Like other businesses that have been rocked financially during the coronavirus pandemic, the nonprofit sector includes many agencies that don’t have the deep financial reserves needed to continue operating and serving clients, a poll by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation shows.
The foundation launched an Emergency Relief Fund in March, collecting donations to be used by nonprofits in Southwest Florida to help neighbors with food, shelter and basic human needs due to the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. The fund will complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address the outbreak. The foundation serves Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Glades counties.
“The fund is to make sure the people the nonprofits serve are supported,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Now more than ever we need to work and innovate together to help each other. Our neighbors are really hurting, and every dollar donated will stay in our community to help others.”
The foundation is partnering with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to distribute the funding to nonprofits working on the front lines with those most affected. The foundation raised about $220,000 by the second week in April and made two disbursements of $70,000 each through the United Way for food distribution to nonprofits serving the public.
Donors can give online at www.FloridaCommunity.com or text GIVESWFL to 444999.
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