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$255,000 in Grants Awarded from the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund

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In its fourth round of grants, the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund today awarded $255,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations providing services to communities throughout the state.

The grants will address a broad range of community needs during the pandemic. Grantees are:

  • A Wave of Healthy Meals – $2,000 to provide meals for medically fragile individuals in Sussex County.
  • Choir School of Delaware – $17,500 to provide virtual afterschool tutoring to students in Wilmington.
  • Children & Families First – $20,000 for technology to continue providing telehealth and state-mandated monitoring.
  • ContactLifeline – $7,000 to increase staffing meet increasing demand for the statewide crisis intervention hotline.
  • Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition – $15,000 to support social platforms and communications tools to provide survivors with mental health services.
  • Delaware Center for Justice – $25,000 to serve individuals statewide re-entering the community after incarceration.
  • Delmarva Adult & Teen Challenge Home of Hope – $25,000 to provide housing and services for individuals recovering from addiction in Sussex County.       
  • Frederica Senior Center – $10,500 to purchase food and personal hygiene items for seniors and veterans in Kent and Sussex County.
  • Friendship House – $30,000 to provide housing for homeless individuals in New Castle County.
  • Latin American Community Center – $25,000 to provide emergency support for low-income immigrant families in Wilmington.
  • St. Patrick’s Center – $20,000 to set up outdoor distribution of food and hygiene kits for vulnerable populations in Wilmington.
  • What is Your Voice – $8,000 for technology to serve victims of violence in Sussex County.
  • YMCA of Delaware – $50,000 for food for the community statewide and the residents of the Central Y.

In this fourth round, 58 applicants requested a total of $1.9 million from the COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund, which is housed at the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF).

To date, the fund has awarded $1.2M to 49 Delaware nonprofits. Additional grants will be awarded next week.

The goal is for the fund, which launched March 18, to provide grants for several more weeks, said DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay, who chairs the fund’s decision-making council.

The council is actively raising money to be able to respond to community needs, Comstock-Gay said.

“As the pandemic continues, the needs are growing and evolving,” Comstock-Gay said. “We are calling on the community to help local nonprofit organizations get food, shelter, medical care and other essential services directly to the people who need it most. We also must support our workforce, arts community and other sectors to restore our quality of life post-COVID-19.”

Double the Impact of Your Gift

The Longwood Foundation, which previously gave $1 million to the Strategic Response Fund, last week awarded a $500,000 grant, with the stipulation that the DCF must raise a matching $500,000 from the community.

To make a gift that qualifies for the match, give at or contact Joan Hoge-North, [email protected].

About the Fund

Grants from the Strategic Response Fund will initially focus on urgent needs related to COVID-19, then expand over time to more structural and long-term needs. Target applicants are nonprofit organizations with deep roots in the community and a strong track record of serving people who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from the crisis.

Grantees are selected through a rigorous process that involves a diverse team of more than 50 community leaders representing all three counties and a range of areas of expertise. Final decisions are made by the COVID-19 Grants Council:

Stuart Comstock-Gay, president and CEO, DCF
Sheila Bravo, president, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA), ex officio
Vernita Dorsey, WSFS
There du Pont, president, Longwood Foundation
Alan Levin, SoDel Concepts
Leslie Newman, retired CEO, Children & Families First
Enid Wallace-Simms, Delmarva Power

Applications are being accepted weekly on a rolling basis and grants will be awarded weekly for as long as funding is available and community needs exist related to COVID-19. Each week, applications received by noon on Monday will be reviewed, grantees will be selected Friday morning, and funds will be transferred Friday afternoon.

The application is open at The deadline for the next round of awards is Monday, April 27, at noon.

The fund, which is being directed by Philanthropy Delaware President Cynthia Pritchard, already includes generous gifts from the Longwood Foundation ($1.5 million), Welfare Foundation ($200,000), Fund for Women ($200,000), Laffey McHugh ($100,000), Discover ($75,000), DCF ($75,000), WSFS Bank ($25,000) and others. The DCF also has waived all administrative fees for this fund, so that 100 percent of the funds are going to organizations helping people in need. 

The Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund is part of the Delaware COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, a nonprofit collaborative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The DCF, DANA, PD and United Way of Delaware are partnering to coordinate charitable resources to maximize impact statewide during this crisis.

To contribute, visit