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Community Foundation COVID-19 Update

Dear Community Foundation Friends,

Like you, we’ve experienced a lot in the last few weeks. Unprecedented impact on our schools, workplaces, families, and daily lives. Yet, even as we exercise social distancing, our community has come together and shown incredible generosity and kindness.

  • Tailors and sewers are producing masks for healthcare workers and residents by the thousands.
  • Residents are supporting small business with the purchase of gift cards and take-out food.
  • Distillers are producing hand sanitizer and distributing it free to those in need.
  • Broadband companies are offering expanded data and low-cost plans for low-income families.
  • Schools have opened up wi-fi hotspot access for students & members of the public.
  • Neighbors have donated bedding and supplies for COVID-19 shelter spaces for homeless individuals and families.
  • Musicians and artists are sharing their talents online for free.
  • Volunteers have given their time to prepare and deliver food and supplies to homebound neighbors.
  • Healthy people have donated blood during an urgent time of need.
  • Families and friends are checking in on one another over Zoom.
  • Community members have generously donated money to support those families and organizations that desperately need support during this difficult time.

Amid all of this activity — much of which is happening from within our own homes — many of our essential community members go to work each day. We owe tremendous thanks to our hometown heroes: healthcare workers and caregivers, first responders, and those working in grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, food service, childcare, and public transportation. We are proud to be a part of Monroe County, and we know that we are Stronger Together.

On March 22, we shared with you the Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Phase I Response Plan. Today, we are proud to share that the Foundation has deployed $148,200.80 to support emergency COVID-19 relief and nonprofit sustainability in Monroe County. The Foundation has granted:

  • $25,000 to the United Way of Monroe County to address basic needs for shelter, food, and medical care
  • $66,193.80 in Rapid Response grants to 32 nonprofit organizations for immediate supplies, equipment, remote-work technology, and staffing
  • $57,007 in fund distributions from donor-advised, agency, designated and repurposed grant funds to sustain the capacity of nonprofits

These grants would not have been possible without the generations of donors, companies, families, and nonprofits in our community that have trusted us for 30 years to address pressing needs and compelling opportunities in Monroe County.

The Community Foundation has also been actively involved with our community’s leading philanthropic organizations to develop a cohesive strategy for social service support during this time of hardship. We are working closely with our partners to address four areas of emerging need: emergency childcare, health and personal safety, shelter, and food. This week the Foundation, through its Monroe Smart Start program, activated an online portal to help identify individuals qualified to provide childcare services for the families of essential workers in our community. Those expressing interest will be matched with childcare providers in need of staffing or with families looking for in-home care. Childcare is an urgent need that must be addressed, and we are grateful to the organizations that are dedicated to providing safe, quality programming for the children of parents who are working daily to meet the essential needs each and every one of us.  View the portal.

Finally, we are also trying to do our part in supporting others who are stepping forward during this time of crisis.  We’ve provided funding to help the Mill launch the Navigation Center – a web-based resource for local businesses and entrepreneurs negatively affected by COVID-19. We are also loaning a technology platform to assist the city in providing loans to small businesses, nonprofits, and cultural groups through its Rapid Response Fund. The Foundation is also joining others in communicating critical information through a variety of channels. 

We are grateful to our partners in philanthropy, elected officials, community leaders, school officials, employers, and early learning providers for their willingness to come together at this time for the good of all who call Monroe County home.

From all of us at the Community Foundation, thank you for all you are doing for Monroe County – and especially for the kindness you are showing to those among us that are most vulnerable. We will continue to be responsive and during this difficult time and encourage you to contact us with any questions you have via phone at (812) 333-9016 or via email.

Thank you,

Tina Peterson
President and CEO
tinapeterson@cfbmc.org
812.327.3303 (c)

Community Foundation Staff

Community Foundation announces 32 Rapid Response grants have been awarded

In the second phase of Rapid Response Grants, the Foundation awarded 10 grants. A total of 32 COVID-19 Rapid Response grants has been awarded through two rounds of funding.

The Community Foundation has been working with past grantees & fundholders to identify ways to repurpose unused dollars to meet emerging needs brought on by COVID-19. We’ve also heard from many donors that want to support our community’s organizations during this crisis. Thanks to their generosity, The Community Foundation was able to open another funding round of Rapid Response Grants this week to immediately support Monroe County nonprofits to carry out their work.

