Author: catherinek

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund Delivers More Than $5 Million to Support North Florida Residents Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

November 18, 2020 – Jacksonville, Florida – Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund awarded $5.4 million to 112 North Florida nonprofit agencies since the Relief Fund reopened in March to support residents disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Relief Fund is a collaboration between The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and United Way of St. Johns County.

“The generosity of our community has been overwhelming since the start of the pandemic,” said Nina Waters, President, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. “From individual donors to foundations, corporations and the City of Jacksonville, this effort to support our neighbors who are most in need has been a truly collaborative local response.”

Every day, more than half a million people in Northeast Florida–almost 40 percent of our region’s population–struggle to afford basic necessities. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically amplified these existing needs and created unprecedented demands on nonprofits. More than 408,477 individuals and 88,441 households received support from the Relief Fund. In certain cases, some individuals or households received multiple services. Support for mortgage and rent payments, food assistance and utilities payments made up more than 50 percent of the grants dollars awarded by the Relief Fund.

“Each week, as we reviewed dozens of the latest applications from nonprofit agencies, we were able to get a real-time view into the specific needs of our community, and respond accordingly,” said Rosi Melendez, Vice President of Community Impact and Strategic Investments, United Way of Northeast Florida. “Our case management partners shared that they saw many families unable to make ends meet as a result of COVID-19, including struggling to afford adequate food, lacking the financial security to pay utility bills and facing homelessness.”

The majority of these individuals and households (60 percent) were located in Duval County, and Relief Fund grants also supported nonprofits and residents in Baker (1.2 percent), Clay (3.4 percent), Nassau (5.2 percent), Putnam (11.7 percent) and St. Johns (18.5 percent) counties.

“The Relief Fund grants management team used a thoughtful, strategic approach that involved making grants to organizations with case management ability to ensure grant dollars were administered and tracked effectively and those dollars reached families in the most need,” said Kathleen Shaw, Vice President, Programs, The Community Foundation For Northeast Florida. “The incredibly fast timeline from the onset of the pandemic, to the Relief Fund being reactivated, to donations flowing in, to grant dollars being administered and to families receiving assistance is a powerful testament to the generosity of our community, the lessons learned during previous crises and the resilience of our nonprofit sector.”

“This is community-driven philanthropy at its best,” said Mari Kuraishi, President, Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “Our community answered the call and stepped up to its responsibility to support our most vulnerable neighbors, and the strength of our Jacksonville nonprofit network allowed those neighbors to quickly receive the relief they needed.”

Designed to respond to immediate emergency needs, the Relief Fund has now closed and is no longer accepting donations as our community moves toward longer-term recovery solutions. The Relief Fund remains ready to reactivate in response to future emergencies.

“While the Relief Fund has served its purpose in responding to immediate needs in our community, the continued economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic means donations remain critical for our neighbors to continue to recover,” said Michelle Braun, President and CEO, United Way of Northeast Florida. “The pandemic has fundamentally altered the trajectory of the lives of our most vulnerable families, who will be feeling the effects of this disruption for years to come—and who need our continued support.”

Many partners in Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund have specific charitable opportunities to help address long-term needs caused by COVID-19. Contact The Community Foundation for Northeast Floridathe Jewish Federation and Foundation for Northeast FloridaUnited Way of Northeast Florida and United Way of St. Johns County for more information on how you can support Northeast Florida’s road to recovery.

The final impact report, including all Relief Fund grant recipients, is available here. A complete list of Relief Fund donors can be found here.

Filed under: News

More than $3 million granted for COVID-19 relief in Northeast Florida

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund has assisted 87 nonprofit organizations in six counties

 

Jacksonville, Fla. (June 18, 2020) – Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund has surpassed the $3 million mark in grants awarded to nonprofit organizations responding to immediate needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 85 agencies are recipients of nearly $3.3 million since grantmaking began in March. The Fund is a collaboration between The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and United Way of St. Johns County.

“By far, the greatest need we’ve seen to this point is for food and financial assistance,” said Kathleen Shaw, a member of the Relief Fund’s grants committee and vice president of Programs at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. “We have been able to make grants to some of the big regional food suppliers, like Feeding Northeast Florida and Barnabas, but we’ve also made grants to many smaller organizations so they can acquire food from the regional food banks and get it into their clients’ hands as soon as possible.”

Applications from nonprofits are still coming in, and members of the Relief Fund’s grant committee continue to meet weekly to review, approve and ensure grants go out the door quickly. Priority is given to agencies in Duval, Nassau, St. Johns, Baker, Clay and Putnam counties that provide food; housing; financial assistance for individuals and families; child-care support for first responders and other frontline staff; medical, safety supplies and equipment; and technology support for safety net providers.

