When a crisis like the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hits, our goal is not to do less because of uncertainty but to do more because our neighbors need us. Our resources and community knowledge allow us to act quickly during times of crisis, raising and deploying funds to fill gaps or justify ideas, and supporting a scaled up response from the government.

Here is a sample of what we, along with our community partners, were able to accomplish during the COVID-19 crisis when we combined the generosity of our donors with the hard work of our nonprofit community. For more information on our COVID-19 community response, view our Report to the Community.

Our Impact


raised for COVID-19 support


grants used to meet basic needs from March 2020-March 2021


in response grants distributed through March 31, 2021

Our Impact

Overhead view of food collected in a boxUnderserved families faced unexpected childcare and food needs. The vulnerable included Central New Yorkers who were employed but had limited assets to fall back on in an emergency. We helped:

  • Ramp up food pantry offerings due to increased demand
  • Provide weekend groceries to families who qualify for school breakfast and lunch programs on the weekdays
  • Distribute emergency food parcels, cleaning supplies and hygiene items to families
  • Increase distribution of diapers and other personal hygiene items, which are not covered by government safety net programs
  • Assist homeowners without discretionary income in making emergency home repairs
A teacher shows her enthusiasm during an online school session for WCNY!
A teacher shows her enthusiasm during an online school session for WCNY!

Organizations needed support to continue serving constituents. This included technology to allow agencies to support people with mental health conditions or disabilities through remote sessions. We helped:

  • Provide financial and career counseling to Veterans and their families
  • Produce remote parenting education classes for families with children
  • Maintain 24/7 remote counseling and assistance for victims of domestic violence
  • Offer virtual care consultations, referral meetings, support groups and education programs to dementia patients
SOMAC volunteers conducting a motor vehicle accident training
SOMAC received funding to support new volunteer training due to COVID-19

Some vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and refugees, struggled to understand or obtain accurate information and sanitization supplies during this time. Additionally, healthcare workers were in great need of effective safety equipment. We helped:

  • Connect limited English proficient families to accurate public health information and social services
  • Facilitate access to critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing supplies, thermometers and technology
  • Distribute sanitizing products to elderly residents
  • Produce large amounts of cotton masks and gowns for local healthcare providers

Thank You

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Central New York, our friends and neighbors responded immediately.

In Onondaga County, we thank our founding partners of the COVID-19 Community Support Fund and our many supporters for coming together during this difficult time to support our neighbors in greatest need.

In surrounding counties, we thank our partners and donors for their support of the Oswego County COVID-19 Fund, Cayuga County COVID-19 Fund, Madison County Rural Poverty Fund, Greater Pulaski Community Endowment Fund and the Women’s Fund of Central New York for stepping up in this time of crisis.

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