In the second phase of Rapid Response Grants, the Foundation awarded 10 grants. A total of 32 COVID-19 Rapid Response grants has been awarded through two rounds of funding. This grant opportunity was opened to immediately support Monroe County nonprofits with grants of up to $2,500 through a streamlined evaluation process. Grant funds will be used immediately for supplies, equipment, remote-work technology, staffing, and to enable our local nonprofits to sustain capacity to serve our community.

Phase II Rapid Response Grant recipients:

  • Amethyst House
  • Area 10 Agency on Aging
  • Artisan Alley
  • Bloomington Meals on Wheels
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington
  • Ivy Tech Foundation
  • Midway Music Speaks
  • Monroe County Humane Association
  • Stages Bloomington
  • Susie’s Place

Phase I Rapid Response Grant recipients:

  • All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center
  • American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter
  • Bloomington Playwrights Project
  • Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
  • Buskirk-Chumley Theater Management
  • Catholic Charities
  • Community Kitchen of Monroe County
  • Courage to Change Sober Living
  • Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County
  • Healthnet
  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank
  • Middle Way House
  • Monroe County History Center
  • Monroe County United Ministries
  • Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
  • New Leaf New Life
  • People and Animal Learning Services
  • Pets Alive
  • WFHB
  • Wheeler Mission Ministries
  • Women Writing for a Change
  • WonderLab

“The Community Foundation is proud to be working in parallel with our philanthropic partners to address the emergent needs of local organizations during this early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Both the large grant the Foundation made to the United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and the Rapid Response Grants are meant to ensure that essential organizations have the capacity to lean in during this time of crisis. The Foundation is exploring everything possibility for creatively deploying its resources to support those who call our community home.”

The Community Foundation received 56 Rapid Response grant requests in the two rounds of funding. At this time, Rapid Response Grant applications are currently closed. If you have questions, please contact Program Director Marcus Whited at marcus@cfbmc.org.

Call out for care: childcare a critical need for essential employees and their families

Over 230 children of essential workers are in urgent need of childcare in Monroe County. These families include parents or guardians working as health care providers, first responders, or pharmacists. They are making essential medical products, providing sanitation services, or stocking shelves at grocery stores. In each instance, these indispensable workers need the community’s support to ensure their children are well-cared for while they serve the essential needs of Monroe County residents.

“It is critical that we rally around the families of essential workers,” said City of Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton. “We have childcare providers and others that are willing to reopen existing sites or create emergency childcare locations. However, we need staffing to make this possible. If you are a healthy adult with the capacity and skill set to help, we hope you will step forward and generously provide your talents to care for children in our community during this unprecedented crisis.”

In an effort to assist essential working families and employers, the Community Foundation’s Monroe Smart Start program has developed a tool for healthy childcare workers, educators, teachers, college students, or others with childcare experience to sign up for paid employment opportunities. Those interested in employment can indicate their interest to provide childcare at: https://www.monroesmartstart.org/providers/emergency-childcare

The names of interested individuals will be provided to local childcare providers or employers assisting their staff to find care for their children. Childcare opportunities can be either part- or full-time. Those signing up to help can specify ages of children with whom they are interested in working (6 weeks to age 5, or ages 6-12), and if they would prefer to work in homes or childcare centers. Once information is exchanged, families and/or childcare programs/organizations will work with the potential childcare employee to agree upon hourly wage, work hours, and terms of employment.

“As a community that excels in providing care to children of all ages, we now find ourselves in uncharted territory,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Tina Peterson. “With all public schools closed and most early learning sites shuttered as well, we have a crisis in childcare for essential workers. Given the wealth of local individuals with experience working with children ages 6 weeks to 12, we are committed to helping find the people that will allow existing providers to reopen or for innovative solutions to be activated in our community.”

A taskforce was recently convened to address the emerging childcare needs of essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The taskforce is collecting information to help understand the need for childcare, the barriers to providing essential care, and strategies that might be deployed if adequate resources can be secured. The taskforce is also exploring CDC aligned models for care, alternate locations for serving children, and resources necessary to provide care in an environment defined by the implications of COVID-19.

