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Foundation responds to 'perfect storm' of need


For the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo responding to need is their mission. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed their efforts to a whole new level. What is emerging is a "perfect storm of need," said President and CEO Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker.  To help those on the "front lines," the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund has already distributed $4.5 million to 74 nonprofit organizations throughout the region.

The initial buildup of the fund took about two weeks, according to Perez-Bode Dedecker. When asked how the dollars came together so quickly, she laughed, "I literally sent out an email to the philanthropic community."

The response was impressive: 35 foundations and corporations made contributions, as did 1,600 individuals.

"We are helping the helpers,"Perez-Bode Dedecker said.

"Our dollars are going to the organizations who are on the frontlines of meeting the needs."

Those needs have been assessed through a review of a survey of 300 responding nonprofits. The needs, of course, will not be fading away anytime soon. Donations are encouraged at WNYResponds.org.

"If you're not in a position to contribute financially, there are other opportunities to be part of helping by contributing needed items or volunteer services," Perez-Bode Dedecker said.

"It's incredibly inspiring and yet another reminder of the unique level of generosity and commitment to our neighbors in this community."