August 3, 2020— The CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund recently surpassed $1.4 million in funding distributed across 52 local organizations to aid the community’s COVID-19 response efforts, the United Way of the CSRA and the Community Foundation for the CSRA announced today. Launched in March, the fund provides swift and needed resources to nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the pandemic serving the community’s most vulnerable populations. To date, the fund has impacted the lives of more than 67,000 residents throughout the CSRA.

The investments have been focused on the following critical areas of need in our region:

  • Food, Shelter, and Other Basic Needs – $887,000
  • Medical and Mental Health Services– $319,600
  • Child Care for First Responders and Critical Workers – $50,000
  • Educational Enrichment – $162,500
  • Resiliency Training – $25,000

“As we continue to see the needs in our community increase, we are so thankful for our local nonprofit community who is responding to the pandemic with agility and passionate commitment to helping those who need it most. To date, these funds have touched the lives of more than 67,000 residents in our community, but we know that there is still much work to be done.

“As needs continue to evolve, the Community Foundation and United Way are assessing how we can best provide resources to our critical non-profit partners throughout the region. We are immensely grateful for the outpouring of support for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to date. Support from our community continues to be needed to address ongoing challenges many are facing and help enable a long-term recovery,” stated Shell Berry, President and CEO of the Community Foundation and Brittany Burnett, President and CEO of United Way of the CSRA.

All grants from the fund have been made possible by contributions from Augusta National Golf Club, Community Foundation for the CSRA, United Way of the CSRA, Chestnut Family Foundation, Bridgewater Fund, Bechtel Group Foundation, RBW Logistics, The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, South State Bank, Kirby Family Foundation, The Zeist Foundation, Georgia Power Foundation, Graphic Packaging International, Truist Foundation, Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, Bank of America Foundation and scores of other companies and individuals in our community.

Most recently, the following local organizations received a collective $321,100 in grants from the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support their efforts:

143 Ministries International ($20,000) – Working as part of a collaborative with local churches, schools and nonprofits, 143 Ministries is serving as the point agency to coordinate volunteers who are preparing meals and delivering food boxes to elderly and low-income families with children during the summer months.  This grant will be used to assist in delivering these services.

American Red Cross ($20,000) – Providing direct services throughout the CSRA in times of natural disaster, the Red Cross has expanded their work to assist people who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.  Services include help with utilities and housing. In addition, these funds will allow the Red Cross to deliver mental health services to local veterans who are experiencing issues that have been exacerbated due to social isolation.

Apparo Academy ($25,000) – Apparo Academy provides educational and medical services to medically fragile children.  Due to COVID-19 many of their parents continue to be out of work. This grant will allow Apparo Academy to provide childcare scholarships to these families and help pay for needed PPE.

Augusta Technical College Foundation ($20,000) – Due to school closures, students attending Augusta Tech who didn’t have proper technology at home were having to drop out of school.  To help these low-income students, the school began a laptop and hotspot lending program.  This grant will purchase and provide loaner laptops so students can continue their coursework.

Brown Girls Code ($5,000) – This program for African American girls will expand their school year program into the summer so they can provide needed resources to help students with their academics over the summer so they don’t fall any further behind and are ready to start school in the fall.  This grant will help cover the costs of the technology needed to provide these services.

Burn Foundation of America ($20,000) – The Chavis House is a critical part of health service deliver to burn patients who are receiving medical care at the Doctors Hospital Burn Center and their families.  The grant will help pay for PPE and specialized equipment that is to provide this home away from home to these fragile burn patients.

Center for New Beginnings ($25,000) – Working with children who have all types of learning disabilities, the Center for New Beginnings offers educational opportunities and therapy in a loving nurturing environment. This grant will allow them to continue their services by assisting with PPE, cleaning services and the technology needed in a COVID-19 learning environment.

Changing Faces, Inc. ($5,000) – Changing Faces works with many individuals who are living on the edge of homelessness.  This grant will give them additional resources to purchase food and provide rental assistance for those adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Downtown Cooperative Church Ministries (DCCM) ($15,000) – With a long history of providing food to individuals in need, DCCM has seen a rise in demand both through referrals and walk-ins due to COVID-19.  This grant will help them meet the increased demand through the purchase of food for the food pantry.

Family Connections, Inc. ($50,000) – This grant will primarily focus on bringing resources to rural counties. Due to COVID-19, Family Connection sites are receiving large numbers of requests for assistance with food, rent, utilities, medical expenses and other supportive services. This second grant to Family Connection will continue to send resources to these rural communities.

Harrisburg Health Center ($20,000) – Harrisburg Family Health Care is a free charitable family practice clinic that serves the entire CSRA.  This grant will allow them to safely resume operations in a COVID-19 environment by providing resources to pay for ongoing needs around PPE, a professional cleaning service, and an air filtration system.

Heritage Academy ($20,000) – Heritage Academy offers a quality education to children of diverse economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds.  Nearly 100% of the children who attend the school receive some type of financial assistance.  Due to the economic impact of being out of work on these financially vulnerable families, it is critical that the school open so the parents can return to work.  This grant will provide funds to purchase air filtration systems and PPE to ensure the children will have a safe learning environment.

Jud C. Hickey Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Inc. ($8,100) – In order to once again offer their services, the Center has a critical need for PPE and other equipment that will allow them to make sure their fragile senior community can return to a healthy, safe day facility environment.  This grant will assist in paying for these needs.

MACH Academy, Inc. ($7,500) – Many of their youth did not have the resources needed to complete the school year and have fallen behind.  MACH Academy will work with some of these youth during their summer tennis and academic camps, helping day-campers with academic enrichment activities.  This grant will provide sanitation stations and laptops so they can have required social distance protocols in place on the tennis courts and while campers are inside receiving tutoring.

New Bethlehem Community Center ($25,000) – Long a part of the fabric of the Laney Walker – Bethlehem Community, New Bethlehem has been a key partner in helping to provide food to families in need. The need during COVID-19 has seen a dramatic increase in numbers served and the frequency of requests.  This grant will allow them to help meet the increased need.

Veterans K-9 Solutions, Inc. ($5,500) – Veterans suffering from PTSD have experienced renewed mental trauma through social isolation and we are seeing the after affects at alarming rates.  Part of successful therapy can include the aid of a service dog.  This grant will help pay for additional professional training for these animals so that more dogs can serve in this life saving role for our veterans.

When Help Can’t Wait ($5,000) – There are many low-income seniors living in nursing homes throughout our community who have no family support.  When Help Can’t Wait provides essential items such as clothing and toiletries to these medically fragile individuals. This grant will help them cover the costs of these items to support our senior community.

For a list of all grants given to date, please visit www.cfcsra.org/covid-19-response-information/grant-recipients/.

United Way and Community Foundation staff, with guidance from a volunteer advisory committee comprised of respected community leaders, are continuing to work together to identify both short and long-term needs and gaps in resources during this ongoing pandemic. Because we anticipate our region experiencing continued economic burdens during this time, the Community Foundation for the CSRA and United Way will continue to assess the short and long-term impacts of this health and economic crisis on this area. Funding priorities may shift as the understanding of need and where we can be most impactful deepens.

As the need continues to rise and shift throughout the region, please consider donating to the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund today at www.uwcsra.org or www.cfcsra.org. In an effort to direct those most in need of immediate assistance to critical resources, individuals can get connected to United Way’s free information and referral service by dialing 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211csra.org to use the Community Resources Database. Each call is completely free and confidential.