Vulnerable populations are a primary focus of Relief Fund grants. One of the earliest recipients was to ElderSource, Northeast Florida’s Area Agency on Aging.

“With the resources provided by the First Coast Relief Fund, we are able to help older adults with food, supplies, mental-health counseling through telehealth, telephone reassurance and financial assistance,” said Linda Levin, chief executive officer at ElderSource. “This funding and the services we are able to provide as a result are lifesaving.”

You can see a complete list of the grant recipients here.

“We’re continuing to see requests from the organizations serving our most vulnerable neighbors, and are grateful to the coalition of public and private donors answering the ongoing call to help,” said Katie Ensign, vice president for Placemaking and Administration for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund is working closely with local systems addressing these critical issues — including homelessness, food insecurity, mental health services, small businesses resilience, and emergency response services — to ensure that grants are helping to build a more effective community infrastructure to quickly and efficiently get assistance to those who need it most.”

Fortunately, generous donors continue to support Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund. Recent gifts of $1 million from the City of Jacksonville and $500,000 from The Humana Foundation bolstered the fund to more than $5.4 million – more than was raised for relief following Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.

The Relief Fund has hundreds of donors at all levels. The following is a list of funders who have committed at least $50,000 to the Relief Fund for COVID-19:

  • The City of Jacksonville $1,000,000
  • The Humana Foundation $500,000
  • Jessie Ball duPont Fund $500,000
  • Shad Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars $400,000
  • The Jim Moran Foundation $250,000
  • Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver $250,000
  • Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock Foundation $250,000
  • Lucy Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust $150,000
  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations $100,000
  • Bank of America $100,000
  • CSX $100,000
  • The Community Foundation For Northeast Florida $100,000
  • Florida Blue $100,000
  • Humana $100,000
  • Tom and Betty Petway $100,000
  • Truist $100,000
  • Winston Family Foundation $100,000
  • Ally $50,000
  • Edward W. Lane Jr.  $50,000
  • Fidelity $50,000
  • FIS $50,000
  • Macquarie Group Foundation $50,000
  • Morgan Weaver $50,000
  • Nancy and Gary Chartrand $50,000
  • Regency Centers $50,000
  • The Riverside Hospital Foundation $50,000
  • TECO Peoples Gas $50,000
  • VanTrust $50,000
  • Zimmerman Family Foundation $50,000

A complete list of donors to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund can be found here.

“Thanks to all the supporters of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund for their generosity and confidence in our agency to mobilize quickly to serve,” said Lauren Weedon Hopkins, regional director of Catholic Charities Jacksonville. “As we learned from our Hurricane Irma experience, Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund provides essential funding at a crucial time so Catholic Charities can aid those most in need.”

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund is administered by United Way of Northeast Florida with 100 percent of donations going to nonprofit agencies that provide direct services to individuals with needs that are not met by government programs.

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund will remain open until needs stabilize and while funding is available. To learn more, give or apply, visit unitedwaynefl.org/COVID19response.

 

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST RELIEF FUND

Online: unitedwaynefl.org/COVID19response
By mobile phone: Text COVID19RELIEF to 40403

By check: Pay to the order of United Way of Northeast Florida and mail to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, FL 32203-1428

** Be sure to note “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING
Only nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.
Application forms are available online at unitedwaynefl.org/COVID19response and each of the partner websites.

GET HELP NOW
United Way’s 211 hotline continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and officials and community organizations are working throughout Northeast Florida to ensure crucial needs are met. Community members in need of assistance are encouraged to dial 2-1-1, where a team of information specialists are available 24/7. You can also dial 904-632-0600 to access a United Way 211 call center specialist. A COVID-19 information directory is available at unitedwaynefl.org/covid19resources.

About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Florida’s oldest and largest community foundation, works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community. The Foundation helps donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helps nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helps people come together to make the community a better place. Now in its 56th year, the Foundation has assets of $482 million and has made approximately $550 million in grants since 1964. For more information: www.jaxcf.org.

About the Jessie Ball duPont Fund

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is a private foundation that works to expand access to opportunity and create inclusive growth for the people, organizations and communities that Jessie Ball duPont knew and loved. We envision a world in which every member of those communities feels they belong, and is engaged in shaping the future of their community. Our work focuses on increasing equitable access to opportunities and resources for members of society who have historically been excluded, and placemaking to build stronger communities where all voices are heard and valued. Learn more at www.dupontfund.org.

Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida

The Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida is a fundraising organization supporting the members of our community and providing for health, education and welfare, and ensuring the dignity of life. For more information, visit jewishjacksonville.org.

