EVERETT — A Coronavirus Response Fund, aimed at meeting immediate needs locally and easing long-term social and economic effects of the outbreak, was launched Friday with an initial total of $250,000.
A partnership of philanthropic organizations, government and business, the fund will be hosted by the Community Foundation of Snohomish County. Grants will be administered in consultation with Snohomish County, the Snohomish Health District and United Way of Snohomish County.
Premera Blue Cross donated $100,000, BECU contributed $75,000, and additional money from the Community Foundation and the local United Way made up the starting sum, $250,000.
“As the number of cases of coronavirus in our state continues to rise, it is important that, as a community, we have a coordinated response to best meet quickly evolving needs,” said Karri Matau, CEO of the Community Foundation, in a statement announcing the effort.
Individual donations will be collected on the Coronavirus Response Fund page on the foundation’s website, www.cf-sc.org. And 100 percent of all contributions will go directly to programs or services identified by fund partners.
Allison Warren-Barbour, United Way of Snohomish County’s president and CEO, said that while the crisis requires immediate response, “we will also have long-lasting ripple effects.”
“Loss of wages, access to food and supplies for already vulnerable populations, and childcare, just to name a few,” Warren-Barbour said in the announcement.
Dr. Chris Spitters, the Health District’s interim health officer, said that as the agency works toward slowing the spread of illness, the fund will help support people affected by measures to keep coronavirus in check.
Money will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues, the announcement said.
The effort is reminiscent of the Disaster Recovery Fund for Mudslide Relief. It was established by United Way of Snohomish County just days after the Oso mudslide that killed 43 people in 2014. By August of that year, United Way and the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation together had raised more than $4.5 million.
The partners plan to “phone meet” Monday to discuss the grant process, Matau said.
How to help
Donations to the Coronavirus Response Fund may be made on the Community Foundation of Snohomish County website, www.cf-sc.org.
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