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COVID-19 Relief Fund to Help Vulnerable Families
The West Contra Costa Education Fund (Ed Fund) in partnership with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) has raised more than $350,000 to support students and families during the public health crisis that has closed school campuses and access to many of the resources normally available.
The Ed Fund and WCCUSD have set a $1.3 million goal for the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. The largest contribution to date has been a $200,000 grant from the Hellman Foundation.
“As a doctor and mother, I recognize that this health crisis has had a significant impact on our most vulnerable students and their families. My family has always felt it is our responsibility to help take care of our communities,” said Dr. Tricia Hellman Gibbs, MD, Board Chair, Hellman Foundation. “Today more than ever, we hope this effort on the part of the Hellman Foundation and others will help ensure students continue to thrive academically, and families are connected to essential resources and information to remain resilient during this pandemic. The Hellman Foundation will continue to carefully and compassionately strengthen the communities we care deeply about with the funds held in public trust.”
The Fund was created to provide money to support five areas of need identified by WCCUSD: feeding students and families, distance teaching and learning, ensuring clean and safe facilities, communicating with the community, and supporting vulnerable families.
“We are immensely thankful to the Hellman Foundation and the West Contra Costa community for their generous support of the students and families we serve,” WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy said. “This crisis has exposed significant disparity and need. The resources being gathered will help provide much needed resources to provide healthy meals, ensure learning continues while school buildings are closed and help families financially.”
The Ed Fund and WCCUSD’s Office of Community and Family Engagement have developed a process to get direct financial disbursements directly into the hands of families in need. In phase one, District staff members are connecting with families in transition, and parents of foster, English Language Learners, African American, and probation youth. In phase two, the Ed Fund and District will expand their reach to families not identified in phase one.
“We want to provide resources to ensure the continuity of K-12 education and connect students and families to community resources to meet their basic needs through school closures, especially for our most vulnerable students”, Ed Fund Executive Director Jasmine Jones said. “We are very grateful for the generous contribution to the fund from the Hellman Foundation and the outpouring of support from local philanthropic partners, businesses, and community. We have a goal of $1.3 million to support our families and now more than ever we need investments in West Contra Costa.”
Donations have also been received from East Bay Community Foundation, Irene S. Scully Foundation, Jewish Community Foundation, The California Endowment, The Lesher Foundation, Chevron Corporation, Travis Credit Union, MicroMobility Industries and nearly 100 individual donors.
Community members, businesses, and philanthropic organizations are encouraged to contribute and learn more at contribute and learn more at edfundwest.org/covid-19/.