You can make a difference
The VT COVID-19 Response Fund provides individual donors and other grantmakers an opportunity to be part of a coordinated response to the many effects of COVID-19 in Vermont, both in the immediate response and long-term recovery. As the impacts of the pandemic evolve and our knowledge of the situation grows, we will continue to update this page with what we know about the organizations on the frontlines.
We want to emphasize that it is important to continue to give generously to the organizations that you typically support, who are likely adapting to many new challenges brought on by the spread of COVID-19 and associated mandatory isolation measures. Whether actively responding to the coronavirus crisis or waiting for it to subside to resume normal operations, many nonprofits are depending on philanthropic contributions at this critical time.
FOOD ACCESS AND SECURITY
Providing food to vulnerable populations relies on the coordination of statewide agencies and partner meal sites.
Statewide organizations like the food bank act as central command centers for distribution of information and food product.
- What they need: Food supplies and staffing support
Partner meal sites, including food pantries and senior meal centers/meals on wheels, are the boots-on-the-ground, directly responding to community needs by providing meals in novel ways that protect staff and clients.
- What they need: Personal protective equipment, storage capacity, volunteer staff, food packaging, and resources to support curb-side pickup and delivery
HOMELESSNESS AND HOUSING
Individuals and families experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable to impacts of COVID-19. Effective support relies on coordinated collaboration between lead agencies and homeless shelters.
Lead agencies are coordinated regional entities that focus on homelessness prevention while also working with individuals and families experiencing homelessness to access housing and assistance services.
- What they need: Staffing support and general funding
Homeless shelters house individuals and families experiencing homelessness and provide a local venue for distributing coordinated care.
- What they need: Personal protective equipment, food products, staffing support, additional housing space
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
In times of crisis it can be difficult to ensure all Vermonters receive essential services like mental health counseling or primary medical care, requiring coordination and collaboration between regional and community-based organizations throughout the state.
Parent child centers provide broad support to economically disadvantaged families, including housing, food, medical and mental health services, childcare, primary education, and much more.
- What they need: General operating support, personal protective equipment
Home health and hospice organizations provide at-home medical and end-of-life care to seniors and those with serious illness.
- What they need: Technology to support telehealth, personal protective equipment
Community-based volunteer groups that have started or been reactivated since Tropical Storm Irene are the ears and eyes of communities, highlighting urgent and critical needs then coordinating local response.
- What they need: Food donations, diapers and childcare essentials, volunteer transportation
Evidence shows that spikes in domestic violence coincide with economic crises and natural disasters, and with the current pandemic sharing elements of both in combination with mandatory stay-at-home orders, supporting organizations are preparing for an increase in cases.
Regional domestic violence organizations are the go-to resource for all types of victim services and advocacy, making them the focus of preparation and response.
- What they need: General operating support, technology and resources to connect with clients safely, personal protective equipment
Vermonters have a history of stepping up to support one another during and after times of crisis, most recently demonstrated after Tropical Storm Irene. The current situation is no different—across the state, people are organizing around community needs and coordinating local and regional responses.
On March 31, 2020, Governor Phil Scott called Vermonters into service with the launch of a new website where people can sign up for volunteer assistance to help with the state's response to COVID-19.
- What they need: Options for Volunteers (Grocery Workers, Public Works Professionals, Drivers, etc.) and Medical Volunteers (Nurses, Pharmacists, EMS, Physician Assistant, Veterinarians, Mental Health, etc.)
In towns throughout Vermont, community response teams and mutual aid organizations are collaborating to identify vulnerable neighbors and support them with the resources they need.
- What they need: General operating support, community leaders, volunteers