Local philanthropic organization 100WomenStrong has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by refocusing its giving on groups that are filling immediate essential needs for food, shelter, and healthcare.
The organization has distributed $199,500 to nine nonprofits, and to purchase personal protective equipment for first responders. 100WomenStrong will also continue to distribute funds to nonprofits it has vetted and approved from past and current competitive grant rounds.
The group also will continue to monitor COVID-19 relief efforts on a monthly basis, and invite some of its current or past grant recipients to apply for funding based on what is they will need for the next month.
100WomenStrong Founder and President Karen Schaufeld said that approach will let them support these efforts whilepreserving funds for the uncertainty of the months ahead.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic not only has threatened lives, but also has forced businesses to close and threatened the livelihoods of millions,” she stated. “The people losing jobs and shuttering businesses are our next-door neighbors and friends, and the financial and emotional toll is very high.”
“As a group, 100WomenStrong knew that we had to react quickly to alleviate as much of the suffering as we possibly could,” stated 100WomenStrong Member and Grant Chairwoman Stephanie Place. “To that end, we will work to support the Loudoun County community now and in the near future by re-focusing our 2020 grants to those nonprofits and first responders that are directly responding to needs created by COVID-19.”
In the first round of grants, awardees include: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, Leesburg office, $15,000; Loudoun Hunger Relief, $10,000; Dulles South Food Pantry, $10,000; HealthWorks for Northern Virginia, $10,000; Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, $7,500; Good Shepherd Alliance, $7,000; the Loudoun Free Clinic, $5,000; and the Loudoun Homeless Services Center, $5,000.
Up to $50,000 also has been allocated for the purchase of personal protection equipment (PPEs) for area volunteer firefighters and EMTs.
100WomenStrong Member Kim Wagner said the decision to change focus wasn’t made hastily, but with great discussion and reflection.
“As this pandemic spread, we knew that we had to shift from considering the proposals submitted for our competitive grant cycle to using those grant funds to first support groups that are working so hard to fill needs created by the COVID-19 crisis,” Wagner stated. “In our next round, we will continue to look at all of our past grantees and plan to expand our funding a bit to those that provide a safety net to help those most vulnerable in our community.”
They plan to allocate a second round of funding in early May and will continue to provide funding on a monthly basis to organizations that are invited to submit applications.