NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund Provides Area Nonprofits with PPE

Scranton Area donation

Joel Grabin, Finance Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, presents Kathy Regan, Operations Director of Keystone Mission, with a supply of hand sanitizers, face masks, and cloth bags generously provided by Aetna Better Health.

Scranton Area Community Foundation, in partnership with Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania, through the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund, distributed personal protective equipment (PPE) including over 500 disposable face masks, over 1,000 hand sanitizers, and over 200 cloth bags to various nonprofit organizations serving the Lackawanna County region on Thursday, May 14.

“Aetna Better Health generously provided us with these in-demand items entrusting us to get them into the hands of those most in need who may not otherwise have access to this personal protection equipment,” stated Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation’s President and CEO.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation connected with The Community Intervention Center, Keystone Mission, and United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA to distribute the items that were generously donated by Aetna Better Health.

These organizations plan to use these items in various ways as they continue to serve their critical missions during the pandemic. Keystone Mission will use these donated masks to provide for their volunteers who are distributing food. The cloth bags will also help with food distribution. “The donation of face masks, hand sanitizer, and shopping bags will be used at the food distributions that we offer three times per week,” stated Kathy Regan, Operations Director at Keystone Mission. “The fabric bags will be a huge help to those we serve. We are grateful for the support from the Scranton Area Community Foundation and Aetna Better Health,” Regan added.

“We are committed to helping our valued community partners support individuals and families in need during this critical time,” said Jason Rottman, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania. “Through our collaboration with the Scranton Area Community Foundation and the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund, we can directly address the needs of Pennsylvania’s Northeast region by providing these much-needed and hard-to-find items.”

Scranton Area Community Foundation established the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund in March to rapidly deploy responsive and flexible resources to nonprofit organizations working with those who are impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic, social, and health-related consequences of the outbreak. To date, over $900,000 has been provided to 110 nonprofit organizations serving communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and over $1,000,000 has been raised for COVID-19 response efforts.

For more information about the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation, please contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager at 570-347-6203.

Donations to the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund are still being accepted online at https://safdn.org/covid19/ or by check made payable to the Scranton Area Foundation indicating “COVID-19 Fund” in the memo mailed to the Scranton Area Community Foundation, 615 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 102, Scranton, PA 18510.

Now Accepting Application for Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award

Scranton Area Community Foundation is accepting nominations now until July 23, 2020, for the 2020 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award, which is presented annually to a woman who demonstrates commitment to community, ingenuity in response to community need, and leadership in empowering and transforming the lives of women and girls in the community. Nominations are open to anyone who wishes to recommend a female candidate who has made an impact in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The award has been presented since 1992 when a charitable fund was established by the family of Margaretta Belin Chamberlin both to honor her memory and to recognize accomplishments of women in our community while encouraging their personal and/or professional development.

The Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award will be presented at the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy Annual Event to be announced at a later date. The recipient will receive a monetary award of $1,000 to be used for the purpose of personal development or to donate to a charitable organization of the recipient’s choice.

Past award recipients have included Eleanore Ginader, Rosemary Broderick, Sharon McCrone, Catherine Richmond-Cullen, Mary Elaine Southard, Judith O. Graziano, Carol Weiss Rubel, Charlotte McIlwee Ravaioli, Diana Statsman, Susan S. Belin, Rachel R. Yaklic (10th anniversary youth recipient), Margaret “Peg” Ruddy, Sally E. Bohlin, Andrea J. Mulrine, Natalie Gelb, Mary Ann LaPorta, Sr. Margaret Gannon, IHM, Mary Belin Rhodes, Sondra Myers, Nancy Dressel, Jeanne Bovard, Suzanne Fisher Staples, Jane Oppenheim, Sister Ann Walsh, Nada Gilmartin, Michelle Dempsey, Laurie Cadden, and Maureen Maher-Gray.

Nominations for the 2020 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award will be accepted until July 23, online through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online grant portal, https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=safdn. Individuals wishing to submit a nomination can contact Dana Hunter at dhunter@safdn.org for additional instructions.

For more information on the 2020 Margaretta Belin Chamberlin Award, please visit www.supportnepawomen.org or contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation, at 570-347-6203.

Scranton Area Community Foundation is on a mission to enhance the quality of life for all people in Northeastern Pennsylvania through the development of organized philanthropy. With assets of more than $40 million and more than 200 charitable funds, the Scranton Area Community Foundation distributed over $2 million in grants and scholarships in 2019. 

Additionally, through its foundation management services offered to other private and public foundations, the Scranton Area Community Foundation manages assets of more than $31 million and distributed an additional $1.2 million in grants and scholarships in 2019 through assets under management. 

As a public 501c3 community foundation, the Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as a steward, a grantmaker, a charitable resource, and a catalyst for change. The Scranton Area Community Foundation leads various initiatives including Women in Philanthropy, the Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, NEPA Moves, and the NEPA Animal Welfare Collaborative. More information about the Scranton Area Community Foundation can be found at www.safdn.org.

NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Scranton Area Community Foundation announces the launch of the newly created NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund which aims to address the diverse and pressing needs of the Lackawanna County region and rapidly deploy resources to the nonprofit organizations that are at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak and those who serve vulnerable populations. 

The NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund will aim to rapidly deploy responsive and flexible resources to nonprofit, community-based organizations working with those who are impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic, social, and health-related consequences of the outbreak. The Fund is designed to expand local capacity to efficiently address aspects of the outbreak, particularly to those that might be unable to secure resources elsewhere.

To date, donations have come in from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation and a variety of individual donors. These donations, and others, will directly support grants made from the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis as funds are available. The Foundation’s intent is that grants awarded will meet the greatest array of needs of the organizations and communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

One of the organizations working to provide support during this time is PA 211 NE/ Help Line. CEO of Family Service Association of NEPA, Gertrude McGowan, Esq. stated, “PA 211 NE/ Help Line is experiencing a huge uptick in volume and the questions PA 211 NE/ Help Line are handling seek clarity on a broad range of subjects from the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or PA Department of Health guidance on COVID-19 to food, shelter, utility and other human service needs.”

Lisa Durkin, President and CEO of United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA stated, “We’ve seen an increased demand for emergency needs, particularly food. Our food pantry has been distributing nearly 100 food bags per day and the number continues to climb.” She also added, “Trying to keep up with demand while maintaining responsible social distancing is a challenge but the collaboration across social service agencies and support from our community leaders, local government and foundations has been amazing.”

To apply for a grant from the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund, nonprofit organizations can visit www.safdn.org/covid19. The Foundation will receive input on grant decisions from an advisory committee composed of partner organizations and representatives from the foundation, nonprofit, and civic sectors. 

To make a contribution to the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund, please visit www.safdn.org/covid19 or contribute by check made payable to the Scranton Area Foundation indicating “COVID-19 Fund” in the memo mailed to the Scranton Area Community Foundation, 615 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 102, Scranton, PA 18510.

For more information, contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.

In addition to establishing the NEPA COVID-19 Response Fund, the Scranton Area Community Foundation is:

  • Maintaining a rolling critical needs grants pool and traditional grant funding pool.
  • Implementing and maintaining the NEPA Nonprofit Resources Google Group, a discussion-focused group created for nonprofit, civic, government, and funding organizations to be able to quickly share information, needs, questions, and resources with each other.
  • Establishing a program of weekly webinars to help nonprofits, including training programs on crisis management; operations management; increasing fundraising revenue; and building sustainability, among other topics.
  • Convening a collective of regional foundation and civic partners regularly to ensure that we are working both proactively and responsively when addressing our communities’ needs.