Community Foundation has provided $1.5m in grants to lessen pandemic impacts

Nearly $1.5 million has been awarded by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia to more than 70 nonprofit organizations in Northern Virginia that serve those who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The Community Foundation launched the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia on March 13, the same day that the pandemic state of emergency was declared in the United States.

“The Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund…is built to help carry the heaviest burdens for those who can’t do this alone — or can’t do this alone anymore,” said Eileen Ellsworth, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. ‘Those for whom future planning is a luxury because today’s needs have overthrown it. Those who are suffering the most with the least wherewithal to weather the storm.”

To date, grants have been given out in four rounds, with the fifth round of recipients currently under review.

“I commend the Community Foundation for taking the initiative to establish the COVID-19 Response Fund to support people in our region who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and its economic consequences,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “There is a lot of pain out there. The level of support from generous corporate donors shows the commitment of the business community to help those in need, and the nonprofits responding to those needs truly reflects the diversity of Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.”

Round One grants supported immediate Covid-19 emergency needs

In Round One Community Foundation grants were awarded in support of immediate emergency needs to service providing organizations, in partnership with other regional community foundations, to ensure that all Northern Virginia jurisdictions received some initial support spurred by a $1 million donation from Amazon aimed to kickstart collaborative philanthropy and bolster front line services and safety net needs across the DMV. The funds in this round were split between 5 community foundations, including: (see all recipients by clicking here.)

  • $20,000 to Food for Others a provider of free emergency groceries in Northern Virginia, distributes food to more than 2,000 families per week.
  • $15,000 to Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare and other human services.

Food distribution managed by Northern Virginia Family Service. (Photos courtesy the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia)

Round Two supported organizations helping the region’s most vulnerable residents

In Round Two, assistance was granted to support local organizations meeting basic needs and offering emergency financial assistance to the region’s most vulnerable residents. A total of $360,000 has been awarded to 28 organizations who man the front lines of the crisis. Grantees in this round included: (see all recipients by clicking here.)

  • $15,000 to ACCA Child Development Center which provides comprehensive high-quality childcare services for low- and moderate-income families in Fairfax County.
  • $15,000 to Herndon-Reston FISH, which assists local residents in crisis.
  • $5,000 to Fairfax Diapers, which provides diapers to all clients receiving food at Food for Others, through Fairfax County visiting nurses, and through the Annandale High School food pantry.
  • $20,000 to Homestretch, which provides housing and supportive services for homeless families in Fairfax County.
  • $25,000 to Lorton Community Action Center, which food and financial assistance in the Lorton, Newington and Fort Belvoir communities.
  • $10,000 to National Korean American Group, which serves the Korean and Vietnamese immigrant populations of Northern Virginia,  providing direct emergency financial assistance for rent, groceries and other medical and non-medical necessities.
  • $10,000 to Second Story, which provides housing for 50 homeless young people between 18 to 24 years of age who have no current support from a parent or guardian.
  • $25,000 to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, which provides food and financial support for low income and the homeless across 9 zip codes covering Clifton, Chantilly, Centreville, Fairfax, Fairfax Station and Oak Hill.

Round Three focused on health care, mental health care, dental health care and domestic violence victims

In Round Three, a total of $715,000 was offered to 35 Covid-19 front-lines organizations offering access to health care, mental health care, and dental health care for low income, uninsured and underinsured residents, and organizations offering direct services to victims of domestic violence. Among the grantees in this round were: (see all recipients by clicking here.)

  • $25,000 to the Culmore Clinic, which provides health care at home for more than 350 low-income, uninsured adults in the Baileys Crossroads/Culmore communities.
  • $15,000 to the Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which provides services to abused and neglected children who are under the jurisdiction of the Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
  • $25,000 for the George Mason University Foundation, which provides health care through Mason and Partners (MAP) clinics throughout Northern Virginia.
  • $25,000 to the Women’s Center, which provides mental health services and domestic violence advocacy services for low-income, uninsured, and under-insured residents of Northern Virginia.

Round Four provided financial assistance to those hit hardest by the crisis

In Round Four, $280,000 of direct financial assistance was granted to 4 organizations that assist individuals and families hardest hit by the crisis. The grants provide direct cash payments, emergency loans, and direct payments of rent, utilities, and groceries to those who most need it, according to the Community Foundation. Recipients included: (see all recipients by clicking here.)

  • $40,000 grant to CASA de Virginia, which supports a solidarity fund that distributes direct cash assistance to Latino and Hispanic immigrant communities across Northern Virginia that have been disproportionately impacted by the health and economic fallout of the virus; and
  • $120,000 to Northern Virginia Family Service, which provides services to the elderly and others who fall into high risk/vulnerable health categories, low income families, those without adequate health insurance, families experiencing food insecurity, and the immigrant community.

Round Five will help local communities of color impacted by the pandemic

In Round Five, a total of $200,000 will be awarded in grants to support organizations help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in local communities of color; have an express, mission-based focus to empower local communities of color through advocacy, civic engagement, and/or community organizing; and are led by people of color at the staff or board level, according to the Community Foundation. Applications were received through June 17, 2020.

Benefactors include local and regional companies and organizations

Donors to the Community Foundation funds include the following Fairfax County-based companies: Apple Federal Credit Union Education Foundation (Fairfax); Booz Allen Hamilton and Verisign (Reston).

Regional contributors include: Amazon (Arlington); Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Virginia (Alexandria); Philip L. Graham Fund (Arlington); Meyer Foundation (Washington, D.C.); Micron (Manassas); Potomac Health Foundation (Woodbridge); Trinity Church of Loudoun (Ashburn); Washington Gas (Washington, D.C.);  and Northern Virginia Tennis League (multiple locations in Northern Virginia).

“Every dollar that pours into the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia will be invested back into our beloved community and used to help our most vulnerable neighbors get through the economic and social fallout of the pandemic,” Ellsworth said. “As promised when we launched the Fund, our grants have been awarded with input from local public health officials, elected officials, foundation peers, and community leaders. We are doing nothing alone on the COVID-19 response.”

Based in Oakton, the Community Foundation is a public charity that helps grow philanthropy in the region. The organization is governed by a volunteer board of directors representative of the region, which includes Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.

Click here to find out more visit the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund.

June 18, 2020