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  • Nonprofits Receive $1.4 Million in New COVID-19 Aid

    Fifty-one nonprofit organizations across Rhode Island will share $1.4 million in grants from a special fund created by the Rhode Island Foundation and the United Way of Rhode Island in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
     
    AccessPoint RI, AIDS Care Ocean State, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence, Project Undercover and the Rhode Island Minority Elder Task Force are among the nonprofits that were awarded grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund. The grants ranged from $10,000 to $75,000. (The full list of awardees and a brief description of what each grant will support is posted here.) 
     
    “We are grateful for all who have supported the Fund as the need for assistance has been surging all over Rhode Island.  As Rhode Island’s community foundation, we are trying to build this fund to support those in need. The combination of the health impact and economic impact has brought us to the point now where it will take more resources to continue to provide help to people across the state,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.
     
    In addition to paying for protective gear for health care workers, many of the grants will help nonprofits assist Rhode Islanders who have been affected by the crisis with food, housing and health care. With this latest round of grants, the fund has awarded $7.2 million to 181 organizations since March 27.
     
    “When we first launched this fund in March, we asked the nonprofit community what they needed most, and they answered: cash assistance, medical equipment and food. Eight weeks later, we are receiving even more urgent requests,” said United Way of Rhode Island President and CEO Cortney Nicolato. “While we are seeing some positive signs in Rhode Island, and we appreciate every single donor who has stepped up to date, we have a long way to go to recovery. Continued support of the COVID-19 Response Fund is as critical today as ever.”
     
    Project Undercover will purchase approximately 90,000 diapers that will be distributed statewide through a network of 27 nonprofit organizations. The organization expects to reach 75 percent of diaper-aged children living in poverty in Rhode Island.
     
    "No one could have foreseen how dramatically demand for our help would increase due to the crisis. It far exceeds what we budgeted for at the beginning of the year. We have also gotten numerous phone calls at our agency from both individuals as well as agencies that we don't usually work with. This grant gives us the resources to respond quickly, with more flexibility," said Richard Fleischer, president of the Board of Directors.
     
    Generous donors have already contributed $8.3 million to the COVID-19 Reponse Fund. New gifts to the fund, in any amount, can be made with the Foundation at rifoundation.org/covid19response or to United Way at uwri.org/covid-19-resource-center/. Donations will be accepted as long as the need continues.

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