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:
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
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
Director, Marketing and Communications
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
Susan Datz Edelman, VP
Jessie Ball duPont Fund
Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida
United Way of St. Johns County
CEO and President