With Cases on the Rise, the Community Foundation Recommits to COVID-19 Response Fund

Founding contributors make a second round of generous donations, citing escalating critical need among area’s most vulnerable residents.

MONTGOMERY, NY (December 24, 2020) – With COVID-19 cases again on the rise, the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan (CFOS) has renewed its commitment to supporting area nonprofits addressing the critical needs of the most vulnerable populations in the two counties.

Since its inception in March, the Orange and Sullivan COVID-19 Response Fund has distributed grants totaling $512,076 to 95 area nonprofits which have collectively served more than 600,000 people hard hit by the pandemic’s devastating health and financial impacts. The fund distributes grants of up to $5 thousand each to established nonprofit organizations that provide front-line services to the counties’ most vulnerable populations – food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, protective personal equipment for healthcare workers, online access to education for students, diapers and formula for babies, and telehealth for the elderly and those with special needs.

COVID-19 Response Fund
Photo: Meals on Wheels of Greater Newburgh provides safe delivery of meals to homebound seniors in need with grant support from the Orange and Sullivan COVID-19 Response Fund.

“With infection rates on the rise and the financial impacts mounting, we as an organization are renewing our commitment to funding nonprofits on the frontlines serving the growing number of local residents who are suffering,” said Elizabeth Rowley, CFOS President and CEO. “We reached out to our generous initial donors, many of whom have given again, but we also need the help of the public. Every dollar makes a difference, and we implore those who are able to give to their neighbors in need this holiday season.”

“The depth and breadth of this pandemic’s impacts have not yet been felt,” said Kathy Frommer who is among the initial donors who has committed another round of funding. “We don’t know where the bottom is, and we need to act now to help.”

Among the most vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic are senior citizens. Meals on Wheels of Greater Newburgh, which delivers over 23,000 meals annually, was among the nonprofits that received a grant from the Orange and Sullivan COVID-19 Response Fund. The organization now faces the ongoing burden of paying for personal protective equipment.

“We have been able to keep up with the high demand for meals thanks to generous community donations and the grant we received from the Community Foundation,” said Meals on Wheels of Greater Newburgh President Carole McDermott. “It’s been especially tough because we need to provide all of our volunteers with disposable gloves to ensure safe delivery, and the cost of all personal protective equipment continues to rise.”

Grant requests from nonprofits like Meals on Wheels are coming in daily, and CFOS continues to look to the public for donations to meet escalating needs in both counties. Nonprofit organizations providing response services to Orange and Sullivan residents during this pandemic are encouraged to apply for grants and donations at any level are currently being accepted. For more information, visit www.cfosny.org/covid-19-response-fund/.