Over $130K in grants given to local nonprofits by Community Foundation of Greater New Britain

Published on Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:10
Written by Catherine Shen


NEW BRITAIN – About $131,400 in COVID-19 related grant funding was approved by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain to provide support for local organizations.

The foundation has designated some of its resources and fundraised to provide funding options for local organizations that serve the residents of Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. The COVID-19 Initiatives Fund was created so nonprofits can request emergency community initiative funding up to $5,000 for proposals that respond to community needs amidst the challenges of the pandemic. Some of the funding is also used for organizations that need general operating financial aid due to the unusual and unexpected strains that the health crisis is causing their nonprofit.

About 21 organizations received some emergency grant funds, including Autism Families CONNECTicut for emergency operational support; Berlin-Peck Memorial Library to create newspaper advertisements to promote the library’s digital services to residents during the pandemic; Bread for Life for emergency operational support; CCARC to purchase laptops and accompanying software, licenses and hardware to facilitate remote work; and Community Mental Health Affiliates to purchase the technology necessary to provide telehealth services.

Marie Mormile-Mehler, vice president of performance improvement and planning for CMHA, thanked the foundation for supporting their request for the emergency funds.

“Being able to maintain our critical services through telehealth is so very important to our clients, particularly during these uncertain times. We appreciate the Foundation’s swift response to the COVID crisis’ impact on our services and clients,” she said.

Included in the grant funding was $20,000 that was given to the Hospital of Central CT, Hartford Healthcare, Hospital for Special Care, Berlin-New Britain-Plainville-Southington Police, Fire and EMS, and the New Britain EMS Academy to fund the production of 22,000 face shields. In a collaboration between the foundation, OKAY Industries of New Britain, and over 100 community volunteers, an assembly line was created at New Britain High School for distribution and use of personal protective equipment by health care workers and first responders in the local region.

With the help of many local donors, including other funding partners such as several Community Foundation Donor-Advised Funds, the American Savings Foundation, the Barnes Memorial Trust of the Main Street Community Foundation and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving COVID-19 Fund, the 22,000 face shields were assembled in just 11 days and distribution of the face shields is almost complete.

About a thousand face shields were donated to the New Britain Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, which is an estimated cost savings of roughly $10,000, said Bruce Baxter, chief of New Britain EMS.

“This is a battle against an unforeseen disease. So to see people from all walks of life come together to help our first responders has an incredibly special meaning for us,” he said.

Contact Catherine Shen at 860-801-5093 or cshen@centralctcommunications.com

Posted in The Bristol Press, Plainville, Southington Herald on Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:10. Updated: Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:12.