Fundraisers, foundations driving financial help during coronavirus struggles

Central Avenue in downtown Middletown has fewer cars parked along the street than normal Wednesday. The state has banned all dine-in food consumption to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and many people are working from home. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Central Avenue in downtown Middletown has fewer cars parked along the street than normal Wednesday. The state has banned all dine-in food consumption to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and many people are working from home. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Organizations around southwest Ohio are rallying to support people and nonprofits within communities as the novel coronavirus spreads across the state and country.

The novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has forced businesses to lay off or furlough employees, or require them to work from home due to state mandates and recommended practices of social distancing and isolation at home with family.

All of this is meant to curb the rapidly sweeping virus.

Fairfield-based LoveWorks and the Bridgewater Falls Chick-fil-A in Fairfield Twp. are partnering to provide lunch and dinner to the employees of three Butler County nursing homes.

“Everybody’s working longer hours, and this is just a chance to pay kindness forward during this time,” said LoveWorks board member James Dick.

MORE CORONAVIRUS: Butler County commissioners approve funds to help in coronavirus fight

Dick is the general manager for Night Owl Cleaning, which cleans Berkley Square, Westover Retirement Community and Jamestowne, to feed the staff who are working extra hours to ensure their residents are safe as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Meals will be delivered to the staff at Berkley Square on Monday, Westover Retirement Community on Tuesday and Jamestowne Inpatient & Outpatient Therapy on Wednesday.

Last week, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued an order to limit visitors to nursing homes and assisted living as COVID-19 rapidly spread around Ohio.

“I see what they’re going through, and all the extra hours they’re putting in, and all the extra effort because of this (virus), and it’s all about trying to keep the residents safe,” Dick said. “There’s just so much negative going on right now, that people need to see some kindness.”

MORE CORONAVIRUS: Middletown foundation approves $50K fund to help with coronavirus impact

The Middletown Community Foundation plans to support community nonprofits by establishing a Coronavirus Emergency Fund. Trustees have allocated an initial $50,000 to the fund, which will provide grants to area nonprofits that help individuals and families adversely affected by the coronavirus.

The foundation will ask community members to donate to the fund to reach at least $100,000, said Traci Barnett, executive director of the MCF that serves Franklin, Madison Twp., Middletown, Monroe and Trenton.

She said the process for area nonprofits to apply for the emergency funding will be “streamlined,” requiring a one-page grant application. Decisions for grant funding will be made on a rolling basis, and the MCF will keep the process “nimble and efficient,” she said.

Contributions to the Coronavirus Emergency Fund should be made payable to the Middletown Community Foundation, 300 N. Main Street, Suite 300, Middletown, OH 45042. Indicate CEF in the memo portion of the check.

For more, visit the Middletown Community Foundation at www.mcfoundation.org.

MORE CORONAVIRUS: Non-elective procedures guidelines created as Ohio hospitals plan for a surge in virus

Several Greater Cincinnati organizations have collaborated to help “the most vulnerable members of our community,” saying they “will be disproportionately affected” by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and United Way of Greater Cincinnati have partnered with Procter & Gamble, bi3, Fifth Third Foundation, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and The Scripps Howard Foundation. Together, the group has “activated a cross-sector regional response to quickly address the critical needs of our community,” said Jaclyn Sablosky, marketing director with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “This fund is designed to rapidly deploy resources to our most vulnerable communities and the organizations that support them.”

The group has already granted $650,000 to 15 organizations across our region, she said. More information can be found at www.gcfdn.org/COVID-19, including how to donate online.

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