VCF steps related to COVID-19
Updated March 20, 2020:
While this has been a long week for many of us, I wanted to follow up on my note from Wednesday to provide another update and share with you the announcement of the Valley Community COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
Like I mentioned in my last communication, there has never been a more critical time to come together over something more important. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be disruptive, life-altering, and represents a range of unknowns with regard to how it will permanently change our lives. One thing is certain, though. This too shall pass.
Until that day comes, however, we must take action, and do so together. To address this rapidly-evolving virus, we, along with the Valley United Way, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Valley Health & Human Service Council, have come together to establish the Valley Community COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to rapidly deploy resources to organizations who support those in the area who are most significantly affected by the pandemic.
You can read more about the announcement in the link above. This Fund will provide flexible resources to organizations throughout the Valley that serve the Valley region, especially to those who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. The Fund is designed to complement the work of federal, state, and municipal government efforts and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible.
If you have the ability to help the Valley confront the shifting dynamics of our community and our collective capacity to respond in the wake of this crisis, the time is now. I invite you to contribute whatever you can to this Fund so that we can respond and recover as one.
Updated March 18, 2020:
As the spread of COVID-19 has become a global pandemic with now local implications, we have been thinking about the strength and perseverance of the Valley Community. Time after time, we are reminded that we are all in this together and, through working alongside one another, we can accomplish far more than what we could do individually. While these may be challenging times, there are meaningful opportunities to create impact in flatting the curve of this virus, supporting the organizations that are creating new measures, and assisting those in most need. Together, we can do so very much.
Like many of you, we are in the midst of navigating the unprecedented crisis caused by the response to COVID-19. Understanding our Valley Community is essential to everything that we do. As a community committed to well-being, we have remained in constant communication with the nonprofit leaders serving the Greater Valley and have been supporting a myriad of efforts in partnership with the Valley Council for Health & Human Services.
All of us at VCF would like to take the opportunity to affirm our position and detail our next steps.
Together, at the table with regional nonprofit leaders, we are in the process of establishing a Valley Response Fund so we can effectively, efficiently, and rapidly deploy resources throughout the community and to nonprofits serving the Valley. More details will be announced on the Valley Community Response Fund in the coming days.
By now, you know that our May 12th Annual Reception has been postponed. Staff time has been reallocated to support nonprofits and information-sharing efforts among the region’s health and human service providers. Information that is accurate, important, and distributed in a timely manner for all to access is so incredibly important to those who call our Valley home.
The VCF office remains open for business. A number of staff members are working remotely for the remainder of the month. Meetings will be conducted via conference call. Visits to the VCF office are by appointment only.
We will be sending out another email in near future with an update on The Great Give and to provide more details to support the Valley Community Response Fund as a way to assist in these collective endeavors over the long-term.
What you can do to help (right now):
- Many area nonprofits have been required to cancel their major convenings and fundraisers. If you committed to attend, please consider allowing the nonprofit to keep the cost of your ticket. This is an urgent time when not only fund raisers and events are being canceled, but new programs and responsive actions are required.
- We are working to identify a volunteer network as there inevitably be a need in the Valley Region. Please consider giving your time to support with food drop offs, distributing lunches to children, etc. If you would like to submit your name for volunteer consideration, please contact our office at 203-751-9162. We will hold your contact info and share it with the appropriate organizations as needed.
- Share the needs and opportunities of Valley organizations on social media as they are posted to help spread the word.
As you can imagine, the information and action being taken is extremely fluid and rapidly changing. While we may not have all the answers at the moment, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Valley and all its constituents are taking every possible step to help those in need.
Updated March 13, 2020:
There has been an incredible response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This past week, Health officials recommend social distancing as a course of action to combat the spread of the COVID-19, which has led to preventative efforts such as the closing of schools, cancellation of events, and meetings. Social distancing is widely seen as the most effective means of slowing the spread and reducing the impact of COVID-19 among our employees, their families, and the communities in which we all live and serve.
The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) Board of Directors met on Thursday, March 12, 2020 to review and discuss our response to the COVID-19 virus both in terms of steps we will take to keep our community partners and staff safe, as well as how we can assist our nonprofits as they struggle to keep up with new demands that the responses have triggered.
Physical precautions VCF will implement until at least March 27, which may change as circumstances dictate.
VCF will not hold events or host external meetings in person. Therefore,
- Workshops, meetings and other gatherings will be reformatted or rescheduled and as soon as plans are confirmed we will notify people by email and news will be posted to VCF's website at www.valleyfoundation.org.
- VCF’s May 12th Annual Reception is postponed so staff resources can be deployed to assist any responses from our nonprofits.
- VCF staff members will have the option to work remotely. Therefore, it is best to contact staff members by email to conduct business during this time, you can also call the office and leave a voice message and the staff member will return your call.
For our nonprofits:
The VCF Board of Directors understands and appreciates the ramifications the community response may have on your organizations. If your organization received a sponsorship grant from VCF for an event that had to be cancelled or postponed, you will simply need to inform us how you reallocated the grant, you will not have to return the previously awarded grant.
The Board is also prepared to receive special requests from nonprofits who are responding to the crisis and are in need of financial resources to support their efforts. VCF encourages our staff, donors, nonprofits, and all members of our community to stay informed about COVID-19 and to practice safe habits. The CDC website is a good resource for both. Or you may also call 2-1-1, text "CTCOVID" to 898211 or wish to visit the State's coronavirus information website at www.ct.gov/coronavirus.
Thank you for your patience. We will communicate any relevant updates with you as they become available. Information will be shared via VCF's website (www.valleyfoundation.org/covid-19), email, and social media channels.
last updated 03.18.20 5:00 p.m.