Board Perspective | Preserve Our Community

Board Perspective | Preserve Our Community

The following was written by Matt Durham, who serves on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, as part of our new Board Perspective blog series. Preserve Our Community Just a few days prior to the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed all our lives, the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties met for its scheduled Board of Directors meeting. We were all aware of the danger that COVID-19 presented and assumed that our government agencies would begin to enact ever more aggressive measures to slow the spread of the virus and to protect us. The idea of social distancing was just starting to become known. We sat further apart from each other than we usually do and worried collectively about what would come. Our Foundation President and CEO Amy Owen presented us with a compelling idea, which was to start an emergency relief fund to help those affected by the coming crisis. These funds are traditionally used to address natural disasters—recovery from flooding, tornadoes, snowstorms and the like—and the idea to help people whose wages were impacted by a global pandemic was novel. After some education and discussion, our Board unanimously approved the proposal and created the Community Emergency Relief Fund. At the same time, I was working closely with the staff of my other volunteer effort to determine how we should respond to the threat COVID-19 presented us. I am also the president of a local homeowners association (HOA), an HOA that is very large—about 6700 homes with well over 20,000 residents. Our management staff and I took steps to close the HOA amenities as well as postponing...
Community Emergency Relief Fund Grants $25,000

Community Emergency Relief Fund Grants $25,000

Thanks to the generosity and compassion of our community members, fund holders, and businesses, we have raised $58,000 through our Community Emergency Relief Fund. Today we announce our first grant from the Community Emergency Relief Fund: a $25,000 grant to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, in support of a collaboration between Catholic Charities’ Loudoun office and Loudoun Cares. Funding will provide monetary assistance directly to individuals in Loudoun County impacted financially by the COVID-19 crisis. The Community Foundation made a secondary $25,000 grant from its Tourism and Hospitality Relief Fund founded by the Visit Loudoun Foundation to provide financial assistance to those underemployed or unemployed individuals. Callers can seek support through the Loudoun Cares and Catholic Charities collaboration. While we know that these first grants will be a tremendous support to many people, the needs we will see in the upcoming weeks and months will be significant. We ask for your continued support. Catholic Charities and Loudoun Cares will jointly rotate staff to respond to requests for financial assistance through a newly established COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Helpline. Loudoun residents who need help paying rent as a result of lost wages from the COVID-19 crisis can call the COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Helpline at 703-669-50409. Trained staff from Catholic Charities and Loudoun Cares will work together to complete an intake process and assess the needs of each caller. Eligibility requirements to receive financial assistance from the COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Helpline may be found at https://www.ccda.net/need-help/rent,-utility-assistance,-and-basic-household-needs/. Eligible callers may be able to receive up to $500 in financial assistance. In addition to providing financial assistance, Catholic Charities and...
Board Perspective | People of Faith: It’s Our Time to Help

Board Perspective | People of Faith: It’s Our Time to Help

The following was written by Connie Moore, who serves on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, as part of our new Board Perspective blog series. People of Faith: It’s Our Time to Help In the short time since Loudoun County’s first COVID-19 case was diagnosed on March 10th, the disease has spread rapidly. There were 121 cases as of April 2nd  – a 40% increase in just the last 48 hours. And government officials and health experts are now steeling us for steep increases over the next 2-3 weeks. We are all filled with concern about the suffering of the sick and their families, and the loss of life, and that concern extends to everyone in our community at large. The human and economic toll in Loudoun and northern Fauquier counties is extremely high and increases each day. People are unable to work, small businesses struggle to stay afloat, and our economy is coming to a standstill. The unprecedented strain on the region’s social safety net (food, housing, income, childcare, etc.) is why the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CFLNFC) moved so quickly to establish the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. This pandemic is creating a huge challenge for people of all faiths. We collectively wonder, “how can we best help people – our neighbors – who are hurting throughout our community?” In normal times, we consider stewardship in terms of donating “time, talent and treasure,” with “time” frequently translating to volunteering with groups such as Loudoun Hunger Relief, Habitat for Humanity, and Tree of Life. But the highly contagious nature of this virus makes it almost impossible for...
Loudoun Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund Launched by Visit Loudoun Foundation

Loudoun Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund Launched by Visit Loudoun Foundation

Today the Visit Loudoun Foundation launched the Loudoun Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund. Seeding the fund with $10,000, Visit Loudoun Foundation asks businesses and individuals contribute in support of Loudoun’s tourism industry professionals impacted by shutdowns and furloughs as a result of COVID-19. Working in tandem with our Community Emergency Relief Fund, the Loudoun Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund will provide grants to charitable organizations that provide direct financial support for individuals who are working in—or have immediately formerly worked in—Loudoun tourism and hospitality businesses facing hardship. “This has truly been a community effort to support the tourism and hospitality industry,” said Beth Erickson, president & CEO of Visit Loudoun. “While we talk about the industry in general, it’s really about the people who make the beds, tell you the daily specials, raise or grow the food on the restaurant tables, brew world-class beer, pour you the perfect glass of wine and greet you with warmth and hospitality who are most affected.” Visit Loudoun Foundation hopes the fund’s initial $10,000 will grow through private and business donations. “This is one small way that we can support the tourism and hospitality industry that gives so much to our community and the Community Foundation has been a wonderful partner, helping us quickly launch the effort,” Visit Loudoun Foundation Chairwoman Emily Miller said. “The new Loudoun Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund shines a light on the heart of this community and will dovetail beautifully with the Community Foundation’s existing Emergency Relief Fund. Both will cover those in need,” said Amy Owen, president of the Community Foundation, “The Tourism & Hospitality Fund will zero...
Community Emergency Relief Fund Established to Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Community Emergency Relief Fund Established to Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties has established a Community Emergency Relief Fund to accept and strategically disburse funding to address COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts in Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. Members of the community who wish to support aid to those affected by COVID-19 may donate to the Community Emergency Relief Fund at CommunityFoundationLF.org/EmergencyRelief. The Community Foundation will work closely with local nonprofit organizations to provide grants to agencies to meet both immediate and long-term needs related to the impact of COVID-19 in Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. Grants will be prioritized to organizations: Providing direct financial assistance to individuals who need monetary assistance to meet basic needs such as housing, utilities, and medical expenses due to the impact of COVID-19; Providing services directly addressing impact of COVID-19 such as food distribution, shelter, housing, and health care. The Community Foundation will form a Community Emergency Relief Fund Advisory Committee to advise on the distribution of any funds raised. The Advisory Committee will include local experts on emergency response and local services, and will include diverse representation to ensure equitable distribution of the funds to those in need. In the event that funds raised through the Community Emergency Relief Fund are no longer needed for COVID-19 relief, remaining funds will be reserved for future local disaster relief efforts. For more information, contact Amy Owen, President, at (703) 779-3505, x1 or amy@communityfoundationlf.org. To Donate Online: CommunityFoundationLF.org/EmergencyRelief To Donate by Check: Make checks payable to Community Foundation, “Community Emergency Relief Fund” in memo line Mail to: Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties PO Box...