LITTLE ROCK — A total of 797 grants totaling more than $2.6 million from Arkansas Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund have helped local organizations fight the pandemic.
“We learn more every day about how our COVID-19 grants are working to help Arkansans in need,” said Heather Larkin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are now evaluating how to utilize the remainder of the dollars in the COVID-19 Relief Fund to address additional needs and gaps that have emerged since the pandemic began.”
A few examples of how grants from the Community Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund are aiding pandemic response include:
The Central Delta Community Action Agency in Pine Bluff works with many families who were struggling financially even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Lost wages and unemployment have made their circumstances even more tenuous. The agency is using a $25,000 COVID-19 Phase 2 Adaptation Grant to help low-income families with immediate needs and give them a chance to reach financial stability.
A $25,000 COVID-19 Phase 2 Adaptation Grant is making it possible for Child Care Aware of Northwest Arkansas to help facilities that have been caring for the children of essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment and offer programs to help provide child care center staff with required professional development and training.
Southern Bancorp Community Partners is using a $25,000 COVID-19 Phase 2 Adaptation Grant to support Arkansans’ long-term financial health. It offers credit counseling for individuals who had to defer payments because of COVID-19-related lost wages or unemployment as they return to the workforce. The organization’s certified counselors work with people to focus on rebuilding credit, avoiding foreclosure and remodeling or even purchasing homes.
With a $1,000 Rapid Response Mini-grant, the Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas developed tutorials to help the population it serves understand how to use telemedicine and to avoid becoming victims of scams. The organization prepared and distributed information about how clients could lower their risk of contracting COVID-19 and how to get tested if they think they might have the novel coronavirus.
Main Street Russellville Inc. used a $1,000 Rapid Response Mini-grant to support essential workers while helping some of the city’s downtown businesses. The grant made it possible to purchase more than 850 meals from Russellville restaurants. These meals were delivered to staff at the COVID Triage Center at Saint Mary’s Regional, the city’s fire and police departments and others.
Nationwide, U. S. community foundations have mobilized more than $1 billion to support on-the-ground efforts by nonprofits, according to a study by the Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative. This figure includes funds managed by nearly 600 community foundations who have already granted more than $800 million of the funds mobilized directly to nonprofits.