Outer Banks Community Foundation awards $56,050 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants to eight nonprofits

Published 11:10 am Saturday, March 28, 2020

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The Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced $56,050 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants to eight local nonprofits, supporting their efforts to provide for the basic, urgent needs of Outer Bankers during the COVID-19 emergency.

“The coronavirus has created an unprecedented crisis for our community,” said Lorelei Costa, OBCF’s executive director, “but our nonprofits, including the Community Foundation, are rising to the occasion in unprecedented and astounding ways.”

“Many amazing community groups, volunteers and donors are providing food, financial assistance, internet connectivity and medical care to help those who are out of work or otherwise under-resourced,” she said. “The Community Foundation is honored to assist these efforts and we are ready to do more in the coming months and weeks.”

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The Community Foundation awarded more than $21,000 to local food assistance programs, from Kitty Hawk to Hatteras Island to Ocracoke, including the Beach Food Pantry, the Bread of Life Food Pantry in Ocracoke and the Buxton Food Pantry. The Albemarle Development Corporation also received assistance to serve daily prepared meals to at-risk seniors from the Baum Center in Kill Devil Hills.

More than $22,000 was awarded to provide financial assistance to Dare County residents who are out of work due to coronavirus closures. Interfaith Community Outreach and Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men will use this grant money to help families that are most affected by unemployment or underemployment, including local seasonal workers who are affected by closures, or those workers without sick time or paid leave. These grants will help families with rent, mortgage, utilities, medical bills and more.

The Community Clinic of Dare received $3,608 to upgrade their facility to allow for better sanitation, social distancing and telemedicine. The clinic provides free primary medical care, medication assistance and health and wellness education to approximately 550 uninsured and underinsured patients each year who live or work in Dare County.

The Ocracoke Youth Center was awarded $4,225 to provide internet hotspots for Ocracoke students who do not already have internet at home. In addition, Dare Education Foundation, in partnership with Dare County Schools, received $4,500 last week to provide home internet access to under-resourced families in Dare County. The goal of these grants is to allow students to participate in remote learning and online classes through the mandated school closures.

“We have been blessed at the Community Foundation to receive several bequests, major donations, and legacy gifts over the years to endow our community grant-making,” said Costa. “This has given us the flexibility to rapidly respond to quickly-changing community needs as they emerge. We are so grateful to our donors that have allowed us to be innovative in meeting community needs during this uncertain time.”

The Outer Banks Community Foundation will continue accepting applications for its COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program. Grant requests will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed every two weeks to ensure quick decisions and timely programs. The second application deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 2 with decisions announced on Friday, April 3.

To be eligible for a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, programs must be related to the coronavirus crisis, either directly (e.g., care for patients) or indirectly (e.g., assistance to workers without child care). To apply for a grant, nonprofits should first call the Community Foundation at 252-261-8839 to discuss their programs and their funding needs. Requests can be submitted via a one- or two-page letter, briefly describing the nonprofit’s mission, the project at hand, the dollar amount requested, the local need it would meet and the beneficiaries of the proposed program. More information about all of these programs and how to apply may be found at www.obcf.org/grants.