As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, creating more hardships each day, many are looking to government — federal, state and local — for help.
But given the scope of this world crisis, we can’t expect government to do it all.
Locally, that’s well understood. Our Valley’s charitable organizations are — as expected — coming to the rescue.
The Blue Mountain Community Foundation has created a new fund to serve as a charitable resource in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was announced Wednesday that the COVID-19 Response Fund was established with $120,000 to help cope with the damage and losses connected to the virus that’s led to schools, restaurants and many businesses being shut down. In addition, all sporting and entertainment events have been canceled or postponed.
It’s unknown how long restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people will last, or whether stricter rules will be put in place, but it’s clear those in the business of helping those in need are gearing up for the long haul.
Having things such as the COVID-19 Response Fund will be critical to getting us all through this crisis.
Blue Mountain Community Foundation is establishing an advisory committee to determine which nonprofit organizations and charities helping affected people receive funding, said its executive director, Kari Isaacson.
Isaacson said the fund is one of numerous resources she expects will be created to offset losses.
“It’s wonderful, generous dollars. But when you think about the potential scale we really have to pull together,” Isaacson said.
The initial funds started with $100,000 from the Blue Mountain Community Foundation, $10,000 from the Sherwood Trust and $10,000 from two other sources. The fund is expected to provide “flexible resources to organizations working with people who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak,” Isaacson said.
But the $120,000 won’t last long. More donations will be needed. Donations to the fund are eligible for charitable income tax deductions. The Blue Mountain Community Foundation is registered to solicit gifts in Washington and Oregon. Online donations can be made at bluemountainfoundation.org. Check can also be made out to “BMCF – COVID-19 Fund” and sent to P.O. Box 603, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
Beyond this, individual local charitable organizations such as the Blue Mountain Action Council, Helpline and Catholic Charities will need donations as the number of people in the community who need help in this crisis grows.
Do what you can to help others. We are all in this together — albeit at least six feet apart.