Week 9: COVID-19 Response Grants

In partnership with our generous donors and supporters, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has awarded more than $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief funding over the last two months.

We are pleased to announce our ninth round of COVID-19 Response Grants. In week nine, $135,000 was awarded to eleven organizations and initiatives to support local artists and arts organizations, childcare programs, food pantries, job training, and much more.

CFSA’s COVID-19 Response Grants prioritize programs that help the most vulnerable in our community, and access to food is an ongoing issue that has been significantly heightened by the pandemic. “With this generous grant from CFSA, Grace St. Paul’s Church will be able to continue to live out our mission of being a beacon to our wider community,” shared Jessica Swift, Director of Children, Youth, and Families and Social Services Leader. “We are happy to be able to continue to run Joseph’s Pantry, offering food, showers, and dignity to any and all persons in need. The funds from CFSA will help with our increased costs and the increased need in the community.”

Reliable, high-quality childcare can be a challenge to secure, especially for essential employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Desert Spring Children’s Center, a nonprofit education center, has been offering accessible early education since 1987. “This grant from the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona comes at a critical time for our community of children, families, and educators,” shared Board Chair Dr. Catherine Nichols. “It will enable us to re-open our doors and engage in the joy, work, and wonder of childhood.”

The arts play a critical role in sustaining the health and vibrancy of our diverse southern Arizona communities, and CFSA is proud to support local artists and cultural organizations affected by COVID-19. Southwest Folklife Alliance works to build a more equitable and vibrant community by celebrating the diversity of the Greater Southwest. “CFSA’s support helps SFA meet basic human needs by providing relief resources to traditional artists and culture bearers throughout Southern Arizona,” said Managing Director, Leia Maahs. “The shelter-in-place measures have cut many off from their livelihoods or heritage practices. Our emergency fund has helped us get cash directly to artists from ethnic and marginalized communities to provide them with the basic support they need.”

President and CEO of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Steven P. Haines, shared that, “Music has the power to heal and uplift all corners of our diverse community during this trying time. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is committed to continuing to serve the needs of students, teachers, and audience members by developing music education and outreach initiatives through digital engagement.”

Support for youth and community members with disabilities also continues to be a priority. Beacon Group has been creating opportunities for people with disabilities since 1952. “We are honored to be the recipient of a grant from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s COVID-19 Community Support Fund,” shared President/CEO, Greg Natvig. “In addition to restoring suspended jobs and safeguarding training programs and job coaching services for more than 400 individuals as they return to work, these funds enable Beacon to assist hundreds more in securing and maintaining employment in this challenging job market.

Fountain Youth Ministries, in collaboration with Phoenix Fitness and Defense, designs therapeutic martial arts classes to support women and youth self-defense, mentoring, counseling, LGBTQ+ self-defense, and fitness. “We value our community and our community partners who help support our mission to engage participants in meaningful activities,” says Dr. Torrejon, founder of Fountain Youth Ministries. “During these uncertain times, the need for a sense of safety and mental, emotional, and physical well-being are amplified and critical for survival.”

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