Four Valley organizations have joined forces to create a fund to aid nonprofit groups most adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Valley Community COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, established through the collaborative efforts of the Valley Community Foundation, Valley United Way, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Health and Human Service Council, has already collected more than $150,000 with plans to provide grants to eligible Valley organizations.

“These grants of $1,000 to $5,000 can make such an impact on the work that is being done right now, and that is why they are being made,” said Valley Community Foundation Program Officer Valerie Knight-Di Gangi. “The fund will provide flexible resources to those who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic consequences of the outbreak.”

Applications for the first phase of grants has begun.

“These initial grants are designed to complement the work of federal, state and municipal government efforts and expand local capacity,” said Knight-Di Gangi. “There will be multiple rounds of funding, but this first round of grants is for the those who are working on the front line, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The grants are available to nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations that serve Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton. Organizations that are currently providing essential services which require staff to work in direct proximity with the most vulnerable populations, putting their own health at risk, are eligible.

"This is a simplified application process that has been developed and streamlined to be as easy as possible for potential grantees to complete,” said Knight-Di Gangi. “Within the first day of it being posted, we already have received four different applications.”

Knight-Di Gangi said fund organizers will push for additional donations which will be turned around and distributed back out into the Valley community in phases two and three of the grant process.

To support the fund, visit www.valleyfoundation.org. Gifts via credit card are preferred over checks to reduce processing time. Checks can, however, be made out to Valley Community Response and Recovery Fund and mailed to 253-A Elizabeth St., Derby, CT 06418.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com