About United Way of Northeast Florida

Founded in 1924, United Way of Northeast Florida has earned a reputation as a respected and efficient philanthropic organization. United Way envisions a community of opportunity where everyone has hope and can reach their full potential. Because change doesn’t happen alone, United Way’s mission is to solve Northeast Florida’s toughest challenges by connecting people, resources and ideas. The nonprofit organization focuses on five causes: comprehensive basic needs, high-quality education, good health and well-being, financial security and social innovation. United Way’s long tradition of addressing the human-service needs in Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and Northern St. Johns counties is made possible through the commitment of thousands of volunteers, donors and community partners. To learn more, visit unitedwaynefl.org, or follow @unitedwaynefl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About United Way of St. Johns County

Serving both Putnam and St. Johns County, United Way of St. Johns is the only organization that brings together agencies, businesses, organizations, faith-based groups, government and individuals to focus on the community problems that matter most. Partners share the vision and have the energy, passion, expertise and resources to get the work done. For over 60 years, United Way-SJC has improved lives and built a strong, healthy community by strategically investing in quality programs, building partnerships, advocating for better policies, engaging the community and leveraging resources. Success is measured not by dollars raised, but by lives improved and changed. Visit www.unitedway-sjc.org for more information.

###

MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION

United Way of Northeast Florida
Sarah Henderson
Director, Marketing and Communications
904-300-8366
sarahh@uwnefl.org
Twitter: @unitedwaynefl
www.unitedwaynefl.org

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Susan Datz Edelman, VP
Strategic Communications
904-356-4483
sedelman@jaxcf.org
Twitter: @CFJacksonville
www.jaxcf.org

Jessie Ball duPont Fund
Melanie Cost
Communications
610-453-4153
mcost@dupontfund.org
Twitter: @dupontfund
www.dupontfund.org

Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida
Alan Margolies
Executive Director
904-448-5000
alanm@jewishjacksonville.org
Twitter: @jaxjewish
www.jewishjacksonville.org

United Way of St. Johns County
Melissa Nelson
CEO and President
904-910-6442
904-829-9721
Melissa.Nelson@UnitedWay-SJC.org
Twitter: @UnitedWay_SJC
www.unitedway-sjc.org

Filed under: News

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida Receives $500,000 from The Humana Foundation

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – May 19, 2020 – The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida is honored to announce it has received a $500,000 gift from The Humana Foundation that will be directed to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund to aid pandemic response in our community. With these funds from The Humana Foundation, Northeast Florida will be better positioned to respond to those who need assistance to recover and rebuild from this crisis.

The Humana Foundation’s $500,000 gift is in addition to a $100,000 contribution from Humana to United Way of Northeast Florida for Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund in the earliest days of the pandemic as part of its Bold Goal partnership with the Jacksonville market.

“The impact of a grant of this size cannot be underestimated,” noted Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. “Every week, we and our partners in Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund struggle with the extraordinary needs presented by our nonprofit community as they try to respond to their clients who are hurting. The Humana Foundation’s generosity will help alleviate the strain on our neighbors and fellow citizens.”

Since mid-March, Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund has granted more than $2.4 million to 75 local nonprofits in the six-county area. Applications continue to come in, and new grants are awarded weekly.

The current COVID-19 health crisis requires both immediate and long-term, sustainable relief in varying degrees across the U.S. This pandemic escalated what were previously already growing health concerns, such as access to care, food insecurity and mental health.

“The Humana Foundation understands the far-reaching strain the pandemic has placed on many organizations working on the frontlines to provide healthcare, food and employment for those disproportionality affected by the COVID-19 health crisis, and our aim is to remove barriers and help them respond, recover and rebuild,” said Walter D. Woods, Chief Executive Officer of The Humana Foundation. “Our intention with this commitment is to not only help provide immediate crisis relief, but also serve as a catalyst in building sustainable achievement and long-term community resilience.”

The Humana Foundation’s gift to The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida is part of The Humana Foundation’s historic April 30 announcement to commit $50 million to coronavirus relief and recovery efforts to a select group of organizations supporting essential workers, food security, behavioral health and local communities.

About Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund
Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund is a collaboration of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Jacksonville Jewish Federation and Foundation, United Way of St. Johns County and United Way of Northeast Florida. It was created following Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, and re-activated to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make a donation, click here.

About The Humana Foundation
The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the Foundation seeks to cocreate communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes. For more information, visit humanafoundation.org.

Humana and The Humana Foundation are dedicated to communities through our Bold Goal. The Bold Goal is committed to co-creating solutions with community partners to ensure that every business decision we make reflects our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our members, our employees, the communities we serve, and our planet.

