Philadelphia works to help local nonprofits

Melissa Mitman

The City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey recently announced efforts to help local nonprofit organizations maintain their services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The PHL COVID-19 Fund is designed to provide aid for nonprofits who provide critical resources to high-risk people such as seniors, the disabled and homeless and those who are economically struggling. As confirmed cases of COVID-19 rapidly increase across the region—there are 644 cases in Pennsylvania as of Monday afternoon—it is inevitable that local nonprofits will see heightened demand for services and an increasing number of people seeking help.

“The pandemic is placing extraordinary stress on our city and region, particularly on already strained community organizations that help our most vulnerable residents, and we must work urgently to provide them with greater financial support,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement. “This is an unprecedented time demanding an unparalleled unified response.

“The Fund is a shining example of government, philanthropy, and business coming together to respond to the immediate demands of our community and adapt to this evolving challenge,” Kenney added. “If you have the means to give, I urge you to support our nonprofits serving residents who need it most.”

The region-wide collaboration will provide grants that allow organizations to continue providing life-saving resources such as food pantries and health services. Grants are aimed to help minimize costs, increase services and provide protective gear, among other necessary tasks.

Nonprofits in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania and Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties in New Jersey are eligible to apply for grants.

“Supporting the nonprofit organizations serving on the frontlines of our communities is vital to immediately provide assistance to our most vulnerable neighbors who are at risk and have the greatest needs. This fund is essential to getting resources in good and expert hands who have the power to help,” said Pedro Ramos, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation. “Equally important, it is emblematic of the collective will required to overcome the short- and long-term impact of COVID-19.”

The PHL COVID-19 Fund was created with $6.4 million in funding, alongside philanthropy, government and business partnerships and generous donations. Those interested in contributing can do so online at phlcovid19fund.org/covid-19/covid-19-response-fund/.

For additional information or to apply for a grant, visit PHLCOVID19Fund.org.

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