TO OVERCOME CRISIS.
As Western New Yorkers, we are known for our resiliency, generosity and collaborative spirit. In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, these positive attributes have been called upon like never before.
A collaboration of local philanthropic organizations, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund was created to identify and address our region’s short-term and long-term needs. Our community supported this effort in a huge way and your generosity has made an impact on thousands of people. However, the need is still great — and growing. To learn more about our collective efforts to move forward together, click here.
PURPOSE OF THE FUND
When the pandemic reached Western New York in March 2020, the philanthropic community mobilized quickly under the leadership of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. By March 24, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund was formed, conducted a needs survey with over 1,000 nonprofits and began fundraising. The Fund announced its first phase of grantmaking two weeks later.
At the onset, the Fund supported nonprofits addressing immediate areas of food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation and other emergency services.
To date, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund has awarded a total of $7.8 million in grants to 400+ nonprofit organizations serving all eight counties of Western New York.
Beyond the numbers, the impact of the generosity of our community has been significant. Here are a handful of stories from nonprofits that received funding, in their own words.
The WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is a truly collaborative effort supported by 60 foundations and corporations, 40 community leaders and nearly 2,000 individual donors. Thank you to all who have contributed to support our community during this crisis.
HEALTH FOUNDATION FOR WESTERN &
CENTRAL NEW YORK
THE JOHN R. OISHEI
UNITED WAY OF BUFFALO
AND ERIE COUNTY
Foundations and corporations
AAA Western and Central NY
Avangrid Foundation / NYSEG
The Baird Foundation
The Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation
Bank of America Charitable Foundation
BlueCross BlueShield of WNY Blue Fund
Better Buffalo Fund
Henry W. & Martha L. Bruner Philanthropic Fund
Buffalo Bills Foundation
Buffalo Sabres Foundation
Bureau Veritas Consumer Product Services
EJ and Karen Butler
Tom and Pat Calpin
William & Ida Christie Fund for Music
The Peter C. Cornell Trust
C. Elizabeth Crump
James H. Cummings Foundation
Heather J. DePaolo-Johnny Memorial Fund
Heather J. DePaolo-Johnny Memorial Fund
Paul P. Dosberg Charitable Fund
East Hill Foundation
The Paul and Helen Ellis Charitable Trust
The Fisher Family Fund
Gallogly Family Foundation
Garman Family Foundation
O. Richard Goldman Philanthropic Fund
Joanne Champion Granger Fund
John and Elizabeth Hulley
JP Morgan Chase
Marie S. & Frederic K. Houston Fund
Hunt Charitable Foundation
Ruth E. Huppuch Living Trust
Nick Iannarelli Memorial Fund
D. Bruce and Gail Johnstone Fund
D. Bruce and Gail Johnstone Philanthropic Fund
Key Bank and First Niagara Foundation
Patrick P. Lee Foundation
Grigg Lewis Foundation
George and Teresa Lukis Family Fund
National Fire Adjustment Company
National Fuel Gas Foundation
The Papa Family
New York State Health Foundation
Niagara Area Foundation
Rodems Construction Co., Inc.
Sandy and Margery Nobel
Pinto Foundation Fund
Rotary Foundation of Amherst East
Rowboat Family Foundation
Rupp Family Foundation
Rupp Family Foundation
S & J Schwartz Fund
Simple Gifts Fund
Stockton Family Fund
Sullivan Family Foundation
The Gary & Katharina Szakmary Fund
Peter and Elizabeth C Tower Foundation
Utica National Insurance
Vogt Family Foundation
Warzala Family Charitable Fund
Watson Billings Family Foundation
George Weiss Revocable Trust
The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
Western New York Foundation
Williamsville East High School
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
Stuart and Joyce Angert
Bob and Mary Ann Budin
Patricia and David Clabeaux
John and Nicole Connelly
Michael W. Cropp, M.D.
Adrian F. & Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker
In honor of Charles G. Duffy Jr. and Virginia Leahy Duffy
John Mineo and Vicki Feine
Bill and Mary Gisel
Cheryl Jankowski, CPA
Bruce and Gail Johnstone
Judy Jack Lewis and Larry Lewis
Jeffrey C. and Cynthia M. Littmann
Lisa M. Mendonza, M.D.
Carl Montante, Sr.
Carl Montante, Jr.
Kathleen M. Mylotte, M.D.
John and Maria Pieroni
Roberta and Noah Rifkin
Seneca Diabetes Foundation
Dr. Zvi Sharf
Anthony Spada, Jr.
Ted and Ginna Walsh
Margaret and Bob Zak
Larry and Leslie Zielinski
Moving forward together
As the crisis continues to unfold, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund started the Moving Forward Together initiative ( formerly Build Back Better) by developing and supporting strategies focused on recovery efforts through collaborative systems work to address specific needs such as sourcing personal protective equipment for nonprofits and food security. We are committed to evaluating the evolving challenges and creating targeted initiatives to address the ongoing and long-term needs in our community.
REQUEST FOR IDEAS
The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund released a Request for Ideas (RFI) to seek out collaborative solutions from nonprofit leaders to address challenges our community is facing due to COVID-19, coupled with the persistent challenges of racial inequities.
FOOD Security Planning effort
Understanding that food security has been a major need during the COVID-19 crisis in our community, the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, along with other funders, is supporting a community-focused, regionally coordinated planning effort that will bring together stakeholders, representing diverse aspects and perspectives of the region’s food system, who will identify action steps to address acute hunger, and to change the entrenched, chronic conditions that have perpetuated long term food insecurity in Western New York and hurt food-based economic development or stunted food production growth.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
COVID-19 has profoundly impacted our daily lives — but it cannot change who we are or what our community stands for. By donating to WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, you are ensuring your support is addressing COVID-19 needs in our community through a coordinated effort and that each dollar is maximized.
Stay up to date on the work being done in Western New York thanks to the support of the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund and its generous donors by signing up for our mailing list.