About The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (www.jaxcf.org), Florida’s oldest and largest community foundation, works to stimulate philanthropy to build a better community. The Foundation helps donors invest their philanthropic gifts wisely, helps nonprofits serve the region effectively, and helps people come together to make the community a better place. Created in 1964, the Foundation has assets of $482 million and has made approximately $550 million in grants since inception.

Contact:
Susan Datz Edelman
VP, Strategic Communications
904-356-4483 | sedelman@jaxcf.org

Filed under: News

Jacksonville philanthropists Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock commit $1.25 million to COVID-19 relief, challenge others to step up

Jacksonville, Fla. (April 2, 2020) – Longtime local philanthropists Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock announced today a $1.25 million commitment to several Jacksonville nonprofits to support their critical missions, which are disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four local organizations will be the recipient of this gift: Hubbard House ($500,000), Feeding Northeast Florida ($250,000), Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund ($250,000) and United Way of Northeast Florida ($250,000).

“We believe those who have the means to help should help, and we are blessed to be able to do so,” said Michael Ward and his wife, Jennifer Glock. “With this gift, we are hopeful others will join together in supporting our nonprofit community as these organizations navigate not only the increased challenges of those they serve but also the disruption to their own ability to operate.”

Ward and Glock have a long history of transformational gifts supporting local causes across Jacksonville. Ward has been a committed member of United Way’s Tocqueville Society since 1998 and is the founder of City Year Jacksonville, among many other notable achievements. He has been a true community steward, leading by example with his generous investments in a wide range of social programs. Ward retired from CSX in 2017 following a 40-year career in transportation.

Glock, Ward’s wife, serves as co-trustee of the Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock Foundation. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has practiced in Jacksonville for over 40 years.

Through their philanthropic vision, Ward and Glock have reshaped Northeast Florida, including now during this public health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically amplifying existing community needs and creating unprecedented demands on nonprofits.

Hubbard House, a full-service certified domestic violence center, continues to serve survivors and their children through the pandemic. The agency expects to see a surge of requests for emergency shelter and services as survivors and their children are isolated with their abusers. Additionally, they are experiencing an increase in expenses like food, staffing and technology, as their fundraising efforts face challenges.

“Because of Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock’s gift, Hubbard House will be able to continue providing life-saving and life-changing emergency shelter and services to survivors of domestic violence and their children in our community without interruption both during and after the pandemic,” said Gail Patin, CEO of Hubbard House. “The result will be saved local lives. It’s that profound and that simple, and we couldn’t be any more grateful.”

Hubbard House will use their $500,000 gift to cover budget shortfalls and keep the shelter and their services operating at optimal levels through the pandemic and beyond, as they anticipate the need for services to increase.

Moreover, as people lose their jobs and are unable to provide meals for themselves and their families, the need for food assistance has never been more critical. Feeding Northeast Florida, our region’s largest nonprofit food bank and hunger relief network, has shifted operations to solely focus on COVID-19 crisis management. Some of the food pantries they work with have reported up to three times as many households trying to access food, while panic buying and an overall 70% decrease in grocery store food donations has made it difficult for food procurement.

Ward and Glock’s gift of $250,000 will help Feeding Northeast Florida support the increased need as food assistance and Feeding Northeast Florida services become ever more critical. The organization anticipates families in Northeast Florida will continue to struggle with the impacts of this virus for many months to come.

“Pre-COVID-19, our clients often had to choose between buying food and paying for other vital resources like housing, medication, childcare or transportation,” said Susan King, president and CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “Now, with the realities of school and workplace closures, reduced hours, and neighbors unable to leave their homes, more and more individuals are being forced to make these impossible choices with no end in sight. Jennifer and Michael’s extraordinary support is a game changer for us at this unprecedented time, and their leadership and commitment will make a significant impact in the lives of the people we serve and in our community as a whole. We are so very grateful.”

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund was created in 2016 to help nonprofit organizations serve individuals and families in need during a community crisis. The Relief Fund for COVID-19 is providing much-needed resources to struggling families by supporting local organizations who deliver essential human services to residents disproportionately burdened by COVID-19.

“We’re so grateful for Michael and Jennifer’s gracious commitment to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund and even more so for their confidence in our local nonprofit sector to get things done,” said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and partner of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund.

For 95 years, United Way of Northeast Florida has helped individuals, families and nonprofit partners in times of need. Whether it’s answering thousands of calls for help through United Way’s 211 information helpline; coordinating Relief Fund efforts; or working daily with partner agencies to support struggling individuals and families, United Way is counted on by so many all year – and especially now more than ever. Like many nonprofits, United Way’s fundraising efforts have been significantly impacted by this crisis, and many organizations are depending on United Way’s support.

