HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville is proud to share the results of the collaborative efforts of our incredibly generous community. When the COVID crisis hit in March, the Community Foundation reactivated the Emergency Relief Fund, originally created following the tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011, to accept donations for COVID-19 relief efforts. Melissa Thompson, CEO and President of the Community Foundation, comments, “In times of crisis, as always, it takes a community of caring and committed members who will rise up to meet the challenges at hand. We live in such a community, and, together, we took decisive action to channel resources to meet needs.”
Community Foundation donors catalyzed the fundraising effort. Subsequent donations included a $50,000 matching donation from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama who wished to challenge donors and other local companies to raise $500,000 by May 5 with a Giving Tuesday Now campaign. So, in partnership with WAAY-TV and the Huntsville Madison County Chamber, the Take 5 to Give $5 giving campaign was launched and our community exceeded the goal and raised over $667,000 to support COVID relief efforts by the May 5 deadline.
Donations continued pouring in – from $5 to $100,000 – and the Emergency Relief Fund raised a total of $708,211.34 which was distributed through grants to 48 local nonprofit organizations providing basic needs and/or health and wellness relief efforts related to the COVID-19 situation. Over half of the grants distributed supported basic needs, which included programs like food distribution, childcare for essential workers, programs to support the homeless, support for vulnerable populations, and Personal Protective Equipment. To maximize the funds available to support local nonprofits, the Community Foundation waived all fees for managing the Emergency Relief Fund.
DIRECT RELIEF TO INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES
- The CARE Center: The CARE Center is providing citizens in its community with food assistance and financial crisis support.
- CASA of Madison County: CASA is providing non-perishable food items, dietary nutritional food supplements, household cleaning and disinfecting items, personal hygiene items, paper products, and grocery store gift cards for the aging and home bound.
- Catholic Center of Concern: Catholic Center of Concern is assisting residents who are confronted with emergency circumstances that caused financial hardship by providing assistance with utilities, rent, diapers/wipes, and life-threatening prescribed medications.
- Family Services Center: Family Services Center, through its LIFT Housing program, is offsetting the inability of clients to pay rent and/or cost sharing fees, to purchase food, personal hygiene items, infant supplies such as diapers, wipes and baby food/formula as a result of lost wages due to COVID-19.
- Huntsville Assistance Program (HAP): HAP, operating three locations across Madison County, is offering utility, rent/mortgage, and food assistance.
- Huntsville Utilities: Huntsville Utilities is providing emergency relief to customers unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing assistance for utility bill payments. Additionally, Huntsville Utilities is assisting homeless shelters with utilities during the summer months so they may direct more of their resources to the communities they serve.
- Lincoln Village: Lincoln Village is supporting the members of its community with assistance to purchase basic necessities including food, toiletries, and diapers and assisting with rent and utilities.
- Neighborhood Concepts: Neighborhood Concepts is providing rent and utility assistance to low-to-moderate income residents of its communities who have experienced a hardship directly related to COVID-19.
- The Salvation Army of Huntsville: The Salvation Army is providing onsite support, as well as rental assistance and utility assistance to families and individuals.
- WEDC: The WEDC Foundation is providing their Scholars with assistance with basic necessities and essential bills so that they can continue to focus on their schooling during the COVID-19 crisis.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
- American Red Cross: In order to continue securing adequate blood supplies, the American Red Cross is providing all frontline blood service staff and volunteers with protective masks.
- Community Free Dental Clinic: The Community Free Dental Clinic is providing PPE and sanitation supplies for use by the administrative and clinical staff who are serving uninsured adults in Madison County.
- HAPPI Health: HAPPI Health is providing access to health care including COVID screening, tele-health visits, mental health services and primary care service from newborn to adult as well as walk-in urgent care services.
- HEALS, Inc.: HEALS is keeping some of its clinics open so their patients are able to continue care and medications and keep them out of the ER.
- Huntsville Hospital Foundation: Huntsville Hospital Foundation is providing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for the safety of employees who provide care for all of us.
- Mission Driven Ministries: Huntsville Fighting COVID: The volunteer Huntsville Fighting COVID team of over 500 has provided over 18,000 face shields to hospitals, medical offices, and first responders.
- New Hope Children’s Clinic: New Hope Children’s Clinic is providing telehealth appointments with patients and their parents/guardians in addition to well-check appointments and vaccines with an emphasis on keeping patients out of the ER.
- Partnership for a Drug-Free Community: Partnership for a Drug-Free Community’s Recovery Resource Hub is offering virtual recovery support meetings and is providing virtual state assessments.
- Thrive Alabama: Thrive Alabama is providing telehealth capabilities to make sure their patients’ health needs are taken care of in a safe and protected environment.
FOOD & BASIC NEEDS
- 305 8th Street: 305 8th Street is providing relief and care of its residents by ensuring a safe environment for its disabled adult residents and their caretakers.
- Aldersgate United Methodist Church: Aldersgate’s Food Distribution Program is feeding those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ALS Association Alabama Chapter: The ALS Association is supporting patients with grocery and medical supplies, as well as telehealth equipment.
- Arc of Madison County: The Arc of Madison County is providing Personal Protective Equipment, as well as hand sanitizer, thermometers, and cleaning supplies to better care for their residents who are individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Asbury Church: Asbury Church’s Food Pantry is providing food bags to those experiencing food insecurity during the school shutdown.
- AshaKiran: AshaKiran is providing emergency residential and non-residential support and PPE.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Alabama: Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Alabama is ensuring that kids stay connected to their mentors by providing PPE and supplies to their mentors and mentees.
- Boys and Girls Club: Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama is providing and now delivering twice as many fresh meals and snacks to children in their service neighborhoods.
- Crisis Services: Crisis Services is providing life-saving services such as shelter, basic needs, and forensic exams for domestic violence victims (DV); crisis counseling and intervention for sexual and DV victims; HELPline support for those experiencing mental health and other crises; and 2-1-1 information/referrals to basic needs and health and human services.
- Downtown Rescue Mission: Downtown Rescue Mission is providing a clean indoor shelter, showers, and food to help the homeless population avoid this virus and limit spreading it to others.
- First Stop, Inc.: First Stop is ensuring the health and safety of their homeless clients through the addition of portable bathroom facilities, while also continuing to offer needed services.
- Food Bank: The Food Bank is continuing to distribute food to people in need in Madison County through their network of partners and via drive-through mobile pantries.
- Friends, Inc.: Friends, Inc. is using laptops and scheduling software to be able to work remotely while still providing services for its clients.
- Greater Huntsville Humane Society: The Greater Huntsville Humane Society’s King’s Community Kitchen is serving low income families in the Huntsville area by assisting them with pet food in times of need.
- Heart of the Valley YMCA
- Essential Employee Child Care Program: The Heart of the Valley YMCA is providing safe, quality childcare services in their branches for essential personnel, like medical staff and first responders, to allow them to continue to treat and serve our community.
- YMCA Mobile Feeding Program: The Heart of the Valley YMCA is providing meals for children and families in Madison, Marshall, and Morgan Counties through their Mobile Feeding Program.
- Huntsville Inner City Learning Center: Huntsville Inner City Learning Center is providing grocery store gift cards to the families of their students to help cover the cost of extra meals and snacks while their summer program is closed.
- Kids to Love: Kids to Love Foundation is supporting the immediate needs of foster kids and their families during COVID-19 with weekly food box distribution and basic needs.
- The Legacy Center: The Legacy Center is providing support for older adults by offering essential services, such as grocery and food delivery.
- Madison City Schools: Madison City Schools is providing washable/reusable protection masks for their plant operations and custodial teams.
- Madison County 310 Board: The Madison County 310 Board is serving individuals with intellectual disabilities who are in need of basic essential supplies to ensure their health and safety.
- Manna House: Manna House is providing food, meals, hygiene, and baby items both at their location and through deliveries to those in need.
- New Futures, Inc.: New Futures is supporting homeless families who need a shelter that keeps them together.
- Patricia Haley Charity: Patricia Haley Charity, through its Project Stop Gap, is assisting cancer clients by providing safe transportation to chemotherapy and radiation appointments so as to minimize their need for public transportation.
- Rose of Sharon, Inc.: The Rose of Sharon is providing monthly food boxes to our under-served community, while partnering with other organizations to provide food assistance to foster children, foster families and rehabilitation patients.
- Serving Hope: Serving Hopes is preparing and delivering over 5,000 meals and snacks daily through the Boys and Girls Club.
- Society of St. Andrew: The Society of St. Andrew, through the Alabama Gleaning Network, is rescuing fresh produce by harvesting fields and securing large loads of produce that are distributed to local hunger relief agencies for those they serve via food boxes and feeding programs.
- Victory World Outreach Ministries Food Bank: The Victory World Outreach Ministries Food Pantry is supporting families in need of food assistance.
After concluding the final meeting of the Emergency Relief Fund Grants Committee, Ann Kvach, Program Officer of the Community Foundation, says, “What a humbling opportunity to have a front row seat to our community’s incredible generosity and the tireless nonprofit leaders helping those most in need.”
In times of crisis, as always, the Community Foundation remains committed to helping donors be generous, whatever that may look like for them. Now more than ever, this community needs the collective power of generosity to meet our most pressing needs. We are indeed stronger together.