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Health & Medicine

CNYCF, United Way, Others Team Up to Establish COVID-19 Community Support Fund

Scott Willis

Individuals, businesses, institutions, and others are being encouraged to help those most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak by donating to a new community support fund.  The Central New York Community Foundation is teaming up with the United Way and the Allyn Foundation to set up the fund. 

CNYCF is seeding the fund with $300,000.  President Peter Dunn says the foundation and United Way have complimentary networks.

"The United Way is able to work with a lot of local businesses who run United Way campaigns and adminsiter the volunteer center.  [There are] a lot of networks the United way can plug into to help publicize this work as well as  boots on the ground, understanding where needs are," Dunn said.   "The Community Foundation administers many different charitable funds for lots of different purposes, works with lots of donors and other philanthriopies.  So we're teaming up to do this work in a way to amplify the benefit for the community."

Nan Eaton is president of the United Way of Central New York.  She says they'll work with other non-profits, the city, and the county to get a hold on community needs.

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
CNYCF used it's large community room so media and others could practice social distancing.

"The purpose of this fund is to quickly assist our non-profits on the front lines that people are reaching out to.   They're already increasing services.  We're going to make sure together that we get those services funded and get the needs filled at the non-profits that will connect all our community members with what they need."

She says monetary donations can be leveraged by the food bank and other non-profits to buy more products, especially those that residents can’t find on store shelves.  Meanwhile, she says they’ve heard from many volunteers wanting to help, and is urging them to remain patient as they figure out the best…and safest ways to use them.  The Community Foundation will work with its partners to identify recipients, then quickly determine and dispense grant awards.  Donations can be made online here.