CFWC establishes COVID-19 relief fund to assist local organizations

By JASMINE STEVERSON JSTEVERSON@DDTONLINE.COM,

True to its philanthropic form even in the most unpredictable of times, the Community Foundation of Washington County (CFWC) has established the COVID-19 Community Relief Fund under the umbrella at the Community Foundation. 

CFWC executive director Terri Lane shared through this fund, the CFWC will be working harmoniously with their network of local and regional nonprofit organizations and faith-based institutions to provide services and meet the immediate and long-term needs of residents of Washington County brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We really felt that it was important to step into this space and provide donors an accountable, transparent place to make donations to support our home community in this time of need,” Lane said.

The extraordinary aspect of the fund is the CFWC has stepped up and issued a $10,000 challenge match where they have committed to match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000, according to Lane.

“This will allow the donor to get a two-for-one deal and allow us to really be able to do some significant work in supporting our local and regional nonprofit partners in the service work that they’re doing to help our neighbors and residents here in Washington County,” Lane explained.

Several organizations around the county instantly “rolled up its sleeves” and began doing the hard work of filling those voids of school districts, retail stores and even restaurants.

“It’s been really awesome to see that folks are stepping up,” Lane said, noting even small businesses and other entities are contributing to help those in need such as Beth Giachelli Photography and 9.15 Floral Designs & Gifts owned by Niki Henry.

Lane said Giachelli went out this weekend and did front door sessions and took pictures of people at their front doors; Giachelli asked as charge for the photography service, a donation to a charity that was special to them.

Henry began selling red ribbons to members of the community to show community spirit and unity while facing the COVID-19 pandemic and a portion of those proceeds are being donated to the CFWC fund as well as the proceeds from Giachelli’s front door sessions. 

“It’s really good to see even small businesses still up and running doing the work they do in the community, serving the community and actually take that next step and encourage our businesses, our individuals and our faith-based institutions to take a further step and contribute to this fund, which will be turned around and used to serve our community,” an optimistic Lane said. “It’s always amazing when organizations find value in what you’re doing and find ways to build on that.”

With the CFWC matching each dollar, Lane said those funds will add up and give the CFWC the ability to support groups like Hearty Helpings Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul,  Meals on Wheels and other organizations which the CFWC may not even be aware of yet.