MENDOCINO Co., 4/4/20 — The following is a March 27, 2020 letter from Megan Barber Allende, the CEO of The Community Foundation of Mendocino County. The Community Foundation has established a COVID-19 relief fund to support more vulnerable residents of Mendocino County during the pandemic, and seeks additional support to build the fund. More than half of residents may not have adequate economic resources to meet their needs over the coming months, and anyone who can is encouraged to support local non-profits and community resources, such as local food banks.
When things begin to feel hopeless, one of the greatest ways to bring a little light in is to help others. We at The Community Foundation of Mendocino County have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and its many implications for our local communities. With the help of generous donors, we are pleased to announce the new COVID-19 Relief Fund, designed to support the basic needs of individuals and families in Mendocino County impacted by this crisis.
The Community Foundation has made a seed gift from the Disaster Fund of $100,000. To date the following donors have joined with lead gifts: The MLH Fund, Jim and Arlene Moorehead, Sonoma Clean Power, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, and the Poseley and Allende Families. We have also received a significant gift from the J-Olivanti Fund. Together we have raised $206,000. Our initial goal was $250,000, but we are dreaming bigger and hope to reach $300,000. We are immensely grateful for these substantial contributions, and we are reaching out to the public to help us meet our goal. Any and all gifts are accepted and will allow us to collectively support the communities that need us most.
Based on the current economic data about our county, it is possible that as much 55% of Mendocino County is unlikely to have the resources to weather the financial impacts of long-term business and school closures. This includes both those below poverty already (about 19%) and those who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed (ALICE) households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living (about 35%). This fund is designed to provide immediate relief efforts to assist Mendocino County residents with basic needs during the COVID-19 crisis, including shelter, food, utilities, and medical needs.
The current crisis in some ways has leveled the playing field, as so many of us shelter-in-place to flatten the curve. However, while some of us have the means to order groceries to be delivered, to shift our work remotely, and continue to pay our mortgages, this is not the case for so many of our friends and neighbors who live paycheck to paycheck and are facing layoffs and school closures. If you can give to your local food bank, please do so. If you can give directly to a non-profit in your community who is serving those in need, please do so. If you have the means to make a contribution to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, please consider taking this opportunity to shed a little light on those in need throughout our county.
If you would like to discuss the fund or a contribution, please feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected] or 707-468-9882 ext. 102. Further details on the fund can be found in the attached document.