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WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund issues grants totaling $4.5 Million to 74 “Essential” Nonprofits

The mess at hand has everyone reeling, including the non-profit community. These are many of the same non-profits that are always there for us, whether it’s addressing food and shelter issues, providing for the community’s health and wellness needs, or taking care of our children.

In response to the financial hit that the philanthropic community is currently facing, a series of grants are being issued via the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.

The sum of the grants is $4.5 million, which will be disbursed among 74 organizations. It is important to note that these funds are being issued a mere two weeks from the time that the Community Response Fund was initially put in place; the response time ensures that these stalwart organizations will experience some financial relief and fortification at a time when they need it most.

The non-profits benefitting from this particular grant funding are ones that are deemed essential organizations – the ones that are on the front lines providing food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation, and other emergency services. The grants are designed to complement public sector funds, according to those behind the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

Anyone is welcome to join the effort and donate to the Fund through the website –

The following nonprofit organizations received a grant from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund:

  • Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development
  • Arc of Genesee Orleans (Meals on Wheels)
  • BestSelf Behavioral Health
  • Boys & Girls Clubs Collaborative
  • Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network
  • Buffalo Urban League
  • CAO of Western New York
  • Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties Project Head Start
  • Cattaraugus Community Action
  • Cattaraugus County Dept. of Aging (Meals on Wheels Fund)
  • Cazenovia Recovery Systems
  • CCNY
  • Child & Family Services of Erie County
  • Child Care Coalition of the Niagara Frontier
  • Christ Church Community Kitchen
  • City Mission Society, Inc.
  • Community Action of Orleans & Genesee
  • Community Health Center of Buffalo
  • Community Missions of Niagara Frontier
  • CoNECT (Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo)
  • Crisis Services
  • Cuba Cultural Center
  • Directions in Independent Living
  • Empower (United Cerebral Palsy Assoc. of Niagara County)
  • Erie Regional Housing Develop. (Belle Center)
  • Evergreen Health
  • Every Bottom Covered
  • Family Help Center
  • Feed Buffalo
  • FeedMore WNY
  • Friends of Night People
  • Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern, Inc.
  • Harvest House of South Buffalo
  • Health Association of Niagara County (HANCI)
  • Healthy Community Alliance
  • Heart Love & Soul
  • Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action, Inc.
  • Horizon Health Services
  • Jericho Road Community Health Center
  • Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County
  • Journey’s End Refugee Services
  • Kendall Community Food Cupboard Corp.
  • Learning Disabilities Association of WNY
  • Life Impact (Resurrection Life Food Pantry)
  • Lt. Col. Matt Urban HSC of WNY
  • Metro Community Develop. Corp.
  • Mid-Erie Mental Health Services (Endeavor Health Services)
  • Native American Community Services
  • Neighborhood Health Center
  • Niagara Community Action Program, Inc.
  • Northpointe Council
  • NYS Network for Youth Success
  • Olmsted Center for Sight
  • Open Buffalo (Seeding Resilience Initiative)
  • Parkside Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • PUSH Buffalo
  • Restoration Society
  • Safety-Net Assoc. of Primary Care Affiliated Providers
  • Save the Michaels of the World
  • Say Yes Buffalo
  • Spectrum Health and Human Services
  • The Dale Association
  • The Rural Outreach Center
  • The Salvation Army – Olean Corps.
  • The Salvation Army (Erie County)
  • The Salvation Army (Niagara County)
  • Valley Community Assoc.
  • Western New York Independent Living
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative
  • YMCA Buffalo Niagara
  • YMCA of the Twin Tiers
  • Youth Mentoring Services
  • YWCA Niagara Frontier
  • YWCA Western New York

In order to make this Fund as fruitful as possible, various members of the community have stepped up to help. An infusion of funds in the amount of $5.5 million was secured from local foundations, private sector companies, and individuals. One such individual is Buffalo Bills’ General Manager Brandon Beane who is donating $20,000 to the relief efforts. Beane has also upped the ante by providing opportunities for select Bills’ fans to interact with the team more intimately, leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. Seven randomly selected entrants that make a donation will be paired with one of seven unique Bills-themed experiences or prizes. The opportunity at hand runs until Friday, April 17. To learn more, visit

For anyone in need of assistance with information related to services available in our community, please call 211. It is a referral hotline that is staffed 24/7 and serves all eight counties of Western New York.  To see a full list of contributors to the Fund, please visit

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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