Yates Emergency Relief Fund appeals for donations

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

Yates Community Endowment asking community for contributions to Emergency Relief Fund to continue to support local nonprofits

Last year was exceptionally tough for nonprofit organizations that powered through the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the residents of Yates County, and this year is presenting a host of additional challenges.

Much-needed fundraising events to bolster already-stressed operating budgets are likely being placed on hold for a second year because of restrictions on crowd size, the need to continue to social distance, and limits on one-on-one interactions indoors and outdoors.

The Yates Community Endowment is encouraging local businesses, entrepreneurs, civic organizations, individuals, and families to consider supporting these essential organizations by contributing to the Yates Emergency Relief Fund. Established in May 2020, this fund already has distributed more than $136,000 in grants to nonprofits that provided urgent and basic needs — food, shelter, personal protective equipment, respite care, and more — during the first year of the pandemic.

This year, the Emergency Relief Fund will focus on grants to support community needs related to recovery and rebuilding, such as job training, child care, and mental health services. But discussions with nonprofit leaders indicate that in order to continue providing services these organizations also may need temporary operational support.

“Our emergency relief efforts are by no means done. We hope that many who have witnessed this seismic shift in need but have also seen their business and personal wealth prosper will consider sharing in this effort to support our community,” says Susan Priem, co-chair of the Yates Community Endowment’s Advisory Board.

The Nord Family Foundation’s generosity helped to get the Emergency Relief Fund off the ground in 2020 with a $25,000 dollar-for-dollar match as well as an additional $50,000. This private family foundation, whose funding also helped to launch the Yates Community Endowment in 2011, recently made a new $75,000 contribution to the fund to inspire others this year to give in support of their community during this unprecedented time of great need.

The Yates Community Endowment has experience in helping the Yates County community during tough times. It established the Yates Disaster Relief Fund in 2014 after devastating floods destroyed homes, buildings, and roads. The Endowment raised and distributed nearly $177,000 in partnership with the Keuka Housing Council.

Every dollar donated to the Emergency Relief Fund will be used to help nonprofits serving Yates County.

To donate:

Any individual, family, business or organization can make a contribution to the Emergency Relief Fund. Donations can be made online using a credit card at www.racf.org/YatesRelief or mail a check payable to Yates Emergency Relief Fund, c/o Yates Community Endowment, 500 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607.

To apply for a grant:

Nonprofit organizations serving Yates County are eligible to apply for operational support to continue their work or for support of a program it offers or would like to offer that would help families experiencing COVID-related issues. Applications can be submitted immediately by logging into the Community Foundation’s grant portal, which can be found at www.racf.org/grants/grant-portal/. Grants will be reviewed by the Yates Community Endowment on a rolling basis.

About the Yates Community Endowment:

The Yates Community Endowment is under the guidance of an all-volunteer, all-local Advisory Board. Since its beginning in 2011, Yates Community Endowment has distributed more than $600,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations serving Yates County.