COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund: Continued Support Remains Priority

For 30 years, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana has provided funding for a variety of people around our region, especially in times of greatest need. So when the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana was face-to-face with the COVID-19 pandemic, getting support to those who needed it became the top priority.

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, many individuals, families, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations found themselves in the virus’ crosshairs. The pandemic brought the country’s economic expansion to a screeching halt, taking a tremendous toll on the U.S. labor market. Unemployment rates reached all-time high, putting renewed pressure on local nonprofit organizations to provide for those in need. To make matters more difficult, needs increased dramatically across the spectrum: from operational support and eviction assistance, to food insecurities and cleaning supplies, local organizations needed help to provide basic living necessities for those affected and those businesses needing to maintain their operations in a safe manner.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana responded by reactivating the Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-19 relief efforts. Seeded with $100,000 from its unrestricted Community Impact Fund, the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana was able to deploy more than one million dollars contributed by generous community members to Southern Indiana small businesses and nonprofits to help soften the blow. What developed from those grants was a beautiful show of community support and solidarity from neighbors all over Clark and Floyd counties.

Grants totaling more than $20,000 were made to Norton Children’s Hospital and Silver Creek School Corporation to provide food pantries in medical offices throughout Southern Indiana and at Silver Creek High School, respectively. A grant of $10,000 to Jacob’s Well helped the organization to provide rent stipends, childcare expenses, and food to single mothers. Funding to organizations like Personal Counseling Services, Family Ark, CASA Floyd County, and Beautiful As You Are (BAYA) were used directly on operational support during times of uncertainty.

The Norton Children’s Food Pantries, for example, used its 21 prescriptive food pantries – which are available to patient families of Norton Healthcare throughout Louisville, Shelbyville, and Southern Indiana – to keep health-conscious items stocked for those in need. It also includes supplementary items, such as baby food, diapers/wipes, and toothbrushes/toothpaste, as well as educational programming and events on nutrition and healthy eating.

“Nutritious food is a basic health need, especially for children’s growth, development and success in school,” said Tracy Morrison, Director of the Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness. “We are proud to be a recipient of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana’s COVID relief grant because the funds have allowed us to screen for food insecurity, identify families in need, and to provide education and resources to ensure families are living their best life.”

Thanks to the support of our entire community, 100% of the Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-19 relief efforts was granted out to provide vital resources that helped small businesses stay afloat and allowed our nonprofit partners to provide food, utility, and rent assistance, personal protective equipment, mental health services, and more. For this Fiscal Year, a total of 20 organizations received over $138,800 in COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund grants from the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, with more than $1 million distributed locally since March 2020

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IT'S OFFICIAL: The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana has been awarded a $5 MILLION Matching Grant from the Lilly Endowment! Learn how you can help us award an estimated additional $200,000 in local grants - a 50% annual increase - each year. Forever.

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