“Michael and Jennifer’s vision for Northeast Florida – a stronger, more vibrant place to call home – is powering so much good happening in our community every day,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida. “Unfortunately for so many of the nonprofits we support, United Way is not immune to COVID-19. Michael and Jennifer’s gift will help us fill widening funding gaps so we’re able to serve those in crisis now and all year. We are deeply grateful.”

“These are unprecedented times, and we hope our gift will serve as a catalyst for other large gifts,” said Ward and Glock. “We challenge Northeast Florida philanthropists, socially responsible companies and all individuals in our community to pull together to give what they can. Our nonprofits and struggling families need you now more than ever. When we all succeed, you will, too.”

 

 

Information on Resources and How You Can Help

FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST RELIEF FUND
Online: firstcoastrelieffund.org
By mobile phone: Text COVID19RELIEF to 40403
By check: Pay to the order of United Way of Northeast Florida and mail to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, FL 32203-1428
** Be sure to note “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

GET HELP NOW
United Way’s 211 hotline continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and officials and community organizations are working throughout Northeast Florida to ensure crucial needs are met. Community members in need of assistance are encouraged to dial 2-1-1, where a team of information specialists are available 24/7. You can also dial 904-632-0600 to access a United Way 211 call center specialist. A COVID-19 information directory is available at unitedwaynefl.org/covid19resources.

Filed under: News

More than $2 million pledged to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund

Initial $405,000 in emergency grants awarded to 12 local nonprofits

Jacksonville, Fla. (March 26, 2020) – In the midst of a historic public health crisis, Northeast Florida donors have generously pledged more than $2 million to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund to support immediate needs caused by COVID-19 disruption.

To help those most affected by COVID-19 disruption, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and United Way of St. Johns County re-activated Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund.

“I don’t know where to turn now that my hours have been reduced to nothing,” said a local mother of four children who was seeking help from a Relief Fund grantee. “I don’t know how we are going to make it.”

For so many families who are now facing unemployment, reduced hours at work, lost wages and tips, mounting bills to pay and scarcity of everyday resources, the Relief Fund is serving as a critical safety net. Families who were already at the tipping point before the pandemic are now living in survival mode. The assistance they receive through the Relief Fund helps them stay housed and buy food.

Twelve nonprofits in Duval, St. Johns and Nassau counties already received a total of $405,000 to provide relief and resources to families throughout the region and the agencies that serve them. The first round of grants focused on immediate needs of shelters and those providing emergency food and financial assistance.

The recipients include: Barnabas Center, BEAM (Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry), Catholic Charities (Jacksonville), Catholic Charities (St. Augustine), City Rescue Mission, Clara White Mission, ElderSource, Feeding Northeast Florida, Jewish Family & Community Services, St. Francis House, Sulzbacher and Trinity Rescue Mission.

“Trinity Rescue Mission has seen donations and other revenue streams to be very vulnerable right now,” said Gary Judd, the Jacksonville shelter’s executive director. “The coronavirus has put an incredible stress on the homeless community and on those who help to serve them. We have seen increased direct expenses, including staffing, transportation, food cost and supplies. Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund has allowed us to continue to operate and those who are most vulnerable in the city to be cared for during times of uncertainty.”

With support from the Relief Fund, Trinity Rescue Mission has been able to increase its services, including isolating its most vulnerable population at a separate location; take extra recommended steps to help the homeless, including social distancing and hygiene; and actively collaborated with other providers across the city to meet overall community needs.

“This is exactly what Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund is designed to do – it ensures Northeast Florida nonprofits can continue their critically important work helping our most vulnerable populations in this time of increased need,” said Mari Kuraishi, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “We’re grateful for the support of so many individuals, businesses and foundations who are helping shore up the resources available to those in our community who need them most.”

The Fund was able to deploy these much-needed grants due to the generous and immediate support from local foundations, corporations and individual donors. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund trustees pledged $500,000 to support the Relief Fund, the largest single gift to date for COVID-19 relief.

Major funders who have committed to the Relief Fund for COVID-19 thus far include:

  • Jessie Ball duPont Fund: $500,000
  • Shad Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars: $400,000
  • Jim Moran Foundation: $250,000
  • Weaver Family Foundation Fund: $250,000
  • Lucy Gooding Charitable Trust: $150,000
  • The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida: $100,000
  • GuideWell/Florida Blue: $100,000
  • Riverside Hospital Foundation: $50,000
  • Zimmerman Family Foundation: $50,000
  • Wells Fargo: $40,000
  • DuBow Family Foundation: $25,000
  • Robert and Margaret Hill: $25,000
  • Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida: $25,000
  • VyStar Credit Union: $25,000
  • Anonymous: $25,000

 

More than 50 additional donors have made generous gifts totaling $44,000.

