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Georgia Nonprofit NEWS | COVID-19 Response Edition

The latest updates from our members and partners, highlighting the ways you have adapted to help Georgia meet the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak. Of course, we realize it is impossible to catalog all of the incredible work our members are doing, so please reach out to let us know what we’ve missed.

Also note that all non-outbreak-related news has been held until the next edition. (Sign up here to make sure you get it!)

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GCN announcements

COVID-19 response
To unite the state in service, GCN has helped create a nonprofit COVID-19 task force, with members from the nonprofit, government, business, and philanthropy collaborating in two working groups: 1) Vulnerable populations and service coordination, and 2) Strategies to strengthen regional nonprofit sectors. Look for progress reports in future newsletters.

GCN is keeping all of our outbreak-related resources centralized and up-to-date here, including webinar replays, funding opportunities, legislative updates, and more.

State budget call-to-action
In the face of a historic revenue shortfall for the State, GCN and the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute are encouraging all nonprofits to reach out to their representatives and let them know what your work means, and the State funding you need protected in order to remain effective. Read more about the stakes and the steps you can take.

    Welcome, new GCN members!

Nonprofit University discounts
Right now, you can get 30% off any individual NU class in May by using the discount code learning30. And next month, you’ll be able to take advantage of any individual NU class for just $25 each! Find out about all our upcoming events here.

GAgives on #GivingTuesdayNow
With all our hard work, and the generosity of donors, businesses, media partners, and other nonprofit allies across the state, we raised more than $1.25 million dollars from 7,800-plus donors during our special May 5th GAgives of #GivingTuesdayNow event. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who participated!

Achievements & Impact

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (CFGA) and United Way of Greater Atlanta (UWGA) established a COVID-19 response fund in March with $1.5 million in seed funding, and have distributed $17.3 million among 320 nonprofits through five rounds of grants. Among the fund’s major contributors: The Coca-Cola Company, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, donating $5 million each; the Truist Foundation, donating $1 million; Wells Fargo and Gas South, donating $250,000 each; The Primerica Foundation, donating $50,000; and 11Alive and the TEGNA Foundation, donating $25,000.

◄ FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children) is distributing medical supplies to health centers around the state, drawing from their own inventory and supplier donations; they’ve also partnered with businesses and organizations (including GEMA) to manage distribution of their donated supplies. FODAC’s deliveries include 5,000 N95 masks and more than $1 million in respiratory equipment, including ventilators.

Gateway Center partnered with Mercy Care and the CDC to test 1,300 residents and staff at Atlanta’s six largest shelters, and have been visiting the city’s homeless encampments to explain the risks of COVID-19, connect people with health services, and provide PPE.

Cobb Community Foundation has awarded $30,000 in grants to three Cobb organizations through their response fund, and have established Operation Meal Plan to pair restaurants with nonprofits to help provide meals and keep restaurant workers working.

The Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation announced the first round of grants through their emergency response fund, going to 13 organizations and totalling $100,000; additional funding will be announced in the coming weeks.

Since the WHO declared a global emergency, MedShare has donated more than $1.3 million in aid to clinics and hospitals around the world; in Georgia, they’ve donated more than 156,000 pieces of PPE to 26 Georgia organizations, including Atlanta’s Whitefoord.

Whitefoord added a non-crisis “Teen Thrive Line” in order to provide young Atlantans with emotional support and resources; they are also conducting drive-thru COVID-19 testing for those experiencing symptoms. They have also kept two school-based health centers open for time-sensitive infant immunizations and dental emergencies.

► The Atlanta Police Foundation is providing COVID-19 testing, health monitoring, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and medical staff; with their partners at CHRIS 180, they have kept their Westside At-Promise center open to provide meals and counseling.

CHRIS 180 is also distributing meals on the Southside and Eastside of Atlanta, deploying community health workers to visit clients in their homes, connecting clients with housing assistance resources, and hosting live, weekly sessions on social media with behavioral health experts, while continuing individual counseling via telehealth and in person.

In four rounds of grants, the response fund of the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area and United Way of the CSRA has distributed a total of $696,000 in grants to 23 nonprofits; among the fund’s sponsors are the Georgia Power Foundation, the Truist Foundation, and the Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation.

The Centers for Disease Control Foundation and Microsoft provided $1 million in seed money for the new Global Health Crisis Coordination Center, launched to assist in immediate pandemic response; programmatic partners include MedShare and the Task Force for Global Health.

Georgia’s Own Foundation was selected by the City of Atlanta to administer a $1.5 million fund providing relief for the City’s hourly contract employees, in the form of one-time, tax-free $2,000 grants.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has raised nearly $3.7 million for their COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, and has distributed more than $850,000 to date.

Jewish Family & Career Services is meeting a 300% increase in financial assistance requests and a 10-fold increase in food distribution needs through their Emergency Assistance Program, funded in part by the Jewish Federation ($220,000) and the CFGA/UWGA ($200,000). They have also launched a “telephone reassurance” service for older adults and new support groups via Zoom, including Parenting in a Pandemic, LGBTQ Support, and College Transitions.

GEEARS (Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students) has convened an Atlanta-wide network called the Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive alliance, which includes a fund administered by Quality Care for Children to aid the city’s child care providers with grants of up to $20,000 (supported by the UWGA, the Blank Foundation, and others). They’ve also compiled a list of financial support opportunities for Georgia childcare providers.

Quality Care for Children is working with the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning to provide enhanced child care referral for those working in healthcare, grocery and drug stores, and the government, including first responders. (Call 1-877-255-4254 for service.)

YMCA of Metro Atlanta turned its branch locations into childcare facilities for frontline and essential workers, and is welcoming almost 2,000 children daily; they’ve also launched a new Operation R.E.A.C.H. program to support vulnerable Metro residents. 

To keep Georgians informed and advocating, Voices for Georgia’s Children has put together a COVID-19 response and policy dashboard addressing a wide range of issues, including child care, food access, housing and utilities, TANF, and more.

Music in Common launched the Amplify Together campaign, inviting people to post videos of themselves covering songs written by youth from across the globe for their JAMMS program, featuring messages of hope, healing, and unity.

In three rounds of grants, the North Georgia Community Foundation has distributed nearly $340,000 in relief funds among 26 nonprofits.

Fifth Third Foundation announced an $8.75 million commitment to help communities fight COVID-19, including $3.25 million for outbreak response assistance and $5.5 million for long-term sustainability.

Among other measures, Wells Fargo announced that it will increase its charitable donations to $175 million for the year to support stability in food, shelter, small businesses, and housing, as well as public health.

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) is active in several working groups to help State lawmakers make decisions that will benefit those hardest-hit (in terms of housing, healthcare, education, and other issues) and to advocate for taking steps to make up lost revenue in the face of steeply falling revenue.

The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) has increased weekly food distribution by more than 40 percent, for a total of 2 million pounds in the last week of April; they’re replacing lost school meals at 20-plus distribution sites, identifying pockets of unmet need for mobile distribution, and equipping Georgians to find food through a new text-based pantry locator. The ACFB has also distributed $135,000 in emergency grants to its partner network.

In the first week following school closures, MUST Ministries served food boxes to 3,750 families, more than double its average for a typical month; since March 17, they’ve provided 227,164 meals to 31,961 people and housed 300 people in emergency shelter and housing

◄ Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta distributed 100 laptops to teenagers across the city, and is also providing teens online mentorship, workshops for SAT/ACT prep, and guidance for applying to jobs, colleges, and student financial aid.

Kate’s Club is online providing therapeutic and recreational activities for all ages, support meetings for teens and adults, YouTube “read alongs,” Camp Good Mourning experiences, volunteer training, and social gatherings for staff and volunteers.

Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network launched a Client Empowerment Fund to help their beneficiaries with emergency needs during the outbreak, supported in part by a donation from Ormewood Church. 

To provide farmers with direct relief of up to $1,000 per person, The Farmer Fund was launched by Georgia Organics, Wholesome Wave Georgia, Community Farmers Markets, Food Well Alliance, and Global Growers Network, with funding from the Blank Foundation, The Zeist Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, and others. They are also hosting farmers markets online (here and here) featuring no-contact pick-up.

To further support farmers, plus restaurant and healthcare workers, Georgia Organics has also launched Farm to Frontline, using 12 repurposed commercial kitchens to prepare 3,400 meals per week for frontline healthcare workers.

