A small group of concerned residents in a small town can do big things in the face of a global health pandemic.
In March, a group helping to organize the community’s response to COVID-19 reached out to Greater Pike Community Foundation to set up a pass-through fund to assist individuals, businesses and nonprofits in and near Milford Borough that have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
The Milford Covid Relief Fund began with Mayor Sean Strub, Borough Councilmembers Frank Tarquinio, Joseph Dooley and Luke Turano, former Councilmember Annette Haar, and Doug Manion, MD, an infectious disease and virology specialist. They recognized the need for a philanthropic effort to fund relief efforts in Milford and formed the group’s steering committee.
Greater Pike Community Foundation helped establish the fund, accept donations, distribute assistance, and connect with donors. So far, thanks to the generosity of many, more than $50,000 has been raised and donations continue to come in.
The support to individuals has been through the Milford United Methodist Church’s Community Outreach program, which helps pay rent or utility bills, buy groceries, diapers, gasoline or other necessities for qualified applicants. The Milford Covid Relief Fund has also provided funding to the Pike County Area Agency on Aging, to support their meal delivery program to seniors in Milford Borough.
Support for Milford’s commercial district included the purchase and distribution of masks, germicidal bleach, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes to more than 50 local businesses and non-profits. Sanitation supplies have also been provided to clients of the Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. A grant to Milford Presents, the non-profit that promotes Milford’s commercial district and festivals, will support efforts to rebuild Milford’s visitation-based economy.
The masks produced by the Milford Covid Relief Fund are emblazoned with the message “Historically Safe: MilfordPA.US” for a reason. “For our business community to rebound, it is important that we, as a community, are truly committed to the steps necessary to stop the spread of coronavirus. No one wants to see a rebound that results in another shutdown,” said Milford Borough Councilmember Luke Turano.
Milford Presents received funds to purchase and distribute the masks.
“We appreciate the support of the Milford Covid Relief Fund, said Adriane Wendell, President of the Board of Directors at Milford Presents. “The sanitation supplies provided were a big help to local businesses.”
The benefits may be difficult to quantify but are nonetheless significant. “The Milford Covid Relief Fund has undoubtedly helped reduce the spread of this virus,” Dr. Manion said.
Council President Frank Tarquinio said, “The bottom line is that Milford is fortunate to have so many generous individuals who have made the Covid Relief Fund’s work possible. We are a community that cares and has risen to the challenge.”
“Covid relief funds at Greater Pike Community Foundation have, to date, raised nearly $140,000 for area nonprofits to help them in their efforts to fight the negative effects of this pandemic,” said Jim Pedranti, Board Chair of Greater Pike. “We appreciate the generosity of the community in helping us support relief efforts during this unprecedented crisis.”
How you can help
To help support the Milford Covid Relief Fund, tax-deductible donations can be made online at greaterpike.org, or a check payable to “GPCF-MCRF” can be 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. For information about establishing a fund, or to discuss how to realize your charitable goals, contact Jenni Hamill, Executive Director: email@example.com or 570-832-4686.