Hamilton Community Foundation establishes COVID-19 Response Fund

Last week the Hamilton Community Foundation Board of Directors approved the creation of the HCF COVID-19 Response Fund, which is designed to help address immediate needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While our hospital, healthcare providers, emergency personnel, schools and local businesses are doing everything in their power to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and meet the needs in the community, our local nonprofit organizations are also preparing to assist our community in a different way during this unprecedented time,” said Tammy Morris, the foundation’s executive director. “HCF is working to move resources to community-based nonprofit organizations directly supporting critical food and housing needs of individuals, families and seniors seeking assistance as a result of COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. Morris said HCF is working to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs of those impacted by COVID-19. With so many non-essential businesses closed or limited in their scope, many Hamilton County residents are home without their usual means of supporting themselves and their families.
While the fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, it will provide funds to nonprofit organizations in Hamilton County that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with residents experiencing financial strain.
The first phase of the HCF COVID-19 Response Fund is intended to be a rapid response to the immediate needs of nonprofit organizations in Hamilton County who are working to alleviate the economic consequences of this outbreak to our most vulnerable residents. The first round of grants will prioritize support to nonprofits that are working on the front lines to provide emergency assistance, such as
* FOOD SUPPORT: With school closings, many young people are missing out on their one meal for the day.  Low wage and/or hourly workers who cannot work may further struggle with access to food.
* EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:  Families and individuals may struggle with rent, mortgage, or utility assistance due to job loss or loss of wages.
* SENIORS: Seniors are among the most affected by the virus but will also have less access to needed resources due to social distancing strategies.
“We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery,” Morris said. “We recognize the changing nature of this situation, and as the impacts continue to unfold, we will assess and evolve our funding strategies.
“As we learn more about local needs in the coming weeks and months, we will adapt our process as needed to extend support to nonprofit organizations experiencing strain as a result of disrupted operations and operational challenges,” Morris continued.
It is hard to anticipate what the greatest needs will be through the outbreak and recovery phases of this crisis, but the foundation is prepared to partner with donors and other funders in the community to adapt to emerging needs as the situation evolves.
We are fortunate to have local organizations in Hamilton County such as the Food Pantry, Backpack Program, Senior Center and Ministerial Association Cheer Fund who are already serving our community. Many volunteers are preparing and handing out food and meals, delivering groceries and engaging in other random acts of kindness to care for others during such a significant time of need in our community.

Need a Hand/Lend a hand
“We know that it will be hard to project all of the needs of our community,” Morris added. “Our residents genuinely care about one another and are asking how they can help. If you NEED A HAND and cannot find a resource in the community, please go to our Facebook page and share your needs. Our hope is that posted needs will connect to someone willing to LEND A HAND.”
  In times of crisis, coordination is vital in getting critical resources to those most impacted. The COVID-19 Response Fund was created in hopes of providing a way to coordinate as many resources as possible. Anyone who wishes to donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund may do so online at hcfne.org or by mail to HCF COVID-19 Response Fund, PO Box 283, Aurora, NE 68818
“We are grateful to the leaders of our community working quickly and collectively to support those most impacted at this time,” Morris concluded.
To see a list of organizations providing basic need assistance, visit Facebook.com/HamiltonCommunityFndn or hcfne.org for more details. General questions and inquiries about the Fund can be directed to info@hcfne.org or by calling 402-694-3200.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet