18 foundations and businesses help launch Central Va. COVID-19 Response Fund

18 foundations and businesses help launch Central Va. COVID-19 Response Fund

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the community continues to embody what it means to be ‘Virginia Strong,’ a relief fund is providing rapid support to community organizations and public agencies meeting the needs of those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund was activated by the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia, along with contributions from 18 regional foundations and businesses.

United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg announced it will be matching up to $100,000 in donations made to the fund through their website.

“Whatever it is going to take to help save lives and meet the needs in this health crisis right now, is really kind of the first priority," explained Sherrie Armstrong, CEO of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

Armstrong says the fundraising began years ago, to ensure Central Virginia was prepared for a crisis.

“We were really prepared once this started to come our way. We said ‘now is the time to activate this,’" she explained. “We know there are probably going to be government resources in the jurisdictions, and our business community will step up and do what it needs to do, but with this type of situation, we know there are going to be additional needs.”

So far, 26 organizations have received funding, including, the Richmond Academy of Medicine which has launched a Loving Lunches program for health workers and Studio Two Three, which is bringing artists together to produce 10,000 durable, reusable, medical-grade masks for essential workers.

“I think this will be one more thing that will help us get through this, just because of the collective efforts of people and their resources to make things happen," said Armstrong.

For organizations interested in applying, The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond says:

“In order to move resources quickly, the fund will not use a formal application process at this time. Organizations are encouraged to share their needs through a simple Google Form, which will inform the grant advisory committee. Grants will be made on a rolling basis.

Eligibility is limited to 501c3 organizations and public entities based in or primarily serving the Central Virginia area as defined in the FAQ. Priority will be given to organizations that are serving those most affected by the health impacts of the COVID outbreak and that have demonstrated an ability to deploy resources quickly, effectively and to scale their efforts. "

If you are interested in donating, you can learn more here.

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