The Milford Covid Relief Fund, a pass-through fund at the Greater Pike Community Foundation, announced its first grant on Tuesday.
A donation of $4,000 was made to the Community Outreach program at the Milford United Methodist Church to support people who live or work in Milford Borough and need assistance.
“We wanted to help individuals who live or work in Milford Borough, but we did not want to create a complicated apparatus to do so. Milford United Methodist Church has been doing this for years through their Community Outreach program, so we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel,” said Joe Dooley, a member of the Milford council and the relief fund steering committee.
The Community Outreach program includes trained volunteers who discreetly interview applicants then make a determination of need, said Liz Steen, who coordinates the program for the church.
“We don’t provide money directly to the applicant, but for those who qualify, we will pay or pay part of a bill directly or provide a pre-paid voucher," she said.
Annette Haar, a steering committee member, said helping with a utility or medical bill, rent or similar expense can help a person get through a rough patch.
"It is important to remember that there are many workers who do not qualify for, or have not yet received, any unemployment benefits," she said.
The Community Outreach program will also provide vouchers valid at Milford businesses selling groceries or to-go foods. These businesses are listed in the Milford section at MilfordToGo.com.
“This helps us support both individuals in need as well as our local businesses,” said Luke Turano, also a member of both the Milford council and the relief fund steering committee. “It keeps more money right here, in our community.”
The Milford Covid Relief Fund was established at the Greater Pike Community Foundation to help provide support to Milford residents and workers affected by the pandemic and to support Milford businesses.
"Greater Pike is pleased to offer the use of its infrastructure to accept donations and then make grant awards to local non-profits on behalf of the Milford Covid Relief Fund,” said Jenni Hamill, Greater Pike’s executive director. “Now more than ever, the role of a community foundation is clear -- we can offer help and support that is not only local, but direct. The Milford United Methodist Church Community Outreach Program is a critical player in local Covid relief efforts right now and an excellent choice for support."
In addition to Haar, Turano and Dooley, the Fund’s other steering committee members include Milford Borough Council President Frank Tarquinio, Dr. Doug Manion, and Milford Mayor Sean Strub.
To apply for support, the party in need should call 570-296-6124 and leave their contact information. They will be contacted discreetly, by telephone, for a discussion of their needs and eligibility.
Tax-deductible donations can be made payable to “GPCF-MCRF” and sent to Greater Pike Community Foundation, P.O. Box 992, Milford, PA 18337
New funds focus on crisis needs
To rapidly address ongoing and emergency needs, Greater Pike Community Foundation recently announced the establishment of a third emergency fund — the Greater Pike Covid Relief Fund (GPCRF). The fund will provide support for qualified government and nonprofit relief efforts helping those harmed by the COVID epidemic in the greater Pike region.
Jim Pedranti, the foundation’s board chair said the new fund will address the "many immediate and long term needs of the community and will enable people to have access to food pantries, emergency relief programs and other needed community resources such as health and social services.”
The Greater Pike Covid Relief Fund will soon be accepting grant applications. Information about how to apply for these funds will be available shortly at greaterpike.org. Nonprofit representatives may email Maryanne Monte at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Hamill says the need right now is great.
“We live in a region of generous and caring friends and neighbors who understand that help at the local level will have the fastest and most direct impact on this disaster," she said.
A third fund, the Pike County Emergency Services Initiative Fund, (PCESI) will provide funding to qualified Pike County emergency services agencies and other nonprofit emergency response organizations, including training programs for emergency medical technicians.
Donations may be made to any of the three funds online at GreaterPike.org or by check payable to “GPCF-GPCRF," "GPCF-MCRF," or “GPCF-“PCESI," and mailed to Greater Pike Community Foundation, P.O. Box 992, Milford, PA 18337.
Since its founding in 2012, Greater Pike Community Foundation has become an important philanthropic leader in Pike County. Greater Pike was created to enable generous individuals, families and local businesses to maximize their charitable support through organized, targeted community philanthropy.