April 16, 2020 | Stories

Here for the Community

Here for the Community

"Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Michael Bogey, HHMH Emergency Department Medical Director, Dr. Peter Coelho, St. Louise Regional Hospital Physician Executive and Steve Perricone and a grant from the Community Foundation, both hospitals now have a new supply of KN95 Protective Masks." — Gary Byrne, Executive Director/CEO

Community Foundations have a long history of supporting their communities during times of challenges, crisis and disaster -- connecting those who want to help with nonprofits that offer critical services. In the last month, as the world around us has changed, the Community Foundation for San Benito County has been rising to the challenge. Using its unique position and philanthropic leadership they are listening closely to nonprofit and public sector partners, uncovering urgent needs and gaps, and funding a rapid, coordinated community response to the COVID-19 crisis.

In March, the Community Foundation activated the COVID-19 Relief Fund in order to distribute resources to local nonprofits supporting those impacted by this crisis and the economic fallout that is likely to follow. This emergency fund is the fastest most efficient way to provide funding to nonprofits serving our most affected neighbors and friends. The Foundation is working with United Way of San Benito County to ensure community resources are being distributed in the most efficient way possible.

So far, the Community Foundation for San Benito County has approved over $45,000 in disbursements—including emergency financial assistance for nonprofits, as well as support for immediate public health needs to help slow the spread of the virus in San Benito County.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the Community Foundation has made the following grants from this fund to date:

  • Community Homeless Solutions – 24/7 Shelter in Place
  • Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital – Masks and Protective Clothing
  • Salvation Army Hollister Corp. - Hot Meals for Food Bank Volunteers, Seniors, and Farm Workers
  • Hollister Community Outreach – Food and Supplies for Homeless
  • Jovenes de Antaño - Meals on Wheels for Seniors
  • Community Solutions - Transportation and Shelter for Families and Victims of Domestic Violence

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to expand and change, so do the needs of the community, and the Community Foundation for San Benito County will be there to support the recovery effort during all the coming phases. The Foundation is using a triage approach to grant funding during this crisis, with immediate funding going to those agencies providing critical services to our most vulnerable community members. A second and third phase will be created once the crisis has subsided to address the next levels of need for nonprofit organizations and their critical survival.

Our nonprofit leaders continue to reach out to the Community Foundation for funding assistance. The special emergency Grants Committee meets weekly to be as responsive as possible in supporting their emergency needs. The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented in its size and scope and it is vital our community works together during this time. You can help by donating to the COVID-19 Relief Fund or call (831) 630-1924.