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Local Funders Collaborate for COVID-19 Response

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) and the Sisters Health Foundation (SHF) are partnering to help local agencies respond to community needs related to COVID-19.  The SHF recently awarded $25,000 to the PACF’s Safety Net Fund to enable joint response to priority needs in the region.  The PACF will match this gift 1:1.

This funding will be used to address food access and distribution, the needs of the senior population, and needs related to mental health and addiction. Agencies addressing these needs and who serve individuals impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to contact Marian Clowes at the PACF to discuss their need for support.

“We are grateful to be able to work smarter together in partnership with the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation,” said Renee Steffen, SHF’s Executive Director.  “It is great to see so many organizations working together during this time and this partnership is an extension of that community spirit.”

The PACF’s Safety Net Fund is designed to support the basic and emergency needs of our region’s citizens.  Individuals who would like to help the Foundation respond to both the short-term and long-term needs of our community are encouraged to donate to support the Foundation’s Safety Net Fund.  Donations may be made online at www.pacfwv.com/Donate or by mailing a check payable to “PACF” to PO Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102-1762.  The PACF will be proactively distributing these funds in our community to meet priority needs as they arise.

“We are fortunate here in the Mid-Ohio Valley to have long-term partnerships among foundations that have enabled us to respond more effectively to community needs,” said Judy Sjostedt, PACF’s Executive Director. “This new partnership between the PACF and the SHF will enable both foundations to respond more efficiently in this time when it is critical to deploy resources quickly and flexibly.”

COVID-19: How the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation is Helping

As permanent public charitable grantmakers, community foundations are built to go the distance at a time like the present.  Locally, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) is mobilizing to support nonprofits and communities in the region during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our key role right now is to identify local needs and gaps in funding, and to assemble and apply funds where they are most critically needed to relieve distress in our area,”  said Judy Sjostedt, PACF’s Executive Director.  “In addition to working in concert with other funders and nonprofits, we’ve reached out directly to our local donor partners to ask for their help.  We’ve received great support already but will be continuously working to assure that sufficient funds are ready to help throughout the duration of this crisis given its significant impact in our region.”

Working in partnership with area funders and donors, the PACF is actively contacting regional nonprofits to assess COVID-19 impact on their clients and communities and identifying ways to respond to the needs.  One such need quickly arose recently with seniors being advised to stay home.  The PACF, in partnership with the Sisters Health Foundation, swiftly awarded a $5,600 grant to the Wood County Senior Citizens Association to assist them with supplies needed to provide nurtitious meals to seniors in the area who are isolated in their homes.

“We are fortunate in our community to have strong partnerships between local foundations and our donors,” said Marian Clowes, PACF’s Associate Director for Community Leadership.  “We share community needs as we hear of them with other partners and are often able to jointly respond.  The grant to the Wood County Senior Citizens Association is one of what we anticipate will be many shared efforts to respond to community needs related to COVID-19.”

Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to share their needs related to how the COVID-19 virus is impacting the lives of their clients or the sustainability of their services for their clients by emailing the PACF at marian.clowes@pacfwv.com.

Individuals who would like to help the Foundation respond to both the short-term and long-term needs of our community are encouraged to make a donation to support the Foundation’s Safety Net Fund (supports basic and emergency needs) and/or Hunger Fund (addresses food insecurity for local people).  Donations may be made online at www.pacfwv.com/Donate or by mailing a check payable to “PACF” to PO Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102-1762.  The PACF will be proactively distributing these funds in our community to meet priority needs as they arise.

“While COVID-19 has temporarily changed how we at the PACF accomplish business on a daily basis, it has only reinforced our commitment to serve the citizens of our Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Sjostedt.  “As the situation evolves, we are continuously evaluating where our efforts and resources can do the most good.  We are very thankful for the wonderful partnership with our many donor partners whose support makes everything that we are able to do possible. We’re here to help for the long-term.”

Grants in Action: Salvation Army of Parkersburg

Through support from a $15,000 PACF grant, the kitchen at the Salvation Army of Parkersbrug now features three new energy efficient commercial appliances - a stove, a dishwasher, and a garbage disposal. Since January, the Salvation Army has served 6,000+ meals prepared with the new kitchen equipment.

"Purchasing the new stove with the griddle has greatly increased the menu options for breakfast," said Shirley Smith with the Salvation Army. "Prior to the new stove, our cook would have never attempted french toast or pancakes for a large group. Now, these are popular items for breakfast."
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