A community foundation that serves the lakeshore is launching a fund to help its service area recover from the economic effects of COVID-19 during the rest of 2020.
The Holland-based Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) said it launched a Community Stabilization Fund in partnership with local individual and family donors.
Through the fund, CFHZ will focus on three areas of investment for the remainder of 2020: financial stability, health and education. The three themes that emerged during the past eight weeks as areas of deepest need will continue to require additional investments for the foreseeable future, the foundation said.
Financial stability funding will focus on preventing people from slipping into poverty by providing targeted food, housing and other basic needs supports. Grants to health will focus on increasing access to mental health and substance abuse services and helping people navigate systems to maintain access to health insurance. Education dollars will focus on “mitigating the educational opportunity gap” that risks growing more severe for children who were already struggling, as the model for learning adapts in real-time.
Initial seed money of $200,000 for the Community Stabilization Fund came from the community’s endowment. Several generous local families and corporations joined the effort, enabling CFHZ to launch the fund with a total of $800,000.
“Never before has our community experienced such a convergence of crises as the ones we are currently navigating. By thoughtfully deploying our community’s endowment, alongside generous contributions from local individuals, we can support efforts to address the gaps and keep the Holland/Zeeland area strong,” said Elizabeth Kidd, vice president of community impact for CFHZ.
The Community Foundation welcomes additional contributions to the fund online at cfhz.org/stabilizationfund, by mailing a check to the community foundation’s office or by calling (616) 396-6590.