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COVID-19 Community Response Fund Reaches $1 Million in Donations!

In an incredible show of generosity and selflessness at a time of unthinkable challenges, generous individuals, businesses and organizations donated more than $1 million to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. In addition, the fund, established by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities, has awarded $554,500 in grants to 49 local nonprofit organizations.

“Here we are, almost two months after the fund launched, and we’re moved by the astonishing response by hundreds of individuals, businesses and organizations, during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Curt Detjen, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “To say we are grateful on behalf of the nonprofits across the Fox Valley Region doesn’t even begin to express how we feel. Truly remarkable.”

“We want to extend our sincere gratitude to the community for stepping up during this crisis and supporting the critical work of our nonprofits through the COVID-19 Community Response Fund,” said Peter C. Kelly, President and CEO at United Way. “Many nonprofits are being forced to make very difficult decisions—reducing hours, reducing staff, or even closing at a time people need their services most. To date, the incredible generosity to the fund has made it possible to sustain services that provide our neighbors, friends, and family with essentials like safe shelter, nutritious food, quality child care, and life-enhancing mental health supports. It is truly heartwarming to see the outpouring of support.”

“AZCO, as part of the Burns & McDonnell family of companies, has a long history of giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” said J. Brett Williams, President of AZCO Inc. “We are honored to support the Community Response Fund during these trying times knowing it will serve those who have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Our community and country remain strong and we look forward to helping rebuild the local economy in the months to come.”

Check out Curt and Peter’s celebration video here:

Donors step up for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund

Since the Community Foundation and United Way established the fund on March 17 with $50,000 each, many individuals, businesses and organizations have stepped up very generously to contribute $1,036,139. Check out our updated donor recognition page.

The needs of local nonprofit organizations are and will continue to be significant during the public health crisis and beyond. Ongoing donations to the fund, as well as direct donations to nonprofit organizations from individuals with a passion for specific organizations and causes, are critical now and during the weeks and months to come.

Eight more nonprofits receive grants

Eight more nonprofits were recently awarded $101,000 in grants to assist their efforts as they respond to the unfolding public health emergency, bringing the total to date to $554,500 granted to 49 local nonprofit organizations.

Currently granting is focused on the Fox Valley region’s most vulnerable populations and the nonprofit organizations providing urgent basic needs support such as safe shelter, food, childcare, health and financial assistance in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties.

Grants will be awarded on an ongoing basis and listed on our grants recipients page.

Financial Assistance

World Relief Fox Valley – A $5,000 grant will help the organization meet urgent basic needs of refugees and immigrants in Appleton, Menasha and Neenah.


Us 2 Behavioral Health Care – A $15,000 grant will help the Appleton-based organization continue providing therapy to Fox Cities area residents using a culture-first approach to trauma-informed care.

Hope Clinic and Care Center – The Menasha-based clinic will use a $10,000 grant to continue providing uninsured and underinsured people in the Fox Cities with free healthcare support during the Covid-19 crisis.

Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan – A $10,000 grant will help its counseling clinic in Appleton continue to provide essential services via telehealth.


Child Care Resource and Referral – The organization, which supports the quality and accessibility of early childhood education and care, will use a $5,000 grant to purchase urgently needed supplies for childcare programs serving essential workers in Calumet, Outagamie, Waupaca and the Neenah/Menasha area of Winnebago counties.


Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and St. Joeseph Food Program – A $50,000 grant supports the Fox Valley Food Partnership Project, a joint effort led by the two organizations, which includes food and personal safety purchases, and coordination of drive-thru and home delivery distribution methods.

Shepherd’s Watch Community Center – A $1,000 grant will provide food for the pantry and meals on wheels service for people living in the Mattoon, Birnamwood and Aniwa areas of Shawano County.

Vulnerable Populations

Bridge the Gap – The organization, which assists families with youth, teens and adults on the autism spectrum in Shawano County, will use a $5,000 grant to provide food for its adult, middle and elementary school life skills programs.

How to donate to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund:

The Community Foundation is waiving all credit card and administrative fees for this fund. Every dollar donated into the fund will be put into action in the community.

To donate online, please visit our donations page.
Checks can be made payable to the Community Foundation/COVID-19 and mailed to Community Foundation, 4455 W. Lawrence St., Appleton, WI 54914.

About the COVID-19 Community Response Fund granting approach:

The fund supports local nonprofit and other community organizations engaging in response and recovery efforts in Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago counties impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The fund’s current granting is addressing immediate basic needs for people who are disproportionately affected by the crisis.

In order to move resources quickly and not further burden nonprofit organizations, there is not a formal application process. Nonprofits providing immediate basic needs relief can email United Way to share their needs so they can be considered during the granting process.

As the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities will continue to assess the granting approach as the grants committee continues to meet on a weekly basis to understand needs and make decisions.

We invite you to donate now to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. You can also learn about who has given to the fund, the fund’s grant recipients, and check out our latest news and updates.

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