March 13, 2020—We are in the midst of a global pandemic. The COVID-19 virus is spreading quickly and forcing us all to make sweeping changes to how we live our lives, at least for the short term. As we begin to better understand the consequences of these changes, it is our obligation as a community and as your Community Foundation to be prepared to respond.
Today we are pleased to announce the Community Emergency Response Fund. Hosted by the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, it will provide flexible resources to organizations in Central Virginia helping to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund will operate in partnership with local governments, schools, and the private sector to address current and emerging needs and strategically fill gaps in support.
The challenges before us as a community are myriad. In addition to health concerns, the pandemic for many will result in loss of income and limited access to food, supplies, and education, among other things. Public emergencies such as this tend to be disproportionate in their impacts. The Fund will seek to support, in particular, residents without health insurance or access to sick days, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare and gig economy workers, and communities of color. Lower-income and international students will face particular challenges as schools and universities close.
The Community Foundation understands that in our region we are all interconnected. These connections, in a time of pandemic, create risk but also opportunity. We must invest in one another, now more than ever, to provide support for the most vulnerable and alleviate the communitywide effects of this historic crisis.
HOW TO DONATE
To make a donation to the Community Emergency Response Fund, click here.
This is a fast-moving situation and we’re moving quickly with it. We’re still in the process of establishing the details of the Fund, including its size and how organizations can access its support. We will update the community as details become available.
Out of concern for staff and community health, the Community Foundation’s staff will work remotely for the next two weeks. Most Foundation operations will remain available to fundholders. We will continue to be available by phone and email through our regular contact information. We will continue to make grant distributions.