By Cindy Andrews
As each of us finds ways of accommodating this extraordinary time, we are seeing some of the best in everyone. Acts of selflessness, compassion, and expressions of appreciation are all reminders that we all still have so much to be thankful for, and that together we are so much more than the sum of our parts. One of the “parts” that we turn to in such times is our Community Foundation. It is altogether fitting – perhaps now more than ever – that we embody our mission, Connecting People Who Care with Causes that Matter. This mission has been the watchword for your Community Foundation as it has been serving this community for forty years. We are truly blessed to have so many donors who have assisted those most in need, both during typical times and especially in the challenging times of today.
Since the start of this epidemic, through the generosity of you, our donors, we have:
- provided $250K to Second Harvest Food Bank
- advanced our community grant cycle for emergency assistance to provide funding sooner to a dozen agencies on the front lines serving those most vulnerable in our communities
- provided over $100K working with our Lorain County Funders and COVID-19 Response Fund to local non profits
Let me express a special thanks to those that have already supported the Lorain County COVID – 19 Response Fund. Your local foundations, individual donors and businesses have come together to support this local emergency response fund. A local Community Advisory Committee was formed to review and expedite approval of these timely grants. The committee has already met twice to disburse immediate grants to those non profits serving on the front lines. Grants to date have focused on immediate emergency needs, including food and shelter, as well as grants to support education and youth programs and the digital divide impacting so many of our neighbors and students. We would love to have you join us in this campaign by donating via our web site peoplewhocare.org, by calling our office 440.984.7390, or by applying for the next round of grants which are due April 30th.
It is times like this that I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou….
“Hope and Fear Cannot Occupy the Same Space at the Same Time. Invite one to stay.”
It is this Hope that keeps our staff going every day. Hope for our local community health partners and first responders. Hope for our local non profits and those providing community assistance. Hope for our Chambers, Main Streets and local small businesses and restaurants. Hope for our teachers and students connecting and learning in new surroundings. And hope that we stay healthy in our communities, connecting with seniors and the most vulnerable.
We have been sharing the book, “Philanthropy.. a big word for big hearted people… Doing nice things for other people for no reason at all.” Written in partnership with another Community Foundation, the book’s message resonates with me. It is focused on inspiring us to share with our younger school age community members the impact that we can all have, especially during more difficult times.
We can be creative in the ways we celebrate our community. Share with us your plans for the coming days as we enjoy the outdoors around Lorain County. Find interesting ways to interact at a distance and support local businesses and non profits. Please send us a message or a photo sharing your work in our community to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to share with others Connecting People Who Care with Causes that Matter.
Be well. Stay safe. And please look out for your neighbors.