“Staffing is the key determinant for successfully providing the childcare so urgently needed by local families,” added Peterson. “We know our community has many compassionate childcare workers, and this call out for care is a starting point towards connecting them with families who are stepping up each day to ensure that this community has essential services. This is our chance to stand alongside our local heroes in fighting against COVID-19 in Monroe County.”

For more information on emergency childcare for essential workers, please contact Community Foundation President and CEO Tina Peterson at tinapeterson@cfbmc.org or Jennifer Myers, Monroe Smart Start Director at jennifer@cfbmc.org.

Monroe County Emergency Childcare Task Force:

  • Jeff Baldwin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington
  • Jackie Bond, Indiana Association for Education of Young Children
  • Alex Crowley, City of Bloomington
  • Judy DeMuth, Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Kristy Fallon, Catalent
  • Efrat Feferman, United Way of Monroe County
  • Angie Frye, IU Health
  • Penny Githens, Monroe County Government
  • Gretchen Gutman, Cook Medical
  • Andrea Mobley, Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Meleah Monroe, IU Health
  • Jennifer Myers, Monroe Smart Start
  • Dan Peterson, Cook Medical
  • Tina Peterson, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County
  • Erin Predmore, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
  • Natalie Pugh, Chances and Services for Youth
  • Jerry Sanders, Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation
  • Moriah Sowders, Boston Scientific

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County:

Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990.  The Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources. More information can be found at www.cfbmc.org.

Community Foundation awards 5 more Rapid Response grants

The Community Foundation has been working with past grantees and nonprofit fund holders to identify ways to repurpose unused dollars to meet emerging needs brought on by COVID-19. Thanks to their generosity, we are proud to share that we were able to award five additional Rapid Response grants to Monroe County nonprofit organizations that applied in our original funding round.

New Rapid Response Grant recipients include:

  • Buskirk-Chumley Theater Management
  • Catholic Charities
  • Pets Alive
  • Wheeler Mission Ministries
  • Women Writing for a Change

With these additional grants, the Foundation has awarded a total of 22 COVID-19 Rapid Response grants. This grant opportunity was opened March 22 to immediately support Monroe County nonprofits with grants of up to $2,500 through a streamlined 24-hour evaluation process.

These funds will be used immediately for supplies, equipment, remote-work technology, staffing, and to enable our local nonprofits to sustain capacity to serve our community.

On March 31, we announced that 17 organizations had been awarded COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants from the Community Foundation:

  • All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center
  • American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter
  • Bloomington Playwrights Project
  • Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
  • Community Kitchen of Monroe County
  • Courage to Change Sober Living
  • Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County
  • Healthnet
  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank
  • Middle Way House
  • Monroe County History Center
  • Monroe County United Ministries
  • Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
  • New Leaf New Life
  • People and Animal Learning Services
  • WFHB
  • WonderLab

“The Community Foundation is proud to be working in parallel with our philanthropic partners to address the emergent needs of local organizations during this early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Both the large grant the Foundation made to the United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and the Rapid Response Grants are meant to ensure that essential organizations have the capacity to lean in during this time of crisis. The Foundation is exploring everything possibility for creatively deploying its resources to support those who call our community home.”

The Community Foundation received 34 Rapid Response grant requests totaling more than $76,000 in requested funds. The first round of Rapid Response Grants has closed. The Community Foundation is developing its Phase 2 response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will release more information as soon as it is available. If you have questions, please contact Program Director Marcus Whited at marcus@cfbmc.org.

Emergency COVID-19 Relief Grants announced by community funders

Funding to uplift crucial nonprofit services during economic distress associated with the virus

The United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund has granted $298,175 to 16 human service organizations providing critical services serving people in Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties.  With support from this Fund, these organizations can continue to provide life-changing services to members of our community affected by the pandemic. Priority needs for the fund focused on sustaining operations of agencies meeting community members’ basic needs, developing safe and temporary residential programs for at-risk individuals served by area shelters, and maintaining or increasing the capacity of local food security systems.

“The Community Foundation is proud to be working in parallel with our philanthropic partners to address the emergent needs of local organizations during this early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Both the large grant the Foundation made to the United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and the 17 Rapid Response Grants the Foundation delivered to nonprofits last week are meant to ensure that essential organizations have the capacity to lean in during this time of crisis. The Foundation is exploring every possibility for creatively deploying its resources to support those who call our community home.” 

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Phase 1 grant recipients include: 

  • All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center – $2,500 
  • American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter – $1,500 
  • Amethyst House – $15,000 
  • Area 10 Agency on Aging – $20,000 
  • Bloomington Meals on Wheels – $7,000 
  • Catholic Charities Bloomington – $15,000 
  • Community Kitchen – $4,175 
  • El Centro Comunal Latino – $12,000 
  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank – $50,000 
  • Middle Way House – $20,000 
  • The Monroe County Food Train – $5,750 
  • Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard – $20,000 
  • New Leaf – New Life – $6,000 
  • Pantry 279, Inc. – $15,000 
  • Wheeler Mission – $35,000 
  • Shalom Community Center (for community isolation shelter) – $70,000 

From purchasing diapers and supporting critical domestic violence services to home delivery of meals to elderly and services to those in addiction recovery, the grants will be used to fund priority needs. Catholic Charities Bloomington plans to use the grant to offer online-based mental health services to adults, families, and children during this time of adjustment and uncertainty. Pantry 279 will use the funds to support the four-fold increase of individuals experiencing food insecurity in Ellettsville and the surrounding communities during the pandemic. The American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter will use funds to support all possible blood donations, as the pandemic has caused a significant blood shortage due to cancelled blood drives and other events. Wheeler Missions plans to hire temporary emergency shelter staff in response to decreased help from their volunteer base. The $70,000 granted to a collaborative project between Shalom Community Center, New Hope for Families, Wheeler Mission, Middle Way House, and Monroe County Health Department will fund a coordinated and secure safe isolation shelter space for individuals currently in mass shelters, a resource previously unavailable in our community.

A committee of cross-sector community partners identified critical needs and resource gaps to guide decisions regarding the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The granting committee includes representatives from the Bloomington Health Foundation, City of Bloomington, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Monroe County Government, Indiana University, and United Way of Monroe County.  

Fund supporters include Bloomington Health Foundation, Bloomington Township, Boston Scientific, City of Bloomington, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Cook Medical, Duke Energy, First Financial Bank, Hoosier Energy, IU Credit Union, Monroe County Government, Old National Bank, Owen County State Bank, Perry Township, private individuals, Tim Ellis Realtors, Truist Foundation, United Way of Monroe County, United Way Worldwide, and Van Buren Township. 

“We are awed, but not surprised, by the quick generosity of organizations, businesses, and individuals in our community. It’s inspiring to see everyone coming together for the good of all. And we are equally impressed with how nonprofits serving vulnerable people creatively designed, in a matter of days, new ways to serve and support vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. United Way of Monroe County is honored to work with our partners to fulfill our mission of bringing together the caring power of our community to help those in need,” said Executive Director Efrat Feferman. 

Read the full press release on the United Way website.

The CARES Act: Info for Nonprofits

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act includes programs (loans, forgivable loans & grants) for charitable nonprofits.

One of the interesting provisions of the CARES Act is that borrowers can receive a $10,000 emergency grant cash advance that can be forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue loss.

The National Council on Nonprofits has put together a helpful chart on options, eligibility criteria, terms, and how to apply.

Struggling to know which program is right for your organization? The following questions might help point you in the right direction. Do you need: 

  • Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees? Then the Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you. The program would provide cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven. 
  • A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now? You might want to look into an Emergency Economic Injury Grant. These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). 
  • You can apply for both the Payment Protection Program and the EIDL, just not for the same payroll expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions on the CARES Act

Get Started and Apply

To apply now for a Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), go to http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

For the Payment Protection Program, you will apply through an existing SBA lender or federally insured bank or credit union. Consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating or visit https://www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find for a list of SBA lenders.

For more resources on economic recovery, loans, and financial assistance, please visit the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s COVID-19 Resource Hub.

Community Foundation awards Rapid Response grants to 17 organizations

The Community Foundation has awarded COVID-19 Rapid Response grants to 17 Monroe County nonprofit organizations. This grant opportunity was established to immediately support Monroe County nonprofits with grants of up to $2,500 through a streamlined 24-hour evaluation process. These funds will be used immediately for supplies, equipment, remote-work technology, staffing, and to enable our local nonprofits to sustain capacity to serve our community.

Grant recipients include:

• All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center
• American Red Cross Southeast Indiana Chapter
• Bloomington Playwrights Project
• Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
• Community Kitchen of Monroe County
• Courage to Change Sober Living
• Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County
• Healthnet
• Hoosier Hills Food Bank
• Middle Way House
• Monroe County History Center
• Monroe County United Ministries
• Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
• New Leaf New Life
• People and Animal Learning Services
• WFHB
• WonderLab

“The Community Foundation is proud to be working in parallel with our philanthropic partners to address the emergent needs of local organizations during this early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Both the large grant the Foundation made to the United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and the Rapid Response Grants are meant to ensure that essential organizations have the capacity to lean in during this time of crisis. The Foundation is exploring everything possibility for creatively deploying its resources to support those who call our community home.”

The Community Foundation received 32 Rapid Response grant requests totaling more than $66,000 in requested funds. The first round of Rapid Response Grants has closed. The Community Foundation is developing its Phase 2 response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will release more information as soon as it is available. If you have questions, please contact Program Director Marcus Whited at marcus@cfbmc.org.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund grant application opens

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, recently launched by United Way of Monroe County, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Moroe County, has announced next steps in the coordinated effort to direct funds towards basic needs and emergency services.

To date, the Relief Fund has received $295,508 in community donations from individuals, businesses, local government, and foundations.

Organizations serving the basic needs of Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties interested in applying for funding in Phase 1 may complete the application now available here. Applications are due Thursday, March 26 at noon.

Read more on the United Way of Monroe County’s website.

Community Foundation announces Phase I COVID-19 Response Plan

Dear Community Foundation Friends,

It’s been a week. A week of unfathomable news, of growing anxiety, of answers to questions we never thought we would have to ask.

Our team at the Community Foundation has been listening and learning. We do not have a pandemic playbook to follow, so we have been asking lots of questions. We have been reaching out to our partners in philanthropy, elected officials, community leaders, school officials, employers, early learning providers, and our investment consultant.

Most importantly, however, we asked local nonprofits to help us understand the implications of the current crisis on their organizations. In the midst of rapid-fire challenges coming their way, so many of them took the time to talk with us by phone or responded to our survey. These organizations that represent the heart of our community and often define our vibrancy are facing a multitude of challenges. For example,

  • Those that address basic needs and healthcare are trying to scale up rapidly despite losing many of their volunteers and, at the same time, implementing new protocols to keep people safe.
  • Those that serve children are trying to answer the “what’s next?” question in a world of at-home learning and social distancing.
  • Those that serve people with disabilities, animals, or the elderly, plus others like community radio, museums, and arts organizations, for example, join their charitable colleagues in the angst of decreasing programming, laying off staff, and just staying financially solvent.

From these nonprofit professionals, we learned a lot about how we might help and where philanthropy can be an answer, and where it cannot. They helped us understand that more than half of their organizations are likely to face financial challenges in the next six weeks. Others reminded us that support will be needed over the coming months and that we shouldn’t use up all our capacity to help at once. They also affirmed what we already knew; nonprofits are always focused on the needs of others.

Amid their woes, many nonprofits are not only serving you, me, and often those who need support the most; they are finding ways to solve problems that aren’t their own. They are offering their unused spaces to other causes, redeploying now underutilized staff in delivering food to children who would normally be eating at school, and offering their excess capacity and expertise to other nonprofits. For example, an arts organization is helping to hand stitch masks.

It’s been a week. A week that none of us wanted, but all of us are facing together. A week that reminds us that Bloomington is blessed with many exceptional assets, not the least of which are our big-hearted, usually resilient, but sometimes fragile nonprofits. We are going to help them where we can; I hope you will too. Each nonprofit, in their own way, will be part of the answer to what lies ahead, even if in ways we could not have imagined.

The Community Foundation’s Phase I COVID-19 Response Plan as of March 22, 2020

1. The Community Foundation is partnering with the United Way of Monroe County and Bloomington Health Foundation to deploy the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and made an initial $25,000 grant to support this effort. This fund will address basic needs for shelter, food, and medical care. Nothing is more important as COVID-19 escalates.

2. The Community Foundation is working with many partners to advance a community strategy for addressing the childcare needs of essential employees, such as those working in healthcare, community safety, medical production, elder care, and other critical areas.

3. The Community Foundation is working with current grantees and nonprofit fund holders to identify ways to repurpose unused dollars to meet emerging needs resulting from COVID-19.

4. The Community Foundation is also extending deadlines and deliverables for existing grantees.

5. The Community Foundation is offering small Rapid Response Grants (up to $2,500) to help nonprofits with immediate needs, such as:

  • analyzing and planning for financial challenges resulting from COVID-19;
  • adjusting to alternative work strategies resulting from social distancing;
  • scaling up to meet increased demand for services as a result of COVID-19;
  • overcoming lost income and sunk costs from fundraisers scheduled in March, April, or May that have been cancelled; and/or,
  • purchasing services or supplies necessitated by COVID-19.

Information on how to apply for these grants is available here.

6. The Community Foundation is engaging our donor advisors and fund founders with information about a new fund we have establishedthe COVID-19 Community Sustainability and Recovery Fund

7. The Community Foundation is re-evaluating how to deploy our annual impact granting strategy to best serve the community this year.

8. The Community Foundation will offer the 80 nonprofits who benefit from an annual designated fund distribution the opportunity to receive that distribution earlier.

The Community Foundation was created 30 years ago to support Monroe County communities in addressing pressing needs and compelling opportunities. In moments like these, we are humbled by the generations of donors that have and continue to make it possible for our organization to serve those who call this community home. Even as we put our Phase I strategies in place, we are beginning to design what must come next in Phase II and are working closely with our partners to ensure our response as a community is aligned.

We will continue to keep you updated and encourage you to contact us with any questions you have via phone at (812) 333-9016 or via email.

Thank you,

Tina Peterson
President and CEO
tinapeterson@cfbmc.org
812.327.3303 (c)

COVID-19 emergency relief fund launched for Monroe, Owen, Greene Counties

 Fund will support critical human service needs during economic distress associated with the virus 

United Way of Monroe County and nearly 30 local organizations are partnering to launch the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to support immediate economic stability and basic needs in Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties in light of the pandemic. 

The Fund will launch with $250,000 committed by individual donors and key partners including Bloomington Health Foundation, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Monroe County Government, City of Bloomington, Monroe County Community Schools Foundation, Bloomington Township, Perry Township, Van Buren Township, Duke Energy, Cook Group, Old National Bank, and Owen County State Bank. United Way will seek donations from other organizations and individuals in the weeks ahead. 

Bloomington Health Foundation is offering to double the impact of individual donations with a matching grant up to $25,000. 

“Bloomington Health Foundation stands beside our local health and social service partners in these uncertain times. This initial investment will help our partners address urgent needs. Moving forward, we are committed to listening to our partners as we seek to understand our community’s developing needs and where help is needed in the days and weeks ahead,” said President & CEO of Bloomington Health Foundation Jonathan Barada. 

Grants will be distributed to human service organizations in Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties best positioned to meet the emerging needs resulting from this crisis. Priority needs for the fund will focus on: 

1) sustaining operations and levels of service of area nonprofits meeting community members’ basic needs; 

2) developing safe, temporary residential programs for at-risk individuals currently unsheltered, or in mass shelters or group homes; 

3) funding temporary staffing or volunteer mobilization efforts in response to loss of volunteer base critical to daily operations; and 

4) increasing capacity of local food security systems and financial assistance programs at area townships and nonprofits 

The launch of this fund builds on the experience of the Tornado Relief Fund of 2019, as well as United Way’s Flood Relief Fund of 2008. Following the flood recovery, the structure for the Monroe County Community Organizations Active in Disaster response (MOCOAD) group, which convenes regularly in order to coordinate community-based responses to disasters, was set in place. Those funds also provided similar support for organizations and individuals during recovery from major natural disasters. 

“In our community, 1 in 3 households teeter above the edge of poverty, financially stretched by ever-rising costs of housing, childcare, transportation and more. Additionally, 1 in 5 live in full-blown poverty with more significant challenges,” said United Way of Monroe County executive Director Efrat Feferman. “This means that nearly half of our population cannot easily weather prolonged economic turmoil. Many already turn to our social services and nonprofits for supports which allow them to remain economically stable. It is imperative that programs including affordable childcare and after-school care, food and nutrition, transportation, physical and mental healthcare, shelter and housing, and temporary financial assistance for mortgage, rent, and utilities are sustained and even increased at this time.” 

In addition to sustaining the capacity of area nonprofits to serve human needs, United Way and its identified the pressing need for temporary housing options for at-risk individuals showing symptoms of illness and residing currently in shelters such as Shalom Community Center’s Friend’s Place, New Hope for Families, Wheeler Mission, and Middle Way House, as well as those residing in group home settings such as through LifeDesigns and Stone Belt. Executive Director of New Hope for Families Emily Pike, whose agency serves families impacted by homelessness, stressed the significance of this particular need, noting that, ”as inconvenient as it may be to isolate ourselves in our homes, not everyone in our community has a home to go to. We’ve got to prioritize finding places for those experiencing homelessness to isolate, convalesce, and recover from this illness and others which may come. It’s important for our community’s health and for our community’s character. This is the time to show up for people in need.” 

Community leaders recognize the potential for economic distress, particularly for workers in jobs in the service and hospitality industries, is high. Organizations that serve populations in need every day will find themselves under-resourced to serve a growing demand for those services. Additionally, the network is actively working together to find new and innovative ways to provide services that incorporate concepts of social distancing into service practices. 

“We can think of no greater priority today than for us, as a community, to ensure that the basic needs of all our friends and neighbors are being met,” shared Tina Peterson, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Bloomington Monroe County added, “the Community Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to join organizations and individuals from across the community in supporting the United Way’s Emergency Relief Fund. In the coming days, we will be exploring other emerging needs that are becoming apparent and will determine what else we should be doing during this critical time for our community.” 

A coalition of cross-sector community partners is working to identify critical needs and resource gaps, while determining the best approach to disseminating emergency funds with the appropriate sense of urgency. Given the evolving nature of this situation, the fund is designed to be flexible and get funds to organizations serving those in need in the weeks ahead. 

In authorizing monies to the Relief Fund, a joint statement by Julie Thomas, President of the Monroe County Board of Commissioners, and Eric Spoonmore, President of the Monroe County Council, noted, “Monroe County Government is unified in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our community. The safety, health, and well-being of Monroe County residents is always the highest priority for the Board of Commissioners and the County Council. This swift action we are taking today will immediately provide urgent resources to affected residents and will further assist our local social service agencies working at ground zero of the corona virus public health emergency. We thank United Way of Monroe County for stepping up, as always, in this critical time of need.” 

“While United Way serves as the trusted vehicle for relief funding at this time of need, it is indeed the entire community powering this effort,” added Feferman. “Together we are assuring that our safety net is strengthened to better meet the challenges underway.” 

Community members needing assistance should search HelpingBloomingtonMonroe.org or call 2-1-1 to connect with needed resources. 

United Way has established an opportunity for individuals to donate via text or online. Text COVIDRELIEF2020 to 44-321or visit www.monroeunitedway.org/COVIDRelief to make a contribution. 

FUND LAUNCH SUPPORTERS: 

Bloomington Health Foundation 

Bloomington Township 

City of Bloomington 

Community Foundation of Bloomington Monroe County 

Cook Group 

Duke Energy 

MCCSC Foundation 

Monroe County Government 

Old National Bank 

Owen County State Bank 

Perry Township 

Private individuals 

United Way of Monroe County 

Van Buren Township 

COALITION PARTNERS: 

Bloomington Economic Development Corporation 

Bloomington Health Foundation 

Bloomington Township 

CDFI Friendly Bloomington 

City of Bloomington 

Community Foundation of Bloomington Monroe County 

Cook Group 

Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce 

Financial Stability Alliance of South Central Indiana 

Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce 

Indiana University 

IU Health 

Ivy Tech 

MCCSC 

Monroe Convention Center 

Monroe County Government 

Perry Township 

RBBSC 

Small Business Development Center 

Town of Ellettsville 

Town of Stinesville 

United Way of Monroe County 

United Way Agency Directors Association 

Van Buren Township 

Visit Bloomington