While the Community Foundation generally works to support the long-term success of our community, we also strive to respond to more immediate and pressing needs. In response to the dual disasters of 2020, the Community Foundation established two new funds—the COVID-19 Disaster Response Fund and the Disaster Recovery Fund.
Since March, the COVID-19 Disaster Response Fund has distributed over $280,000 to local nonprofits to address health and human service needs that have emerged from the pandemic and related economic crisis. These grants have supported a wide range of programs and projects, including food pantries, mental health treatment, transportation for essential workers, sanitizing equipment, and rental assistance.
“Response to the pandemic will be ongoing,” said Les Garner, President & CEO at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “For the foreseeable future, this fund will continue making grants that support our community and the organizations that serve it.”
After the August 10 derecho caused widespread damage throughout Linn County, the Disaster Recovery Fund was established to respond to needs not being met by existing local, state, and federal programs. Rapid response grants from this fund helped meet immediate needs for vulnerable populations in the days following the storm, and the fund continues to make grants.
Over $360,000 has been granted to 14 organizations responding to community needs. Most recently, a $100,000 grant helped provide construction materials for a new program called PATCH (Providing Assistance to Community Homeowners). This program, co-funded by United Way of East Central Iowa, the Alliant Energy Foundation and the Community Foundation, aims to support nonprofits working to make homes in Linn County habitable ahead of the winter months. More information on the PATCH effort can be found here.
Priorities for both of these funds are informed by Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster (LAP-AID)—a cohort of nearly 50 local organizations that coordinate response efforts during disasters. Additionally, the Community Foundation remains in communication with other funders, governmental groups, local nonprofits, and national experts to ensure disaster response efforts are efficient and effective.
To apply for a grant from one of these funds, click here.
To contribute to one of these funds, click here.