As permanent public charitable grantmakers, community foundations are built to go the distance at a time like the present. Locally, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) is mobilizing to support nonprofits and communities in the region during this COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our key role right now is to identify local needs and gaps in funding, and to assemble and apply funds where they are most critically needed to relieve distress in our area," said Judy Sjostedt, PACF's Executive Director. "In addition to working in concert with other funders and nonprofits, we've reached out directly to our local donor partners to ask for their help. We've received great support already but will be continuously working to assure that sufficient funds are ready to help throughout the duration of this crisis given its significant impact in our region."
Working in partnership with area funders and donors, the PACF is actively contacting regional nonprofits to assess COVID-19 impact on their clients and communities and identifying ways to respond to the needs. One such need quickly arose recently with seniors being advised to stay home. The PACF, in partnership with the Sisters Health Foundation, swiftly awarded a $5,600 grant to the Wood County Senior Citizens Association to assist them with supplies needed to provide nurtitious meals to seniors in the area who are isolated in their homes.
"We are fortunate in our community to have strong partnerships between local foundations and our donors," said Marian Clowes, PACF's Associate Director for Community Leadership. "We share community needs as we hear of them with other partners and are often able to jointly respond. The grant to the Wood County Senior Citizens Association is one of what we anticipate will be many shared efforts to respond to community needs related to COVID-19."
Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to share their needs related to how the COVID-19 virus is impacting the lives of their clients or the sustainability of their services for their clients by emailing the PACF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who would like to help the Foundation respond to both the short-term and long-term needs of our community are encouraged to make a donation to support the Foundation's Safety Net Fund (supports basic and emergency needs) and/or Hunger Fund (addresses food insecurity for local people). Donations may be made online at www.pacfwv.com/Donate or by mailing a check payable to "PACF" to PO Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102-1762. The PACF will be proactively distributing these funds in our community to meet priority needs as they arise.
"While COVID-19 has temporarily changed how we at the PACF accomplish business on a daily basis, it has only reinforced our commitment to serve the citizens of our Mid-Ohio Valley," said Sjostedt. "As the situation evolves, we are continuously evaluating where our efforts and resources can do the most good. We are very thankful for the wonderful partnership with our many donor partners whose support makes everything that we are able to do possible. We're here to help for the long-term."