I continue to be amazed and inspired by the resiliency and determination of the people of North Carolina. All across the state, we are hearing countless stories of individuals and organizations that are on the front lines doing incredible, and heroic, work on the ground to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our fellow North Carolinians. For that, we all thank you.
We also continue to be grateful to those who have provided us with thoughts and ideas of how ZSR can be most effective during the evolving COVID-19 situation. As a Foundation that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians, we are striving to be responsive and flexible during this time of uncertainty. With all that is happening around us, what we do know is that the nonprofit sector and our nonprofit partners have been rapidly adapting to change and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is committed to being there alongside of them.
Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, the Foundation has been strategizing ways in which we can support nonprofits, their staffs and the people of our state at this moment, as well as into the future. Below are some of the actions we have taken to date.
Supporting Our Fellow North Carolinians
Trustees have provided $100,000 to support the basic needs of vulnerable North Carolinians, especially those who may not easily have access to other resources or whose challenges may be compounded by the pandemic. To this end, we have:
- Provided $90,000 ($15,000 each) to six food banks that collectively span the state of North Carolina. These six food banks include: MANNA FoodBank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, Food Bank of the Albemarle, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.
- Contributed $10,000 to the Diaper Bank of North Carolina, which works to ensure that families who live in poverty, and have babies and children, have an adequate supply of diapers.
Supporting Our Hometown
In our hometown of Winston-Salem, we have provided a total of $50,500 to the COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County. This fund is a partnership between United Way of Forsyth County, The Winston-Salem Foundation, the City of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, and Community Organizations Active in Disaster to support local community members impacted by the novel coronavirus. This fund is rapidly deploying one-time general operating support to community-based organizations at the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak in Forsyth County and is assisting with the immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19.
Supporting Our Grantees
We are in close communication with many of our grantee partners across the state, monitoring how they are responding to this crisis. While we continue to evaluate how to best support them in the short term and in the long term, to date we have extended the grant timelines of our Community Progress Fund grantees and Inclusive Public Art grantees to ensure they have ample time to carry out the good work they are doing amidst all that is happening around us.
While we are hopeful that this situation will improve, it is difficult to know in this moment what lies ahead and what the potential long-lasting impacts of this pandemic will be. We continue to listen to what the needs of our grantee partners and North Carolinians are, as this will inform how we move forward with our work, not only now, but also into the future.
Thank you again for your commitment to your communities and to North Carolina.
Maurice “Mo” Green
Executive Director, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation