Local organizations receive share of donations

Local organizations receive share of donations

PAWTUCKET – Local nonprofits on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 crisis are among the organizations that will share grants from a special fund created by the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island.

Among the organizations receiving funding from the COVID-19 Response Fund are the Blackstone Valley Emergency Food Center in Pawtucket, Blackstone Valley Community Health Care in Pawtucket, CareLink, Pawtucket Central Falls Development Progreso Latino, the Blackstone Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP), the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, Meals on Wheels Rhode Island, the Boys & Girls Club of East Providence, the Sheila C. “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy in Central Falls and Thundermist Health Center.

“As our state prepares for a coming surge in this crisis, these grants have the potential to save lives,” said United Way of Rhode Island President and CEO Cortney Nicolato. “I am grateful for every donor for their support, and equally thankful for the resilient nonprofit employees who step up every single day to take care of our families and neighbors.”

• The Blackstone Valley Emergency Food Center will use its funding primarily to buy additional food for its clients, while the grant to Blackstone Valley Community Health Care will fund additional protective equipment for the staff, screenings for every patient and visitor to the facility, and the implementation of telehealth services.

• Pawtucket Central Falls Development will use its grant award to help prevent housing disruptions for more than 250 low-income tenants and to inform tenants about food, education, health care and employment relief opportunities. The grant will also provide food boxes – utilizing local farmers and food producers – and gift cards to local markets.

• Progreso Latino will use its grant to provide rental assistance and food and other essentials to residents of Central Falls and Pawtucket who are ineligible for public benefits, while the funding to Carelink will cover the cost of buying medical supplies for its frontline health workers. The organization serves approximately 3,000 older adults across the state.

• Funding to the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen will support the purchase of food and program supplies to serve approximately 200 to 250 per day during the current pandemic.

• For BVCAP, funds will be used for operating support to provide direct assistance to clients affected by COVID-19, specifically by providing rental assistance and gift cards to purchase food.

“There isn’t anyone in our community who hasn’t been touched by this crisis, and nonprofits are the boots on the ground for all of us. Seeing donors and service providers rise to this unprecedented and growing challenge is inspiring,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.

Learn more at rifoundation.org/covid19grants.

The Foundation and United Way established the COVID-19 Response Fund on March 17 and have combined to raise $5.8 million in contributions.

Gifts to the fund, in any amount, can be made with the Foundation at rifoundation.org/covid19response or to United Way at uwri.org.

“Throughout the entire state, nonprofit organizations are stepping up to assist neighbors in need during this unprecedented and uncertain time. It’s truly heartening to see the response,” said Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We’re committed to getting this funding to where it is needed the most. Thanks to our generous donors, these grants will provide a safety net to support many Rhode Islanders. We also welcome more donations to the fund, so that we are able to continue to meet community need.”

United Way President and CEO Cortney Nicolato said funders are hearing from the nonprofit community every day about the disruption to services caused by this pandemic.

“Being able to quickly support them and Rhode Islanders with their most basic needs has the ability to not only provide comfort, but to save lives,” she said. “As this health crisis will continue for some time, I am grateful for every donor who has stepped up so far, for the donations to come, and to every nonprofit employee who continues to show up, every day, to take care of our families and neighbors.”

Gifts to the fund, in any amount, can be made at rifoundation.org/covid19response or uwri.org . Donations will be accepted as long as the need continues.

Additional grants from the fund will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Qualifying nonprofit organizations may apply at rifoundation.org/covid19grants .