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Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund awards $255K in grants

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

In its fourth round of grants, the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund on April 24 awarded $255,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.

The grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are: $2,000 to A Wave of Healthy Meals to provide meals for medically fragile individuals in Sussex County; $17,500 to Choir School of Delaware to provide virtual afterschool tutoring to students in Wilmington; $20,000 to Children & Families First for technology to continue providing telehealth and state-mandated monitoring; $7,000 to ContactLifeline to increase staffing meet increasing demand for the statewide crisis intervention hotline; $15,000 to Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition to support social platforms and communications tools to provide survivors with mental health services; $25,000 to Delaware Center for Justice to serve individuals statewide re-entering the community after incarceration; $25,000 to Delmarva Adult & Teen Challenge Home of Hope to provide housing and services for individuals recovering from addiction in Sussex County; $10,500 to Frederica Senior Center to purchase food and personal hygiene items for seniors and veterans in Kent and Sussex County; $30,000 to Friendship House to provide housing for homeless individuals in New Castle County; $25,000 to Latin American Community Center to provide emergency support for low-income immigrant families in Wilmington; $20,000 to St. Patrick’s Center to set up outdoor distribution of food and hygiene kits for vulnerable populations in Wilmington; $8,000 to What is Your Voice for technology to serve victims of violence in Sussex County; and $50,000 to YMCA of Delaware for food for the community statewide and the residents of the Central Y.

In this fourth round, 58 applicants requested a total of $1.9 million from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which is housed at the Delaware Community Foundation.

To date, the fund has awarded $1.2 million to 49 Delaware nonprofits. Additional grants will be awarded next week.

The goal is for the fund, which launched March 18, to provide grants for several more weeks, said DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay, who chairs the fund’s decision-making council.

The council is actively raising money to be able to respond to community needs, Comstock-Gay said.

“As the pandemic continues, the needs are growing and evolving,” said Comstock-Gay. “We are calling on the community to help local nonprofit organizations get food, shelter, medical care and other essential services directly to the people who need it most. We also must support our workforce, arts community and other sectors to restore our quality of life post-COVID-19.”

The Longwood Foundation, which previously gave $1 million to the Strategic Response Fund, last week awarded a $500,000 grant, with the stipulation that the DCF must raise a matching $500,000 from the community.

To make a gift that qualifies for the match, give at delcf.org/covid19-fund or contact Joan Hoge-North at jhoge-north@delcf.org.

Grants from the Strategic Response Fund will initially focus on urgent needs related to COVID-19, then expand over time to more structural and long-term needs. Target applicants are nonprofit organizations with roots in the community and a strong track record of serving people who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from the crisis.

Grantees are selected through a rigorous process that involves a diverse team of more than 50 community leaders representing all three counties and a range of areas of expertise. Final decisions are made by the COVID-19 Grants Council: Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO, DCF; Sheila Bravo, president, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, ex officio; Vernita Dorsey, WSFS; There du Pont, president, Longwood Foundation; Alan Levin, SoDel Concepts; Leslie Newman, retired CEO, Children & Families First; Enid Wallace-Simms, Delmarva Power; and Amy Walls, Discover Bank.

Applications are accepted weekly on a rolling basis and grants will be awarded weekly for as long as funding is available and community needs exist related to COVID-19. Each week, applications received by noon on Monday will be reviewed, grantees will be selected Friday morning, and funds will be transferred Friday afternoon.

The application is open at delcf.org/covid-grants. The deadline for the next round of awards is noon April 27.

The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund is part of the Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, a nonprofit collaborative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The DCF, DANA, PD and United Way of Delaware are partnering to coordinate charitable resources to maximize impact statewide during this crisis.

To contribute, visit delcf.org/covid19-fund.