United Way, Community Foundation of Marquette step up with response fund
By JACKIE JAHFETSON
Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE — Two organizations are stepping up to provide a swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing a response fund to support nonprofits that are serving the most vulnerable populations at this time.
The Community Foundation of Marquette County and United Way of Marquette County are teaming up with the COVID-19 Community Response Fund after both organizations received calls from donors who wanted to help out, Community Foundation of Marquette County CEO Gail Anthony said.
The two partners set up the response fund as a pass-through fund, where the funding will be “received and distributed not endowed,” Anthony said.
The first round of donations came from Eagle Mine, which contributed $10,000. Then Meijer donated $13,000, Anthony noted, adding the organization’s Facebook page has also been raising funds.
The Superior Health Foundation is also participating in the committee and considering a donation.
“This fund will support the nonprofits who are serving vulnerable populations during this challenging time,” Anthony said. “… This whole pandemic thing is new to all of us. We are sheltered in place, watching scary newscasts and wondering what we can do to help. My Facebook friends are sewing masks, checking on their neighbors and washing their hands a little compulsively. If you are wondering what we can do to help those who need it the most, this is it. Help two of your most trusted local nonprofit organizations who have been around for decades, provide assistance to the most vulnerable among us. It takes just a few minutes to go online and give or write a check and mail it. We promise to make these precious charitable resources count.”
Organizations eligible to receive funding for charitable purposes are nonprofits, schools, churches and municipalities. Any nonprofit organization impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is welcome to apply, Anthony explained.
The committee will review grant applications weekly on Wednesdays. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Mondays to be reviewed at the Wednesday meeting.
The committee is working to set up processes to ensure speedy delivery of those needed resources, Anthony said.
Officials are limiting the request to $2,000 to focus on taking care of the immediate needs related to the pandemic for the next several weeks and preparing for an extended response, United Way of Marquette County Executive Director Andrew Rickauer said.
The United Way and community foundation are experienced in raising funds and giving back to the community, Rickauer said, adding that United Way acts as the “checkbook” while the community foundation is more like the “savings account.”
“This is new to all of us. The United Way and Community Foundation (of Marquette County) started the fund and grant process to help bring the community together to really help our neighbors out during a time of crisis. We are all in this together and we will get through it,” Rickauer said. “The Superior Health Foundation, Eagle Mine and Meijer have all really stepped up to help out. These funds are going to help get basic household supplies, food, sanitizing supplies and caregiving supplies to agencies that will then distribute it (to) hose with the greatest need right now. If you are someone in need then please reach out to the appropriate agency for help and if you are in a position to help then please go online to CFOFMC.org to donate to the fund now. Everyone coming together for support is really (what) make(s) this community so amazing.”
To get involved, visit cfofmc.org and click the donate button for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund or follow the link found on each of their Facebook pages — Community Foundation or United Way. To send a donation, mail a check to community foundation at 228 W. Washington St., Marquette, Michigan 49855.
Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at .