Gifts to COVID-19 Response Fund showcase power of collective generosity
RICHMOND, Va. (April 29, 2020) – The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, created by the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia, is a regional, coordinated campaign that has raised more than $4.6 million to support organizations providing and coordinating response and recovery activities during this crisis. The fund was launched with contributions from local foundations and corporations but has found new momentum in recent weeks as individuals, small and large businesses and faith congregations have joined the effort.
United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, which is managing online donations for the fund, has committed to matching up to $100,000 in donations made through their website – a milestone that was reached on Tuesday, April 28.
“I am thankful for all of the donors who helped us meet the $100,000 milestone,” said James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “However, there is still a lot more work to be done. I encourage everyone to help us keep momentum going.”
“Demonstrated by a high level of partnership, this fund was built upon the belief that we can do more good when we come together.” said Sherrie Armstrong, CEO of the Community Foundation. “Whether it’s Maggie Walker Governor’s School students offering donation-based reading groups and trivia games to elementary students, or the Flying Squirrels sharing a portion of money raised from their 500 Bases of Love event, we see our community generously stepping up to help each other during this critical time.”
Virginia Green Lawn Care has contributed $5,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund to spread their support to organizations across the region. On Wednesday, they are launching a social media campaign asking people to “Share the Love” by creating a heart on their lawn out of toys, gardening tools, pets or people – anything they might have on hand. For every picture posted and tagged with #VirginiaGreen and #ShareTheLove, the company will donate an additional $10 up to $1,000.
“We at Virginia Green have been fortunate to safely continue our work from home and from our trucks. This has allowed us to not only serve our customers and keep our team working, but also to give back to our community,” said Gil Grattan, President of Virginia Green Lawn Care. “We are proud to support the COVID-19 Response Fund, combining our gift with others to help organizations helping our neighbors who are most impacted right now.”
An advisory committee from the philanthropic, business and public sectors are reviewing and distributing grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund on a rolling basis. Initially focused on emergency response, the fund previously announced $1.1 million in a first round of grants to organizations helping to mitigate the health impacts of the pandemic, with special focus on food access, healthcare, shelter and support for seniors.
With a second round of grants awarded this week, total grantmaking from the fund now exceeds $2 million to 52 organizations and localities in the Central Virginia region. The latest grants are helping to expand food distribution to more rural jurisdictions and address increased need for mental health services and housing support.