Hancock County Funders Award $115,574 in Relief Grants

Printed in The Courier on April 21, 2020.

The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation and the United Way of Hancock County have awarded grants from their respective emergency funds, working holistically to address community-wide needs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The two organizations are coordinating their response to funding requests and sharing emerging data regarding community needs.

This week, 11 grants totaling $115,574 were awarded to local nonprofits addressing emerging needs and impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Both organizations have independent funds and teams for reviewing grants,” said Angela DeBoskey, United Way’s CEO. “By combining the United Way’s experience in emergency relief efforts with The Community Foundation’s focus on long-term recovery, we feel like we’re giving Hancock County the most unified approach possible.”


The Community Foundation recently established the Community Emergency Support Fund to be used to respond to emergent needs as well as long-term recovery from crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are grateful to have a partnership with United Way that leverages each organization’s strengths to support our community,” said Katherine Kreuchauf, President of the Foundation. “It is critical that we come together as a community to ensure nonprofits have the resources they need to continue to serve Hancock County.”

In addition to the Community Emergency Support Fund, the Foundation is hosting calls with legislators, providing access to technical support for organizations applying for state and federal benefits, as well as access to experts in non-profit financial management.

An initial $100,000 donation from the Foundation’s annual grant pool was used to seed the fund and an additional $58,000 has been raised since April 1. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with funding decisions announced every two weeks until the emergency is over or the funds are depleted. The Foundation will also award grants from field of interest funds, established by donors to support issue areas such as hunger, homelessness, or mental health and substance use. The Foundation’s Grant Review Committee oversees distribution of the grant awards.

Grants totaling $64,016 were awarded to:

Hope House $10,000

YMCA $10,000

Habitat for Humanity $4,000

West Ohio Food Bank $39,016

Youth for Christ $1,000

Field of Interest Funds established to support services to support housing and mitigate homelessness provided $13,208, with the remaining amount coming from the Community Emergency Support Fund.

Visit www.community-foundation.com/emergency to learn more about the Foundation’s response to the pandemic, to obtain a grant application or to donate to the fund.


United Way of Hancock County’s Board of Directors issued six Crisis Relief grant awards totaling $51,558, based on the recommendations made by its Relief Fund Committee.

United Way maintains a relief fund and activates fundraising efforts at the onset of a local crisis in order to proactively respond to immediate basic needs. Distribution is made in a timely manner to expedite recovery measures. This fund is evidence of the generosity of area individuals and businesses and is designed to complement the work of city, county, public health and school officials and expand local capacity to address local crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing needs stemming from the pandemic will continue to evolve, $50,000 was made available in the first round of funding to address the following priorities:

• Food/meals for older adults and children: COVID-19 presents an especially dire threat to already food-insecure families who now face an uncertain economic future. With schools and many daycare centers closed, children may no longer have access to regular meals. Meanwhile, older adults with limited means and increased health risks, may also have increased food insecurities.

• Eviction/homelessness prevention: Low-wage workers will be among the communities that feel the economic impact of COVID-19 the most. The food, travel, leisure, arts and hospitality industries are already being hit hard, and workers in these industries often have low pay and minimal access to paid sick leave which leaves them at risk of losing housing. Families and individuals who have been homeless in the past are also particularly at risk of losing their housing in economic downturn.

• Flex funds: Flexible dollars are critical to respond to other crises local nonprofits and the clients they serve may confront such as transportation, childcare and utilities issues due to COVID-19.

Agencies receiving grants from the first round of funding include:

· Christian Clearing House, $15,000 for eviction and homelessness protection

· West Ohio Food Bank, $11,508 for emergency food boxes for homebound seniors

· City Mission, $15,000 for emergency shelter and needs

· Hope House for the Homeless, $7,500 for housing services for the homeless

· Van Buren Maranatha Food Pantry, $600 for its food pantry

· The Feed-A-Child program, a partnership of the Findlay YMCA and United Way of Hancock County, has also received Crisis Donations totaling $1,950 which will go to feed children within our community.

A second round of crisis relief funding, the amount to be issued and the priorities it will address will be announced May 1. To learn more and apply for funding visit https://liveunitedhancockcounty.org/relief-fund-2020 or contact Heather Heilman, Community Impact Director, at heather.heilman@uwhancock.org. To donate to UWHC’s Relief Fund, visit https://www.liveunitedhancockcounty.org/give or send a check to United Way of Hancock County, 245 Stanford Pkwy, Findlay and enter “Crisis Response” in the memo.