The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation has launched an online form to expedite the work of the Community Resource Helpline, a partnership initiative largely funded by the Community Emergency Response Fund at the Foundation. Click here for the form.
In this time of crisis, the Helpline for COVID-19–related hardship launched on March 23, 2020, and has received an overwhelming response. United Way of Greater Charlottesville generously donated its phone system; however, the large volume of calls has created a backlog. The response time has been slower than anticipated, and there are still outstanding requests.
We understand that the needs of families are urgent. In coordination with United Way and other partners, the Helpline closed for three business days for all calls and messages in order to catch up on the backlog. Now this new form will allow families facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 to submit information online rather than calling the Helpline. We hope that this will allow for greater access and faster support. The Helpline will continue to operate, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. (People can submit a form or call the Helpline but do not need to do both.)
Community Emergency Response Fund
Hosted by the Community Foundation, the Community Emergency Response Fund was established to provide flexible resources to households and organizations in Central Virginia that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Thanks to more than 600 contributors to date, the fund has raised and leveraged more than $3.4 million, money that has gone both to households and to nonprofit organizations providing critical services.
Generous lead donors to Community Emergency Response Fund include the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band, Batten Family Fund, Adiuvans Relief Fund, Quantitative Foundation, Hilltop Foundation, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, three anonymous donors, and Wells Fargo. On April 6, the Fund received an unprecedented gift from the University of Virginia to support households facing hardship in the region.
Support to Households Through Helpline
On March 23, 2020, the Community Foundation joined with Cville Community Cares, United Way of Greater Charlottesville, the City of Charlottesville, and the County of Albemarle to create a partnership. Its purpose was to provide a mechanism to distribute funds to households experiencing hardship due to the pandemic. That mechanism is the Community Resource Helpline. Available at (434) 234-4490 and now through an online form, the Helpline allows community members to request quick, targeted, and discreet financial assistance. Using United Way’s phone system and team members from the United Way, the City, the Foundation, Cville Community Cares, and other organizations, it has fulfilled more than 2,400 requests affecting an estimated 7,200 people. Typical disbursements range from $250 to $750. The coverage area includes Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, and Orange. Nearly, $1.6 million from the Foundation’s Community Emergency Response Fund has supported this effort.
Support to Nonprofits
The Community Foundation also makes grants from the Community Emergency Response Fund to nonprofit organizations that are providing critical services. Last week, the Community Foundation approved eight grants of more than $200,000 and will continue to make grants on a rolling basis. Guidelines are at www.cacfonline.org.