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Catt. Co. nonprofits receive WNY COVID-19 Response Fund grants totaling nearly $130,000

Fri, Apr 10th 2020 10:00 am

Leaders of the COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County recommended four local nonprofits to the Western New York Covid-19 Community Response Fund as potential grant recipients and together this week they received almost $130,000 to support their efforts to help those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cattaraugus County’s nonprofit grant recipients included Cattaraugus Community Action ($76,500), YMCA of the Twin Tiers ($30,000), Directions in Independent Living ($12,000) and Meals on Wheels/Friends of Aging Fund of Cattaraugus County ($11,000).

In addition the Salvation Army Olean Corps received $2,000 for food, financial assistance and transportation costs.

Funding organizations and foundations from across Western New York banded together to establish the WNY Covid-19 Community Response Fund and have been working with partners like the COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County and the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation to identify and provide resources to organizations immediately responding to the outbreak and supporting impacted residents.

Grant applications were accepted by invitation only, so groups like the COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County, led by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, United Way of Cattaraugus County and Dr. Lyle Have F. Renodin Foundation, helped refer potential recipients who could make the biggest difference for those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cattaraugus Community Action will utilize funds for five main purposes, including:

  • Food supplies for Community Action food pantries, including fresh produce and dairy products, stocked canned and packaged goods, as well as prepared and frozen foods from local restaurants
  • Diapers for needy families
  • Household and agency cleaning supplies to ensure safety of customers, staff and volunteers
  • Technology aids to enhance virtual communication with customers
  • Activities for home-bound seniors and their families.

Community Action will also be partnering with other area food pantries to distribute food to those in need. Interested parties should contact John Haley, director of food security, at [email protected]. Individuals can contact Community Action at 716-945-1041 or by email using the contact form at ccaction.org.

YMCA of the Twin Tiers received a grant in support of two programs, Emergency Child Care and the Community Shepherding Program.

YMCA Emergency Child Care provides childcare services for employees of hospitals and medical facilities, nursing homes, group homes and First Responders, so that those essential workers can continue to provide services with the peace of mind that children are cared for.

Medical staff in need of emergency child care services can call the YMCA at 716-373-2400, option 1 (school-age) or option 2 (early learning).

The Community Shepherding program is a new effort to check in with our community’s most vulnerable populations: seniors, people suffering from mental illness, families with unique challenges, people who are suffering financially, and children who are being left home alone.

For more information on volunteering or if someone would like a volunteer to call and check on them, please call Megan Jennings at 716-701-1376.

The grant to Directions in Independent Living will replace computers and technology and provide a new HIPPA-compliant teleconference system so the agency can continue its work with clients remotely during the ongoing period of social distancing, a particularly difficult time to those with disabilities or mental illness who live independently.

Directions in Independent Living can be reached at 716-373-4602 or by email at [email protected].

The grant to the Meals on Wheels/Friends of Aging Fund for Cattaraugus County will support the Meals on Wheels program in Cattaraugus County, which is now providing delivery of additional items to seniors sheltered at home, including essential groceries, cleaning supplies, pet food and mentally stimulating activities to help in times of isolation in order to help cut down on the need for vulnerable seniors to leave their homes.

Funding will support the agency in providing for a 30% increase in requests from seniors due to the COVID-19 Outbreak and helps provide for additional supplies not typically provided by the meals on wheels program, such as general groceries and household necessities like toilet paper, soap and cleaning supplies.

Individuals can reach the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging at 716-373-8062 or by using the email contact form at cattco.org/aging.

“We are thrilled that we were able to refer and facilitate this essential funding for nonprofits who are doing so much during this difficult time for the community,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “We felt it important to ensure that any needs our own COVID-19 Response Fund may not be able to entirely meet were filled by the WNY Fund so that these essential nonprofits are equipped to help those who need it most.

“We are so grateful for everyone associated with the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund who stepped up to make this generous support possible,” Buchheit added.

The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email [email protected], or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).