In addition, Food Well Alliance is offering assistance to farmers and community gardens in the form of short-term labor and wage assistance; tools, equipment, and mechanical work; and compost, seeds, and seedlings. As part of a Bucket Brigade program, they recently worked with Metro Atlanta Urban Farm to prepare 150 “bucket gardens” for food-insecure East Point-area families.

Wholesome Wave Georgia has also distributed $20,000 in Walmart gift cards to East Point residents to be spent on fresh produce, and have helped more than 200 households apply for SNAP benefits since March 16 – more than their total for 2019.

Atlanta Audubon Society has produced a collection of digital resources for birdwatching from home, including webinars, virtual bird walks, and activity sheets aimed at adults and children.

Georgia CORE has launched a weekly online meditation program for cancer patients and others called Compassion and Connection: A Meditation Series.

Bearings Bike Shop has been responding to the specific needs of their participants, including creating and distributing “care packages” of educational activities and family games; conducting meal and grocery deliveries; and providing laptops for families.  

Atlanta Pride Committee is producing new online event series with their partners, including Drag Queen Story Hour with Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

► The volunteer pilots of Angel Flight Soars are flying COVID-19 test specimens daily, free of charge, to laboratories in Charlotte, N.C. and Nashville daily, cutting transportation times in half.

On April 17, 100 Black Men of Atlanta hosted a virtual town hall on COVID-19 and the African American community, featuring leaders from government, faith, financial, and medical organizations to discuss the impacts of the crisis and share up-to-date information. 

Atlanta Children’s Shelter established a fund to support families’ pressing needs, including emergency rent and utility assistance, food, disinfecting supplies, MARTA cards, and mental health counseling; and their Early Childhood Education team deployed an online learning curriculum, providing tablets and laptops for every family in the program.

Catholic Charities Atlanta has provided clients with food and other supplies via no-contact deliveries, disseminated language-appropriate resources, and helped clients apply for public benefits over the phone.

Just People created a no-cost grocery store where clients can “shop” for toiletries, frozen and canned food, snacks, drinks, and staples like bread, milk, and fresh produce.

Real Life Center is currently reaching some 320 families weekly with drive-through food assistance – more than two-and-a-half times the number they typically serve this time of year.

Action Ministries expanded its child feeding programs and added new prevention and housing services, including COVID-19 testing for clients and staff; at one April 28 event, volunteers packed 1,200 food boxes and loaded them for distribution.

Nicholas House has expanded rental support  and turned their afterschool program into an all-day camp so parents can continue to work while schools are closed.

North Fulton Community Charities has kept its food pantry open and accessible with an online ordering process and drive-through pickup, and increased financial assistance disbursements 145% compared to the previous year.

Sheltering Arms continues to secure and distribute diapers, formula, and hygiene items with help from their new Family Emergency Fund, and is providing learning and family engagement programs online.

HOPE Atlanta is providing health screening and meals for those experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations, plus safe and isolated shelter (including hygiene products and private bathrooms) for those who are homeless and at high risk for, or have been exposed to, COVID-19. 

Inspiritus is providing rent and utilities assistance, food, and supplies for families, and laptops for students; they’re also helping their Disability Services clients in Northwest Georgia start their own gardens to help them access healthy food, reduce stress, and stay active.

LaAmistad is holding weekly calls with families to determine specific needs and connect them with resources, and using their new programming bus to deliver school meals in North Atlanta.

Meals on Wheels Atlanta tripled its production during the first week of the crisis, and is now producing 4,000 meals per day.

To keep up with demand at their Carver Market community grocery, Focused Community Strategies leased a refrigerated truck to make extra trips to their supplier, implemented a 2-for-1 deal on produce for those using SNAP benefits, and started a campaign asking donors to purchase $50 bags of groceries; in the campaign’s first few days, 150 bags were purchased and distributed throughout South Atlanta.

HealthMPowers launched a virtual learning site with videos, lesson plans, and activities to encourage physical activity, nutrition, and hygiene at home.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy Education Team is releasing new online educational resources daily, each including an at-home activity.

This roundup was sourced from member and partner submissions, as well as their websites, newsletters, and social media channels; the Coxe Curry & Associates Week in Review newsletter; and GCN staff.

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