May 6, 2020 | The Mon Valley Independent
Article by: Eric Seiverling
Nonprofit organizations in the Pittsburgh and Mon Valley area received a boost last week from the Jefferson Regional Foundation.
The organization awarded $341,000 from its Jefferson COVID-19 Emergency Fund in 11 initial grants and is now opening the fund applications to the organizations of the Jefferson Community Collaborative.
The fund was created by the foundation board to address critical and strategic aspects of community health and wellness that the virus has and will continue to impact.
Nonprofit organizations can receive awards related to the fund’s priorities which include equipment and supplies for essential services, access to food, impacts on essential services for families, communities of color and/or low income experiencing effects of the virus, services to residents without health insurance, or residents with language and hearing access limitations. The short-term emergency grants range in size from $5,000 to $35,000.
“They were wonderful and they’ve always been a great partner,” said Louise Urban, president of Jefferson Hospital, which received $35,000 from the grant to be used for preventive and protective equipment for the hospital’s staff.
“There’s a lot of needs that have come out of this situation with COVID-19 which involves equipment for staff and patients and infrastructure facilities. Our goal is to keep everybody safe and trying to make sure we’re prepared.”
Grants awarded in the initial round include:
- 412 Food Rescue — $35,000 for food distribution at homes, bus stops and to partners.
- AHN/Jefferson Hospital — $35,000 for critical preventive/protective equipment for staff.
- Beverly’s Birthdays — $25,000 for its partnership with Diaper Bank to distribute infant crisis kits.
- Bhutanese Community Association — $35,000 for laptops, grocery cards and senior chats.
- Blood Science Foundation/Vitalant — $35,000 for donor campaign and site COVID updates.
- Cribs for Kids — $24,000 for a new model of cribs and safe sleep supplies direct to family homes.
- Economic Development South — $35,000 for food deliveries to homebound Clairton residents.
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank — $35,000 to fund local partnerships for food delivery in Jefferson area.
- Squirrel Hill Health Center — $35,000 to support shifts to telemedicine, telecounseling and check-ins.
- Turtle Creek Valley — $35,000 to fund technology for onsite staff support and training.
- Veteran’s Breakfast Club — $35,000 for equipment and technology to shift to virtual meetings.
“The COVID-19 Emergency Fund is an extension of our efforts to support the capacity of local organizations to serve both the current and future needs of residents in the Jefferson area,” said Jefferson Regional Foundation President Charles Modispacher in a statement. “We are grateful for the dedication and agility of the nonprofit sector to provide a front line of services to residents in this unprecedented era.”
Urban said she hopes the grants help the area get back to some sort of normalcy.
“We were fortunate to receive the support,” she said. “This has brought out the best in so many people and Jefferson Regional Foundation was definitely one of those organizations. Everybody has done such a great job. I hope we are going to see some light at the end of the tunnel.”