low-income individuals, senior communities, immigrants and refugees, and individuals at higher risk of contracting coronavirus, such as people with disabilities and compromised immune systems. In the most recent deployments, the Fund provided support to the following organizations:


  • Albany Community Action Partnership – Increasing its virtual capacity to provide resource navigation and financial assistance to low-income individuals and families in Albany County.
  • Alliance for Positive Health – Providing essential services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and living with other serious, chronic, or co-occurring health conditions.
  • ARC of New York – Supporting the eight local chapters’ abilities to ensure the safety of their staff with personal protective equipment while caring for individuals with disabilities throughout the Capital Region.
  • Bethesda House ­­–Providing relief and support to homeless and low-income individuals in Schenectady County.
  • Capital Roots – Providing essential food services including support for the Veggie Mobiles, staffing their Health Stores, Community Gardens, and Urban Farm, and providing fresh produce for food-insecure communities.
  • Clifton Park Chabad – Serving seniors and low-income individuals with kosher meal deliveries in Saratoga County.
  • Colonie Senior Service Centers, Inc. – Expanding senior outreach services including preparing take-out meals, delivering nutritious lunches and dinners, connecting with seniors via phone, and providing transportation for essential trips such as the grocery, pharmacy, and medical appointments.
  • Community Caregivers – Support senior outreach services including grocery and food pantry pickup and delivery, prescription delivery, and weekly calls to reduce isolation.
  • Oakwood Community Center – Delivering hot meals throughout Rensselaer County and expanding their food pantry resources.
  • Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus (RISSE) – Supporting refugees and immigrants with basic needs, resource navigation, and online education.
  • Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP) – Providing resource navigation and financial assistance for rent assistance, utility bills, prescription co-payments, child care, work clothing, and transportation for individuals in Schenectady County.
  • Senior Hope Counseling, Inc. – Creating virtual clinics for seniors facing mental health and substance abuse issues.
  • Shalom Food Pantry – Expanding the kosher food pantry services to support the elderly, individuals who are homebound, single-parent households, and low-income individuals.
  • Shelters of Saratoga, Inc. – Providing meals and support services to homeless individuals in Saratoga County.
  • South End Children’s Café – Preparing lunch and dinners meals to feed 350 children and their families daily.
  • St. Catherine’s Center for Children – Serving youth and young adults facing social and economic barriers by providing supportive housing, food, mental health support, and other essential services as well as continuing the Street Outreach program to connect youth to basic needs and healthcare services.
  • The Living Room at Ellis Medicine – Supporting the increased demand of individuals with mental health needs by providing crisis diversion services and supportive therapy as an alternative to the Emergency Room.
  • Wellspring – Empowering domestic violence victims with emergency assistance support for essential needs.
  • YWCA NorthEastern NY – Supporting low-income women and their families with housing and critical needs, including domestic violence services.


“Community Caregivers is so grateful for the support received from the Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund,” said Lee Lounsbury, Executive Director of Community Caregivers. “Nonprofits like us rely mostly on individual and corporate donations to keep our doors open. Support from the COVID-19 Response Fund helps keep our staff on board to provide services to clients and support our volunteers.”   


As of today, the fund has raised nearly $750,000 and continues to fundraise to respond to the growing need. Over 25 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, CDPHP, Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, GE Healthcare, Hunt Real Estate Charitable Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KeyBank, MVP Health Care, National Grid, NYS Health Foundation, NYSUT, Plug Power, Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation, Regeneron, the Schenectady Foundation, Tri-City Rentals/Massry Realty Partners, the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, United Way of the Greater Capital Region, 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 nearly $80,000 to the local COVID-19 relief effort.


United Way has raised over $30,500 in individual donations through email, social media, and other digital outlets. Contributions to the fund can be made online here or text COVID19 to 41444.


Nonprofits interested in support from the fund may fill out an online survey to inform the committee of their organization’s needs. Interested donors and partners should contact John Eberle at jeberle@cfgcr.org or Peter Gannon at peter@unitedwaygcr.org. For more information, including an updated list of partners, please visit Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund.