Danvers, MA — Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF), a nonprofit working to improve the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, is proud to announce the recipients of the first round of open application grants from our Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund.
The grants, which total $300,000 and are focused on healthcare and mental health, have been awarded to individual nonprofit organizations and nonprofit collaborations serving our most vulnerable residents, many of whom remain in crisis due to the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has been particularly detrimental to immigrants, communities of color, people living in poverty, senior citizens, people with disabilities and young people,” said Carol Lavoie Schuster, ECCF’s vice president for grants, nonprofit and donor services. “Particularly in the areas of health and mental health, the virus has uncovered and, in some cases, increased inequities in our systems.”
Lack of access to healthy food and telehealth technology, a disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 in communities of color, and an increase in the need for mental health and substance use disorder services are just a few of the issues that Essex County communities still face.
“The intention of this open grant cycle is to address these challenges in Essex County via the innovative work of the many front-line nonprofits serving the community,” said Lavoie Schuster.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors and partners, more than $5 million was awarded to nonprofits from the Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund from March through June. This support was in the form of rapid response grants that were unrestricted and responsive to basic needs arising from the pandemic. In July, ECCF announced that it would move to the open application cycle.
In the coming weeks, grants will be also be awarded to nonprofit organizations and collaborations working in the areas of Economic Security and Education and Youth. The application period for both impact areas have now closed.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in this COVID-19 world for nearly seven months now,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. “It’s been a trying experience that we won’t ever forget. But one of the silver linings in all of this is watching as people and organizations collaborate to find solutions to our challenges and get help to the people who need it most.”
The mission of Essex County Community Foundation is to inspire philanthropy that strengthens the communities of Essex County. We do this by managing charitable assets, strengthening and supporting nonprofits and engaging in strategic community leadership. Since 1998, ECCF and its family of more than 230 charitable funds have granted $85 million to nonprofits, schools and students in Essex County and beyond. Our ultimate goal is to have 34 thriving cities and towns in Essex County and to improve the quality of life for the region’s nearly 800,000 residents. Learn more at eccf.org.