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A Message from Our President: Reflections on CFAAC’s Community Crisis Response Fund

Community Foundations across the country are serving a vital role in their local communities during the COVID -19 pandemic as they draw on their knowledge and established relationships to respond quickly and effectively to the unique challenges facing their neighborhoods, cities, and counties. In times of crisis, officials from local governments often rely on the leadership of their local community foundations to help provide critical resources where they are most needed. 

CFAAC's priority as a funder is to be responsive to the needs of our community. Through our collaborations with local nonprofits, the city, and county government, and generous donors, we were able to quickly identify those needs and react with a series of rapid response grants through our Community Crisis Response Fund.

Since March, CFAAC's Community Crisis Response Fund has been focused on providing resources to address food security and to support basic human needs in the neighborhoods of Anne Arundel County who are most affected by lost income and the threat to the health, safety, and security of the most vulnerable among us. Over the last three months, the fund has distributed 87 grants to 54 organizations that are providing essential services and direct support for items like food, diapers, formula, prescriptions, and more.  Click here to learn more about the cycle 3 grantees.

The Coronavirus health crisis continues to be one of the most challenging times in recent history. As a result, nonprofits serving vulnerable and underserved county residents have seen a surge in critical, immediate, and emergency needs. Some nonprofits have had to pivot their programs in order to adjust to the needs of the individuals they serve, some have developed new strategies to streamline and increase services to help as many people as they can, while others are faced with a growing fear about whether they will survive this stark new reality.

Through our Community Crisis Response Fund, CFAAC is committed to continuing this important grantmaking program as long as the need exists. But, one thing is certain, the needs in our community are immense and it will take the generosity of all of us to tackle the tough road ahead. Now is the time for all of us to give, and give generously, to support our local nonprofits.

For those of you asking the question, "how can I help?" Our answer is, Give, Volunteer, Advocate!

  • Continue to support the organizations that you care about directly. Giving now allows the staff and volunteers to spend their valuable time and resources serving our most vulnerable and underserved residents instead of crafting fundraising appeals or worrying about the fundraiser they had to postpone or cancel. 
  • If you normally support a particular project or initiative, consider making your gift unrestricted so organizations can better serve their clients without restrictions. 
  • Volunteer in your community by reaching out to local nonprofits to ask how you can best support them.   
  • Use your voice to advocate for the individuals and organizations that need our help. Share social media posts and information from your favorite nonprofits about the good works they are doing in your community. Be a voice for how people can help each other in this time of social distancing and tell people what you are doing to make a difference.

If you are still unsure how to help or what organizations you want to support, please consider making a donation to CFAAC's Community Crisis Response Fund. Your contribution will improve the lives of your neighbors, many of whom are now in need as a result of these uncertain economic times.

Together we can all do our part to support those who are relying on us now more than ever.

Mary Spencer
President & CEO, CFAAC


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