United Way of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Foundation have announced the first round of funding for local nonprofit agencies at the forefront of COVID-19 response.
$1.2 million in grants will be distributed to 27 local agencies in the coming days.
Grantees will use the funding to provide direct service to Rhode Islanders impacted by COVID-19. Funds will go toward food, personal care products, and assistance with household expenses. Additionally, funding was awarded to health centers, community centers, and shelters as they face unprecedented challenges to maintaining operations and delivering services to those most in need.
A joint grants review committee — composed of team members from United Way and the Foundation — are working together to review applications and make funding decisions in real-time.
“We are hearing from the nonprofit community every day about the disruption to services caused by this pandemic. Being able to quickly support them, and Rhode Islanders with their most basic needs, has the ability to not only provide comfort but also to save lives,” said United Way of Rhode Island president and CEO Cortney Nicolato.
“As this health crisis will continue for some time, I am grateful for every donor who has stepped up so far, for the donations to come, and to every nonprofit employee who continues to show up, every day, to take care of our families and neighbors.”
Together, United Way of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Foundation established the COVID-19 Response Fund on March 17 and have raised more than $5.2 million in contributions.
“Throughout the entire state, nonprofit organizations are stepping up to assist neighbors in need during this unprecedented and uncertain time. It’s truly heartening to see the response,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.
“We’re committed to getting this funding to where it is needed the most. Thanks to our generous donors, these grants will provide a safety net to support many Rhode Islanders. We also welcome more donations to the fund, so that we are able to continue meeting community need.”
Gifts to the fund can be made in any amount. Donations will be accepted as long as the need continues.