The Community Foundation of Otsego County has given away most of its first wave of funds, but the nonprofit charity has plans for more this winter and into 2021.
According to a media release, through mid-October, the fund has donated $176,300 to assist local nonprofits to combat the virus and its damaging effects on the community.
"The awards include dedicated funds for personal protection equipment, cleaning supplies, child care providers, subsidies for local farms aiding food pantries, farmers’ markets, medical co-pays, rent assistance, transportation assistance and assistance in reopening small businesses across the county," the release said.
Recipients included Bassett Medical Center, CADE, Catholic Charities, Brookwood School, Cooperstown Food Pantry, A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, Helios Care, Hunger Coalition of Otsego County, Oneonta Family YMCA, Otsego Rural Housing Assistance, Pathfinder Village, Rural Health Network of South Central New York, The Salvation Army and Springbrook.
Community Foundation for Otsego President Harry Levine told The Daily Star that the organization will continue to provide funds for COVID-related purchases and help to make up for COVID-related losses. But it is also planning a big fundraising in 2021 to establish a long-term fund.
Levine said the group still has about $45,000 in COVID-related funding and hopes it might be used for "next phase" needs, perhaps even helping with vaccine distribution.
"In the meantime, our board has authorized us to award another round of money for 2021 of $200,000," he said.
Levine said the group will put out an online survey in the next few weeks to assess community needs and desires for charitable giving.
"The Community Foundation truly is a community effort," he said. "The board's role is to listen to what the community tells us is important.
"We can't do everything, but we want to do something that has impact," Levine continued.
The 2021 giving could "run the gamut" he said, depending on community needs. Funding could go to arts or sports organizations, food banks, school-affiliated groups or businesses, depending on the feedback, he said.
"We want to hear from the whole community," he said. "So we are going to be making a big push to get people to fill out our survey in the next few weeks."
For more information or to apply or donate to the foundation, go to cfotsego.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Community Foundation of Otsego County, P.O. Box 55, Springfield Center, NY 13468.