UTICA, N.Y. — The Mohawk Valley COVID-19 Response Fund will begin to shift its focus from relieving the community’s immediate needs to addressing “longer-term recovery.”
The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties and the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area (VGU) on Thursday announced the decision about their joint fund. The organizations cited the start of the phased reopening of commercial and public activity for their decision.
Since the fund was established in mid-March, $878,000 has been awarded to more than 50 nonprofit organizations. Requests for funding from the Mohawk Valley COVID-19 Response Fund have now exceeded $1.5 million, which officials say indicates that struggling nonprofits will “need even more help” in the recovery ahead.
“We heard from dozens of our nonprofit partners in a virtual town hall meeting recently, and it’s clear that meeting the needs of the community in the months ahead will be the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced,” Alicia Dicks, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, said in a statement. “The fact that applications to the [Mohawk Valley] COVID-19 fund have far exceeded available dollars shows that we need to continue to grow resources that will meet community needs.”
A committee is reviewing applications for funding “several times a week,” and nonprofits are submitting requests for relief in “growing” numbers as the pandemic impact’s “ripple effects are felt” by more nonprofits serving a growing number of residents, the organizations say.
Newly awarded grants will benefit Catholic Charities Herkimer County; Catholic Charities Oneida Madison; Center for Family & Life Recovery; Charles T. Sitrin Health Care Center; Copper City Community Connection; Foothills Rural Community Ministry; Greater Utica Community Food Resources; Helio Health; Johnson Park Center; Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York; Mohawk Valley Frontiers; Parkway Center; Peter Maurin House; Rescue Mission of Utica; Resource Center for Independent Living; St. John’s Food Pantry; The Country Pantry; The House of the Good Shepherd; The Mohawk Homestead; and The Neighborhood Center.
“As with any crisis, the needs of the community continue long after the initial event,” said Erin Gutierrez Matt, CEO of United Way VGU. “We as a community will continue to navigate through uncharted territory for months to come and our goal is to support any effort that builds resiliency and capacity in our nonprofit network.”
Dicks and Matt said contributions of any amount will go toward funding front-line organizations as they continue to help those who need it most during the coming recovery phase of pandemic impact.
The easiest way to donate is through the mvcovidfund.com website, the organization said.