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‘Best Use’

Crisis Response Fund Awards $130,000

Michelle Knapp, St. Susan Center employee, and Frank Smith, long-time St. Susan Center volunteer, pack meals to serve local residents in need during the coronavirus outbreak. A recent grant from the Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund will assist St. Susan Center in packing to-go meals. Submitted photo

Nearly two weeks after the public launch of the “Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund: COVID-19,” the first round of emergency funding, totaling $127,084, has been awarded to eight local organizations.

Organizations receiving funding include Catholic Charities, Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Community Helping Hands, Feed More WNY, Jamestown Community Learning Council, Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, The Resource Center and Westfield Community Kitchen.

These dollars are being immediately released to address food security needs, as well as to help older adults and vulnerable families overcome barriers to accessing essential resources.

“It is inspiring to see how our community has come together during this difficult time to support each other,” said Bonny Scott-Sleight, St. Susan Center executive director. “We are grateful to receive this much needed assistance to continue serving our guests.”

According to Vince Horrigan, Decision Committee chairman, every funding request has been very carefully reviewed by the committee, utilizing their expertise in various professional capacities.

“We are looking at all of these funding requests very closely,” Horrigan said. “It is important that what we fund is the very best use of the dollars we have been so generously given by our community to make an immediate impact for those in need from all across Chautauqua County.”

Additional funding requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the current crisis and recovery phases. At this time, priority is given to requests for needs not served by other federal, state and local resources as it relates to food security, services for older adults, child care services, mental health and wellbeing, and basic human needs.

Since March 23, the Crisis Response Fund has raised more than $860,000 of its $1 million goal from individuals, community organizations and local foundations.

The fund is administered by the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County on behalf of a coalition of philanthropy, government and business partners including the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation and United Way of Northern Chautauqua County.

More information, including how community members can make online tax-deductible donations, can be found on the United Way’s website, uwayscc.org. Individuals can also give by mailing a check made payable to the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County to 2018 Pine Street, Jamestown. Include Crisis Response Fund on the memo line.

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