“We live in an incredibly generous community, and in times of crisis like these, it truly shines,” said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. “Because of our community’s generosity, the nonprofit sector is bolstered and individuals will get the help they need. Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund partners are deeply grateful for the dollars raised thus far, and we urge others to step up to join us in this important effort.”

The needs are growing, and the calls for help are increasing. Nonprofit organizations can now apply for funding from the Relief Fund, and applications are being accepted online. Organizations can apply for help in the following categories:

  • Food assistance, non-food items and supplies for agency and low-income individuals and families who are food insecure due to job losses, school closings, etc.
  • Short term housing assistance to support shelters to safely distance residents and prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Financial assistance for individuals and families impacted by the crisis to help meet their basic household needs
  • Child-care support for first responders and other frontline staff working to prevent the spread of the virus
  • Medical, safety supplies and equipment for community-based service providers as they carry out essential community services
  • Technology support for nonprofits to enable remote work and continued delivery of services

 

As with past relief efforts, the Relief Fund will be overseen by a grants committee and administered by United Way of Northeast Florida with 100 percent of donations going to nonprofit agencies.

“I want to say thank you to every group or individual who is personally stepping up for the people of Jacksonville during these uncertain times,” said Shad Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a press release Tuesday. “It’s my privilege to help.”

United Way’s 211 call center, which provides information and referral services to more than 100,000 callers annually, has already seen a 20 percent increase in calls during COVID-19 disruption. For example, a 66-year-old Ability Housing resident and cancer patient who uses public transportation called 211 to find alternative transportation to his UF Health treatments because of his immune system vulnerability. United Way 211 connected that individual to a solution.

“In spite of stories of anxiety and uncertainty, we are also hearing so many stories of hope,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida, which is administering the Relief Fund for the partnership. “This truly is what it’s all about – coming together to help those who are struggling. We are honored to be among those making a difference during this difficult time and all year long.”

Again, 100 percent of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund dollars will benefit local COVID-19 relief efforts. They will be granted to organizations providing direct services to individuals impacted by COVID-19 in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The fund will provide resources to meet needs not met by government programs.

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund will remain open until needs stabilize and while funding is available. Applications are now open for nonprofits to apply for funding. To learn more, give or apply, visit firstcoastrelieffund.org.

 

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST RELIEF FUND
Online: firstcoastrelieffund.org/donate
By mobile phone: Text COVID19RELIEF to 40403
By check: Pay to the order of United Way of Northeast Florida and mail to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, FL 32203-1428
** Be sure to note “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING
Only nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Application forms will be available online at firstcoastrelieffund.org/apply-for-funds and each of the partner websites.

VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
Looking to share information on volunteer needs or find out how you can safely volunteer during COVID-19? Visit unitedwaynefl.org/volunteer.

GET HELP NOW
United Way’s 211 hotline continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and officials and community organizations are working throughout Northeast Florida to ensure crucial needs are met. Community members in need of assistance are encouraged to dial 2-1-1, where a team of information specialists are available 24/7. You can also dial 904-632-0600 to access a United Way 211 call center specialist. A COVID-19 information directory is available at unitedwaynefl.org/covid19resources.

Filed under: News

First Coast Relief Fund Re-Activates for COVID-19 Response

Jacksonville, Fla. (March 16, 2020) – Every day, more than half a million people in Northeast Florida – almost 40 percent of our region’s population – struggle to afford basic necessities. The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically amplifying these existing needs and creating unprecedented demands on nonprofits.

To help our neighbors most affected by COVID-19 disruption, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and United Way of St. Johns County are re-activating Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund. The fund will assist organizations helping those in Northeast Florida affected by this public health crisis. As with past relief efforts, the fund will be overseen by a grants committee and administered by United Way of Northeast Florida.

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund was created in 2016 to help nonprofit organizations serve individuals and families in need during a community crisis. The Relief Fund for COVID-19 will provide much-needed resources to struggling families by supporting local organizations who deliver essential human services to residents disproportionately burdened by this public health crisis.

Fund partners urge you to join this coalition of community partners who are ready to rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak in Northeast Florida.

“As we’ve seen with recent hurricanes, unprecedented community challenges like COVID-19 can and will have devastating long-term effects on struggling families,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida. “We are coordinating closely with local nonprofits, community partners, and local and state government officials to identify immediate priorities.”

Nonprofits are lean organizations that funnel a vast majority of resources into providing direct service. Many of their fundraising activities are suspended and employees impacted. Many are not equipped with the technology to help them work remotely. Many also lack operating funds or reserves needed to respond to heightened demand for services and lower revenue.

Critical needs are rapidly emerging, and they will continue to evolve. The Relief Fund will provide flexible resources to nonprofits in our region responding to urgent needs resulting from COVID-19 disruption. The initial focus areas will likely include:

  • Provision of emergency food and supplies and other needs of people disproportionately impacted by this disruption
  • Financial relief and child-care support for those impacted by work and school closures
  • Technology support for nonprofits to enable remote work and continued delivery of services

 

“Nonprofits are experiencing a disruption in fundraising and decreased volunteer support due to COVID-19, which reduces their ability to serve those who need help the most,” said Mari Kuraishi, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “It is critical organizations serving the most vulnerable populations have the resources they need to continue operating at the highest levels.”

“We know many generous groups and individuals will want to assist with this response,” said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. “Their generosity through this collaborative fund will allow us to focus on the needs of an entire region. As we experienced with hurricanes in recent years, we know this united strategy will enable us to move quickly and efficiently in addressing community needs.”

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund dollars for COVID-19 will stay local. They will be granted to organizations providing direct services to individuals impacted by COVID-19 in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The fund will provide resources to meet needs not met by government programs.

“Challenges caused by COVID-19 in the coming weeks have the potential to devastate many First Coast families,” said Melissa Nelson, executive director of United Way of St. Johns County. “Through this collaboration, we are able to approach COVID-19 relief regionally – and we will all be impacted. United Way of St. Johns County is once again proud to be a partner of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund.”

“We are pleased to join again with Northeast Florida’s strongest nonprofit funders in responding, this time, to individuals and families affected by COVID-19,” said Alan Margolies, executive director of the Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida. “We are committed to supporting our community every day but, in times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to come together.”

###

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST RELIEF FUND
Online: firstcoastrelieffund.org/donate
By mobile phone: Text COVID19RELIEF to 40403
By check: Pay to the order of United Way of Northeast Florida and mail to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, FL 32203-1428
** Be sure to note “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING
Only nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.
Application forms will be available online at firstcoastrelieffund.org/apply-for-funding and each of the partner websites.

GET HELP NOW
United Way’s 211 hotline continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, and officials and community organizations are working throughout Northeast Florida to ensure crucial needs are met. Community members in need of assistance are encouraged to dial 2-1-1, where a team of information specialists are available 24/7. You can also dial 904-632-0600 to access a United Way 211 call center specialist. A COVID-19 information directory is available at unitedwaynefl.org/covid19resources.

Filed under: News

Northeast Florida funders activate Relief Fund

Northeast Florida philanthropic leaders and the City of Jacksonville are once again prepared to manage Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund to assist organizations helping those in Northeast Florida affected by Hurricane Dorian.

“As we find ourselves preparing for another storm, our City and nonprofit community stand ready to serve our citizens,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. “My administration and our great City employees are hard at work preparing for potential impacts and readying response and recovery efforts. This fund and the organizations it supports play a critical role in helping to address many individual and family needs after a storm.”

United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund joined together in 2016 to establish the Relief Fund to help those impacted by natural disasters. The Relief Fund stands ready to accept contributions that will help meet Hurricane Dorian-related immediate, unmet response and recovery needs.

“As we prepare for Hurricane Dorian and anticipate the potential impacts, our thoughts turn to our neighbors and those who are still struggling to recover from the last storm,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida. “That is why we are activating the fund; we want to be ready. The fund has proven to be the most effective way to coordinate donations to support response and recovery efforts.”

In response to Hurricane Irma in 2017, donors generously contributed more than $3.79 million, which was awarded to 34 organizations that helped more than 253,000 individuals or households recover. About $240,000 remain in the fund, which is available for immediate response efforts during this storm. Two initial grants will be disbursed to the American Red Cross Northeast Florida Chapter and The Salvation Army Northeast Florida Area Command.

“Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund is a remarkable example of the power of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector in times of crisis – and all year long,” said Mari Kuraishi, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “This community has a long history of supporting those in need, and we are proud to join forces once again with these leading organizations to support our affected neighbors.”

“As we’ve witnessed in years past, we know the generosity in and beyond Northeast Florida is extraordinary and essential for repairing and rebuilding our community,” said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. “Through this fund and generous donors, thousands of people can be helped.”

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund will make grants only to organizations helping individuals impacted by natural disasters in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The fund will provide resources to meet needs not covered by insurance, FEMA, or other state and federal programs.

All distributions from the Relief Fund are overseen by a committee comprised of representatives of United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville, the City of Jacksonville, and other major donors.

