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Local couple: “We know a lot of people are in need right now.”

Posted on Jun 3, 2020, by

Alan Blake knows from the inside why he can trust the Community Foundation and United Way Fox Cities to do the right thing in helping people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blake, a retired bank executive, has been a volunteer on committees for both organizations.

“We were encouraged and grateful that both the Community Foundation and United Way stepped up to offer this option,” Blake says of the gift he and his wife, Sharon, made to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

Alan and Sharon Blake

Individuals, businesses and organizations have donated more than $1 million to the fund since it was established in mid-March with $50,000 grants each from both the United Way and Community Foundation. The fund so far has awarded $707,500 to 59 nonprofit organizations to help them through the financial upheaval caused by steps taken to reduce the chances of disease transmission.

A Shawano Boys and Girls Club food distribution program, the St. Joseph Food Program in Appleton, the Apricity organization that helps people with substance use disorders and the social services provider LEAVEN are examples of nonprofits being helped to get through these tough times.

“It’s a very challenging time in our community,” Blake says. “We know a lot of people are in need right now.”

Why give through the fund rather than supporting particular favorite charities? Blake points out it doesn’t have to be an either-or choice. He and Sharon gave to favorite charities and donated to the fund to cover needs they are not as close to.

“We have many very well-run nonprofits in the community. They are professionals at helping people in need,” Blake says, and the Community Foundation, in turn, is tuned in to the needs of nonprofits.

“We have great confidence in the work done by the Community Foundation and United Way, their staffs and their whole volunteer networks, to make excellent decisions regarding community needs. Thank you, Community Foundation and United Way for starting this fund.”


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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