(April 17, 2020) The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina continues to review and distribute grants on an expedited schedule to support frontline human service organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in 18 counties of Western North Carolina including the Qualla Boundary. This week, sixteen grants totaling $120,700 from its collaborative Emergency and Disaster Response Fund (EDRF) were announced, bringing the total amount distributed to $850,250 in four weeks.
The grants represent a coordinated regional response by regional funders, fundholders, corporate partners and donors. The goal is to help fill critical voids as individuals, families and nonprofits await support from the government and other sources. “We exist to help WNC communities,” said Elizabeth Brazas, CFWNC President. “This collaborative effort is an efficient way to bring together people who want to support trusted nonprofit partners during this very difficult time.”
As the scope of the crisis worsened, CFWNC rallied regional funders, redirected charitable assets and cancelled several public events. Most sponsors of these events converted financial commitments to the events to support for the emergency response effort.
Bob and Carol Deutsch, longtime CFWNC fundholders, dedicated sponsorships originally directed to the Annual Professional Seminar and the inaugural Women for Women grants luncheon to relief efforts. They also supported the EDRF through their CFWNC donor advised fund saying, “While we are quarantined in our home, and have been for a month, we watch the news and see how many people are suffering and struggling to make ends meet. We felt that we had to respond in a major way to this crisis. We, who are privileged to be able to sustain ourselves in quarantine, encourage our friends and fellow community members to join us in carrying out the obligation to help those in need. We trust The Community Foundation to get resources where they are needed.”
Members of the public and additional CFWNC fundholders have contributed generously to the relief effort. Donations to the EDRF now total over $1 million with seed funding coming from CFWNC, Dogwood Health Trust and WNC Bridge Foundation as well as other funding partners including AMY Wellness Foundation, Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund, The Glass Foundation, Mission Health HCA Healthcare – North Carolina Division, Nantahala Health Foundation, Pisgah Health Foundation, Ramble Charitable Fund and Wells Fargo.
You can view the EDRF donor list or join it by supporting aid to those affected by COVID-19. Tax-deductible donations can be made online. Administrative fees are waived so that every dollar goes directly to assistance.