“Once again, 100 percent of all gifts will go to relief effort,” Braun said. “These dollars will be immediately available to help with response to Hurricane Dorian. Any unspent dollars will remain in the fund to maintain a permanent disaster relief fund for Northeast Florida.”

“This will be the third major storm in four years to hit St. Johns and Putnam counties,” said Melissa Nelson, president and CEO of United Way of St. Johns County. “So many families across our region battle personal storms every day. Unexpected crises like hurricanes exacerbate their struggles. Thanks to this collaboration, Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund will be prepared to meet critical needs quickly and allocate funds to where they are needed most.”

“While we all hope Dorian’s impact is not severe,” said Alan Margolies, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville, “it’s important we have the means and mechanisms in place to assist as soon as possible.”

 

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST RELIEF FUND

Online: firstcoastrelieffund.org/donate
Text: STORM to 50503
By check: Pay to the order of United Way of Northeast Florida and mail to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, FL 32203-1428
** Be sure to note “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDING
Only nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Applications will be available online at firstcoastrelieffund.org/apply-for-funding and on each partner website once the response begins.


HOW TO ACCESS EMERGENCY INFORMATION
A comprehensive list of emergency contacts is available here: unitedwaynefl.org/emergency United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free information and referral hotline available 24 hours, seven days a week to connect callers to emergency resources, including disaster-relief efforts.

Filed under: News

Relief Fund partners granted more than $3.56 million in relief for Hurricane Irma

Following the first named storm of the season and the official start of the 2018 hurricane season, partners of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund are prepared to once again activate the Relief Fund if disaster strikes.

Last year, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund granted more than $3.56 million to 33 Northeast Florida nonprofits providing disaster-relief services. Through this, more than 253,231 individuals and households were served.

“The generosity of our community in that time of crisis – neighbors helping neighbors – was incredible,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida, the fiscal agent and grant manager for the Relief Fund. “We are so thankful for the individuals, corporations and partners who came together to heal Northeast Florida.”

Created in 2016 to aid with Hurricane Matthew relief and to establish a permanent disaster relief fund, Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund is a strategic collaboration founded by United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

Each year, Mayor Lenny Curry and his team have been integral to the launch and success of the Relief Fund, encouraging donors to generously support the fund and other important relief efforts.

The Relief Fund supports immediate and intermediate unmet needs. One hundred percent of all donations go to relief efforts. Nearly $3.8 million was raised for Hurricane Irma relief. The Relief Fund’s remaining $200,000 will be available for immediate response for future disasters.

“We are deeply grateful for the foundations, corporations and individuals who recognized the need and delivered in substantial ways,” said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund distributes grants only to organizations helping individuals and households impacted by natural disasters in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The Relief Fund provides resources to meet needs not met by insurance, FEMA, or other state and federal programs or to fill the gap while other long-term assistance is being put in place.

“Being able to quickly activate the fund is crucial to saving lives and getting our community on the road to recovery,” said Sherry Magill, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, which kick-started the fund in 2016 with a $500,000 commitment.

After Hurricane Irma, the top three relief needs fell into the following categories: rent and mortgage assistance; home/nonprofit stabilization and repair; and food. All distributions from the Relief Fund are overseen by a committee comprised of representatives of the Relief Fund partners, the City of Jacksonville, Mayo Clinic and the Jaguars Foundation.

While the Relief Fund activities are winding down from Hurricane Irma, long-term recovery efforts are scaling up.

“There are still people who are not completely back on track following Irma,” said Michael Boylan, chair of the Northeast Florida Long Term Recovery Organization. “These long-term needs are why we are working hard to build out a robust LTRO for Northeast Florida.”

For more information, on the LTRO, visit duvaldisasterrecovery.org.

Meanwhile, nonprofits in the area, spearheaded by the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, are working to become better prepared for disasters, including the establishment of a Community Organizations Active in Disaster coalition, or COAD.

For more information on Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund, including the official Hurricane Irma report, please visit unitedwaynefl.org/relieffund/reporting. Any inquiries related to the report can be emailed to Sarah Henderson, United Way’s director of marketing and communications, at sarahh@uwnefl.org. Donations to the Relief Fund are accepted at any time.

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE TO FLORIDA’S FIRST COAST RELIEF FUND

  • Online: unitedwaynefl.org/relieffund
  • Text: STORM to 50503
  • By check: Pay to the order of United Way of Northeast Florida and mail to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, FL 32203-1428.
    ** Be sure to note “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

HOW TO ACCESS EMERGENCY INFORMATION

A comprehensive list of emergency resources is available here and updated, as needed, pending any imminent disasters: unitedwaynefl.org/emergency.
United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free information and referral hotline available 24 hours, seven days a week to connect callers to emergency resources, including disaster-relief efforts.

Filed under: News