After already giving out $1 million to emergency funds during the pandemic, a regional nonprofit said it desperately needs more donations.
“Those funds are now nearly depleted," David Montgomery, interim president and CEO of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, said in a virtual news conference Tuesday morning. "We are asking our donors, our business community — the entire community — to come together to help replenish those funds.“
Donations will be distributed to four regional emergency funds: the COVID-19 Northeast Minnesota Response Fund, the COVID-19 Northwest Wisconsin Response Fund, the Chequama-Care COVID-19 Response Fund and the COVID-19 Two Harbors Response Fund. Those funds will then be used to "support residents suffering from the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19," according to the Community Foundation.
Montgomery said while the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine offers hope that the crisis could soon ease, donations still needed now.
“But while we wait, the virus continues its rampage and we face the most difficult few months before the coming spring and end of this pandemic,” Montgomery said.
By connecting people with financial support, it can help prevent them from being a target of predatory lending, said Michelle Morris, the Community Foundation's director of community philanthropy.
“People are struggling to pay mortgage, rent and utilities,” Morris said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland has used the emergency funds it's received to provide meals to families and continue academic support during the pandemic, said Tammy Sundbom, the club's resource development director.
"We were able to continue providing healthy meals to our youth and their families, through our Lincoln Park club, for snacks for pickup daily throughout the week, and also through drop-off sites around the city," Sundbom said. "So that was very important to us to continue providing that food security."
Mary Bovee, executive director of Age Well Arrowhead, which shops for and delivers groceries to homes of older people, said the relief fund helped that service expand to the Miller Hill Super One and more people living in that area. The support was critical as many senior citizens have been isolating at home since the pandemic began in March, Bovee said.
"Without that support, I don't think we would be where we are today," Bovee said.
Donors can learn more and give at dsacommunityfoundation.org, call 218-726-0232 or email email@example.com.
Checks to can be mailed to: Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Medical Arts Building Suite 700, 324 W. Superior St., Duluth, MN 55802.
Donors should note which fund they want to support.