Giving in Times of Crisis
Consider donating to the Emergency Response Fund for Scholarship Recipients and the Lorain County 4 Ukraine Emergency Response Fund.
For over 40 years, the Community Foundation of Lorain County has relied on endowments as a core component of connecting people who care with causes that matter. However, that does not mean every fund we create has to be endowed. The Emergency Response Fund for Scholarship Recipients and the Lorain County 4 Ukraine Emergency Response Fund are two of our newest examples.
As we have all seen in our own experiences, emergencies happen, and crisis is unpredictable. Unpredictable community needs primarily drive these opportunities for pass-through funding; the power of endowments often helps make our responses possible. In recent years, Community Foundation has aided the Lorain County community through our Lorain County Cares COVID-19 Response Fund and our Racial Equity Fund, both non-endowed, pass-through support to the local community.
One of our most recent areas of need we have noticed is emergency funding for students in college. We are proud to have distributed over $9M in scholarships to over 3,000 students. However, sometimes students have unforeseen challenges those scholarships cannot cover, like a broken-down car, housing emergencies, or other financial hardships. While the IRS requires that scholarship funds get paid directly to the schools attended by the student, the National Scholarship Providers Association has set some guidelines for instances like these unplanned emergencies. To best support our students, we have created an Emergency Response Fund for Scholarship Recipients within these guidelines. Our Board of Directors has approved this fund with an initial grant of $5K from our Community Responsive Funds to allow immediate emergency assistance up to $500 provided directly to the student with the submission of appropriate documentation.
While emergencies happen every day, we see events considered a crisis less often. With the current war on Ukraine and Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States, the Community Foundation of Lorain County has been involved in a committee of Lorain County leaders to address how to best support Ukrainians that may come to our region as refugees. While our Board of Directors has approved a grant to support the needs of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lorain for gas cards or other immediate overnight assistance, there is more to be done.
By using guidelines established and provided by Humanitarian Relief efforts and the United Way of Greater Lorain County UCAN (United Community Assistance Network) collaborative and best practices from our Lorain County Cares COVID-19 Response Fund, we are helping to fund the Lorain County 4 Ukraine Emergency Response Fund. This fund will start with $10,000 from a Field of Interest Fund that was a legacy gift to the Community Foundation, but it will also receive funds from additional local, regional, and federal grants & donors.
As a community, we are always stronger together. We hope you will support the Emergency Response Fund for Scholarship Recipients, the Lorain County 4 Ukraine Emergency Response Fund, or any other fund at Community Foundation that most resonates with you. Please get in touch if we can be of any assistance with this or any other giving strategy.