Trumbull County Partners Launch COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

WARREN, Ohio – A coalition of area philanthropic, corporate and civic partners launched a fund to provide support for nonprofit organizations in Trumbull County that are serving on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund already has raised $50,000, James Dignan, volunteer campaign coordinator for the Trumbull County COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, reported during a conference call this morning. 

The founding partners include the Trumbull County Community Foundation, Northern Trumbull County Community Foundation and the Trumbull 100. Service partners are Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio and the United Way of Trumbull County.

The fund will support local organizations focusing on issues such as hunger, shelter and housing, health, access to mental health and health services, as well as assisting agencies and programs that don’t have access to government funds. Its objectives include ensuring that first responders, medical workers and others on the front lines of the pandemic have access to the personal protective gear and other equipment they need to do their jobs.       

“The Rapid Response fund is designed to expand local capacity in order to help those that need it most thought the community,” Dignan said. It won’t provide funds to individuals but to nonprofit organizations in the county that provide community social safety nets and have “strong experience working with the immediate needs of populations made vulnerable” by the pandemic, he said. 

“Particular emphasis will be placed on those supporting organizations that are able to have an immediate impact by meeting the growing needs throughout our community,” he added. 

“What we’ve learned through the past emergency situations is that it’s very important to have money set aside that can be deployed rapidly into the community to satisfy the different needs of the organizations that truly are on the front lines,” Kyle English, executive director of the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. “It’s imperative that they have the material that they need.”

The foundation is already working on primary needs involving hunger, English said.

United Way of Trumbull County is also working to fill food needs but recently funded a quarantine space for clients of the Someplace Safe domestic violence shelter, Ginny Brizzi, executive director, said. “We’re all working together to try to meet needs in the best possible way,” she said. 

Donations of all sizes are welcome, Dignan said. Contributors he could identify so far so far include O’Brien Foundation, the Strimbu Foundation, Weller Foundation and North Trumbull County Foundation.  

Trumbull County has about 140 coronavirus cases now, and the county is seeing outbreaks in clusters such as in health-care facility settings and in close family contact, said Frank Migliozzi, commissioner of the Trumbull County Combined Health District. In addition to the personal protective gear, needs include places to isolate and quarantine individuals so they don’t infect their families, as well as food and medicine to support them during their isolation.   

“It’s going to take a coordinated effort to appropriately respond to the needs of the community,” Migliozzi said. 

During the call, Trumbull County Sheriff Paul Monroe identified another expected hotspot in the county, within the Amish community, which is “not as on board with us” as many others.  

The fund is already accepting applications and expects to make its initial disbursements within the next few days, Dignan said. 

Information about the fund, including links to donate and for organizations to apply for grants, can be found here. People also can mail donations to Trumbull County COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, 174 N. Park Ave., Warren OH 44481. 

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