Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts awards $2M in coronavirus relief funds to 70 nonprofits


SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts announced Friday that it has awarded a new round of coronavirus relief funds totaling more than $2 million to 70 nonprofit groups in the region.

“We recognize that our community depends on a healthy nonprofit sector and these are particularly challenging times for nonprofits in our region,” said Katie Allan Zobel, the foundation’s president and CEO. “These stabilization grants are intended to help nonprofits continue their critical work and adapt to the current reality. Our aim is to help ensure that they are able to continue their vital work throughout, and beyond, our current crisis.”

The funds target nonprofits that have been harmed financially by the pandemic, including organizations that serve the most vulnerable populations, the foundation said in a news release. The maximum grant award for each nonprofit was $50,000 for general operations, and a total of $2.05 million was allocated.

To date, the COVID-19 Response Fund has awarded more than $7.5 million in grants to nonprofits in Western Massachusetts.

Of those receiving funds in the latest round, 47 awardees were those whose missions reflect the foundation’s strategic priorities: “a strong start for all children; workforce development and college readiness; and arts and creativity to support self-expression, economic vitality, and connection,” the foundation said.

The remaining 23 awardees include human services organizations, as well as health, mental health, food, housing and youth service providers in the region.

The foundation said one example of those receiving funds was Riverside Industries of Easthampton, which had to close for two months due to COVID-19. It suffered significant financial losses, according to its president and CEO, Charlene Gentes. The nonprofit provides services including life skills development, rehabilitation and employment options for adults living with developmental disabilities, the foundation said.

A $40,000 grant has helped Riverside Industries recover and rebuild, continuing its 52-year mission, and purchase personal protective equipment for COVID-19 to safeguard employees and clients, Gentes said.

“It has been an unprecedented time and we are very grateful for the continued support of the Community Foundation,” Gentes said.

The stabilization grants are part of the next stage of the foundation’s COVID-19 response effort in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties. The foundation has committed to a multiyear approach “focusing, sequentially, on the resiliency, re-envisioning and rebuilding of nonprofits in the region.”

The funds for the grants come from multiple endowed foundation funds and hundreds of donors from the region and beyond, the foundation said.

Donations to the COVID-19 Fund for the Pioneer Valley may be made online at communityfoundation.org or by mail to The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, 333 Bridge St., Springfield, MA 01103.

The nonprofits that received stabilization grants from the foundation, announced Friday, were:

  • Blues to Green (Huntington)
  • Community Music School of Springfield
  • Drama Studio (Springfield)
  • Empowerment Through The Arts (Shutesbury)
  • Enchanted Circle (Holyoke)
  • Happier Valley Comedy (Hadley)
  • Leverett Craftsmen and Artists (Leverett)
  • Longmeadow Historical Society
  • Musica Franklin (Colrain)
  • Northampton Arts Council
  • Northampton Center for the Arts
  • Springfield Symphony Orchestra
  • Stone Soul (Springfield)
  • The Art Garden (Shelburne Falls)
  • The Academy of Music (Northampton)
  • The Performance Project (Northampton)
  • Voices From Inside (Greenfield)
  • Workshop 13 (Ware)
  • Young at Heart Chorus (Florence)
  • Brick House Community Resource Center (Turners Falls)
  • Community Adolescent Resources and Education Center (Holyoke)
  • MassHire Springfield Career Center
  • Gray House (Springfield)
  • International Language Institute of Massachusetts (Northampton)
  • Leadership Pioneer Valley (Springfield)
  • McKnight Community Development Corp. (Springfield)
  • Providence Ministries for the Needy (Holyoke)
  • Riverside Industries (Easthampton)
  • Sunshine Village (Chicopee)
  • Urban League of Greater Springfield
  • Valley Educational Associates (Hatfield)
  • Work Opportunity Center (Agawam)
  • All Out Adventures (Northampton)
  • Amherst Community Connections
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County (Greenfield)
  • Cancer Connection (Northampton)
  • Caring Health Center (Springfield)
  • Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin and North Quabbin (Greenfield)
  • Community Health Center of Franklin County (Greenfield)
  • Gandara Mental Health Center (West Springfield)
  • Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (West Springfield)
  • Homework House (Holyoke)
  • Just Roots (Greenfield)
  • LifePath (Greenfield)
  • North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy (Orange)
  • Northampton Survival Center
  • Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity (Florence)
  • Pioneer Valley Project (Springfield)
  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center (Northampton)
  • Quabbin Mediation (Orange)
  • Rivera & Rivera Act Against Foreclosure (Springfield)
  • Safe Passage (Northampton)
  • Somali Bantu Community of Springfield
  • South End Community Center (Springfield)
  • Valley Eye Radio (Springfield)
  • All Our Kids (South Hadley)
  • Boys & Girls Club Family Center (Springfield)
  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield
  • Christina’s House (Springfield)
  • Community Upliftment Program (Springfield)
  • Friends of Children (Hadley)
  • Hampshire Regional YMCA (Northampton)
  • Ludlow Boys & Girls Club/Randall Boys & Girls Club
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (Springfield)
  • Montague Catholic Social Ministries (Turners Falls)
  • Springfield Boys & Girls Club
  • Springfield Day Nursery Corp.
  • Treehouse Foundation (Easthampton)
  • West Springfield Boys & Girls Club
  • Womanshelter Companeras (Holyoke)

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