United Way distributes $25K to local agencies from WNY Community Response Fund

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 13 May 2020 at 7:58 am

A second round of funding has come into Orleans County from the Covid-19 WNY Community Response Fund, according to Dean Bellack, director of United Way of Orleans County.

The fund was established by Buffalo area philanthropic organizations to help non-profit agencies and programs impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and is dispersed through United Ways in Western New York.

Phase One of the funding on April 7 provided $4.5 million to 74 organizations, which included $74,000 for Orleans County.

Phase Two provided for $1 million of additional funding for 35 organizations, of which Orleans County’s share was $25,000, according to Bellack.

Bellack put together a committee, which met in a Zoom conference and included himself, Bruce Schmidt, president of Lyndonville Lions and a board member of Community Action and Ministry of Concern; Darren Wilson, president of the Lyndonville Area Foundation; and Jodi Gaines and David Cook, both board members of United Way of Orleans County. On Monday, they met to determine recipients of this recent grant.

“We had input from all the committee,” Bellack said. “This was a good collaboration which allowed us to share what is happening in the country from a view that was broader than our own. We felt good that what we gave out was fair, based upon our shared knowledge of their budgets and what dollars they have received this year.”

Funds approved by the committee went to United Way of Orleans County, Community Action, Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God Food Pantry, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Emergency Food Pantry, Kendall Food Pantry, Christ Community Church, Ministry of Concern, ARC Meals on Wheels, 211 WNY, GCASA, Praising Kids Child Care Center, YMCA, Hands for Hope, Project Stork and Oak Orchard Assembly of God.

Bellack said it is possible there may be a third round of funding in the near future.

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