Press Releases: April 15, 2020

$1.5 Million Invested in Houston-Area Nonprofits in Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund

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CONTACT: Hannah Savage | Carbonara Group | OFFICE: 713-524-8170 | CELL: 713-819-1320 | EMAIL: hannah@carbonaragroup.com

$1.5 Million Invested in Houston-Area Nonprofits in Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund’s First Round of Grants 

HOUSTON, TX (April 15, 2020) – Three weeks after the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund was launched, $1.5 million in grants is being invested in 30 nonprofit partners that serve communities where residents need urgent access to food and emergency financial assistance due to severe economic hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial round of funding is focused on providing help for those in crisis – low-income families and individuals who have urgent basic needs and may not be receiving support from any other source, such as government stimulus. 

Given the urgency for assistance, this initial round of funds was invested with trusted nonprofit partners and grassroots charitable organizations who have proven systems and experience serving the most vulnerable in our community in times of disaster. The full grantee list can be found on the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund website. 

The Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund was established as a joint effort by United Way of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation, two organizations that are highly experienced in raising and administering funds in times of disaster. Because the need is so great, fund organizers are appealing to everyone who can donate to join the effort, with more details available at www.GreaterHoustonRecovery.org. Fund partners have committed that 100 percent of donations will be spent on community needs. 

“The impact of this pandemic on our community is immeasurable and continues to expand by the day, which is why the swift disbursement of this first round is crucial to helping those in desperate need across our community,” said Stephen Maislin, president and CEO of Greater Houston Community Foundation. “The 30 nonprofit organizations receiving this first round of grants are trusted partners who have strong track records of supporting our community in times of hardship and recovery. They know Houston, and how to best reach some of our most vulnerable populations. I am proud of the work of the committee and the collaborations across this entire effort.” 

As the pandemic evolves and pledged funds are received, the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund Task Force will assess emerging needs in determining subsequent investments. Leading local foundations, corporations and individuals have responded with contributions in cash and pledged gifts, growing the fund to $7.4 million to date. The fund’s first round of grants was distributed based on funds in house.  

Recovery fund investments are overseen by a volunteer task force of community leaders drawn from the boards of directors of United Way of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation. The fund serves the four-county Greater Houston area of Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery and Waller counties and is co-chaired by Jamey Rootes, board member, United Way of Greater Houston and president of the Houston Texans, and by Tony Chase, board member, Greater Houston Community Foundation, member, Houston Endowment Board of Directors, and chairman and CEO of ChaseSource, LP. 

“The widespread impact of COVID-19 has created unprecedented need in our community and, while we know that no single recovery fund can address all the needs, our current focus is to help sustain and stabilize as many of the most vulnerable families as we can,” said Anna M. Babin, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston. “This pandemic will have a lasting impact on our community, making it crucial that we continue to raise funds to help those in greatest need.”  

Those who need assistance are encouraged to call the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE, the community’s key 24/7 information source during times of disaster. United Way’s 211 provides callers with the most updated information on assistance with utilities, housing or rental assistance, crisis counseling, access to senior services, information on food pantries in the community and more. Assistance through 211 can also be accessed through the following methods in the event of long wait times due to periods of heavy call volume: 

  • Visit 211texas.org to search resources online or chat online with a specialist 
  • Email help@unitedwayhouston.org for assistance 

To donate to the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund, visit www.GreaterHoustonRecovery.org or text “WEHELP” to 41444

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About United Way of Greater Houston
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Houston has brought together diverse partners and approaches to address the complex challenges holding people back. We are a driving force for good that connects our neighbors with opportunities to thrive. We help our neighbors achieve financial stability.  We provide services that support the physical and behavioral health of families and youth along with educational services that expand their skills and horizons.  We provide a safety net that catches the most vulnerable. We manage every donation with care to make the greatest impact across the four-county region of Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. We connect neighbors with help 24/7 through our 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. For more information, please visit, www.unitedwayhouston.org.

About Greater Houston Community Foundation 
Greater Houston Community Foundation, one of Houston’s largest grant makers and leaders in philanthropic impact, has served the greater Houston community for 25 years. The organization supports high profile community and donor initiatives with the most comprehensive philanthropic resources, expertise, and innovative platforms. Greater Houston Community Foundation is widely considered to be the go-to partner for high-profile philanthropic partnerships in the Greater Houston area, including major disaster relief initiatives, such as the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund as well as Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.  Greater Houston Community Foundation leads collaborations that support the wellbeing and vitality of Houston, including Understanding Houston, in partnership with Rice Kinder Institute. The Foundation provides individuals, families, corporations, foundations, and advisors with the ability to expand their philanthropic impact. For more information, please visit, www.ghcf.org