COVID-19 Community Response Fund doles out $1.6 million to local non-profits

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - A year after Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the United Way Fox Cities launched a COVID-19 Community Response Fund, more than $1.5 million in grant money has been distributed throughout the area.

More than 200 baskets of cleaning supplies are ready to make their way to child care centers across the Fox Valley region next month. It’s the second batch of baskets since the beginning of the pandemic, assembled by Child Care Resource and Referral. The non-profit, which helps to improve the quality and accessibility of early childhood education and care, used more than $5,000 in grant funding from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to provide the supplies to local day care centers.

“Budgets are very tight. I would say it would have been extremely difficult, so we’re very appreciative of the Community Foundation and United Way to come up with this concept to raise money and have that available to help our community child care programs,” says Judy Olson, executive director of Child Care Resource and Referral.

Child Care Resource and Referral is just one of the more than 100 non-profits in the Fox Valley region to have benefited from the fund.

A partnership between the United Way Fox Cities and the Community Foundation for the Fox Cities Region, the fund raised $1.7 million since launching one year ago. According to Curt Detjen President and CEO of the Community Foundation, “We knew that when we put the call out and when there was an urgent need, and there was, that people would respond. So, honestly what’s happened in the last year is really pretty incredible.”

From food pantries and homeless shelters, to child care centers and even the Girl Scouts, the COVID-19 community response fund awarded grants both big and small.

It’s funding that not only helped organizations immediately but will have a long lasting impact, too. Detjen adds, “Everything has been accelerated because there’s a sense of urgency. So, some of this systemic change that really produced big results, improvements for the community, it’s made possible because everyone has to come together and figure out solutions. So, our community in some respects, will be much better off because of this.”

While the pandemic isn’t over, the COVID-19 Community Response Fund isn’t actively seeking donors, but both the Community Foundation and United Way will continue to help people and organizations in need.

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