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Community Fund provides $18,000 in support to initiatives/projects at community nonprofits

Thu, Feb 11th 2021 09:00 am

Nine agencies recently received grant support from the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation’s Community Fund, to support new projects and initiatives that provide for the changing and immediate needs of Cattaraugus County residents in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

YMCA of The Twin Tiers received $2,500 to support Out of School Learning Labs that provide safe spaces and technology for students to utilize in the midst of school closures and a hybrid school schedule.

The grant allows the YMCA to provide a sliding fee schedule for families based on their household income and size, so that families can afford the cost of additional childcare at a time when more families than ever are finding additional need for childcare that they typically wouldn’t need due to children being in school.

The YMCA has set up five locations to provide out of school learning labs and is currently serving children from the Olean, Portville, Allegany-Limestone, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Hinsdale, Ellicottville and Pioneer school districts.

YMCA of the Twin Tiers CEO Barb Sweitzer said that the impact of the grant will be both immediate and long-lasting.

“The impact will last decades because each child served in the program has been given the opportunity to keep up with their school work and not fall behind causing educational inequities and to be in a caring and safe environment during a time of uncertainty,” said Sweitzer.

Connecting Communities in Action (formerly Cattaraugus Community Action) received $2,500 to support a new initiative, Trauma Informed Action Labs, to educate and train organizations involved with the Trauma Informed Coalition (TIC) in Cattaraugus County in order to build community resources to prevent and overcome trauma.

The TIC is comprised of 40 organizations and 133 members. TIC meetings and efforts are organized and facilitated by Cattaraugus Community Action.

Studies have shown that people who experience events of trauma are more likely to face serious physical and mental health issues. The goal of the Trauma Informed Action Lab is take a data-driven approach to explore and educate on issues of trauma to improve the overall health of Cattaraugus County residents. The final goal of the coalition is to create a toolkit to be used by agencies that support all tenants of trauma-informed care.

Ellicottville Central School received $2,500 to supply iPads to students to help with remote learning.

Kevin Guest House, which provides housing for people undergoing medical treatments in the Buffalo area, received $2,500 to help the agency provide for improved safety of immunocompromised patients and caregivers, a need underscored due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Guest House provides its services more to residents of Cattaraugus County than from any other region.

Mercy Flight Inc. received $2,000 for the purchase of Sigma Spectrum IV Pumps, which allow for consistent, regulated delivery of life-saving medications that require very specific doses.

As rural communities, including those in Cattaraugus County, have seen an increase in closure of hospital facilities or a reduction in services from local hospitals, Mercy Flight has reported an increase in demand for its life-saving services.

Southern Tier Health Care Systems received $2,000 in support of its Cribs for Kids Program, which provides safe and reliable cribs to families in need to help reduce injuries and deaths in infants related to unsafe cribs.

According to Alicia Broadbent, STHCS director of planning and development, since the program began in 2016, no infants involved in the program have succumbed to a unsafe sleep related death. This year, 21 local families received cribs for their infants.

Brookside Community, a low-income senior housing facility in Olean, received $1,530 for enhancements to outdoors spaces and facility security. The facility provides apartments to 38 individuals 62 and older.

The Ellicottville Skate Park Fund received $1,500 toward its campaign to build a concrete skate park in the city of Ellicottville. All contributions and grants to the project are matched by the Skate Park Project, a joint effort led by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and Tony Hawk Foundation.

Lastly, the Little Valley Food Pantry received $1,000 to purchase a new freezer for the pantry, which has been dedicated to serving residents of the Cattaraugus and Little Valley area throughout the pandemic.

CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit said these grants are a signal of the Community Fund’s growth and its value in meeting the changing needs of the community.

“The Community Fund is our vehicle for unrestricted grantmaking, and it serves an important purpose to fund new projects that make life better for those living in Cattaraugus County,” said Buchheit. “We have all seen community needs shift rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is a blessing to be able to step up to meet some of those needs through this fund.

“We are grateful to all of those who have given to and fostered the growth of the Community Fund,” she continued. “We hope the fund will continue to grow and have an even bigger impact for those in need in our region.”

Donations can be made to the Community Fund at CRCF, 301 North Union St., Olean, NY 14760 or online at cattfoundation.org

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).