Good afternoon to everyone! I hope that today finds you healthy, safe and taking the advice to stay home and practice social distancing. While it certainly does change life tremendously in the short term, it will indeed payoff for our community if we can prevent any spreading of the Covid 19 virus, and help get us back to normalcy in a much shorter time frame, that is the prayer of all of us!
The current health crisis is without a doubt, unprecedented in our nation. But Americans across the nation are coming together to help one another, protect one another and our families and neighbors, co-workers and those we do not know. Today, it is very important that I share with you some urgent updates and how it relates to each of us, as leaders in our communities and the eastern North Carolina region. I have spent much of my time in recent days on national calls with leaders from across America. Today is a call to action!! In this time of great uncertainty, one thing that we do know for certain, is that Community Foundations across the United States have long been the most trusted and valued resource when it comes to many areas, not only 365 days a year, but VERY SPECIFICALLY during times of national crisis. Here are the reasons why we are that trusted and valued resource: in every situation we lead with integrity, we move in an extremely timely manner on any and all critical needs, our connections and availability to connect is exceptional, our on the ground responses are what we do best, and Foundations always make decisions based on the greater good. Yesterday, President Trump met with Nonprofit Leaders and our Administration along with the Covid 19 Task Force, and they fully understand and recognize all that our national Nonprofits mean to the welfare of our nation.
Having stated that, we are also reminded that in the Foundation world, our work is SO MUCH GREATER THAN JUST GRANT MAKING!! COMING TOGETHER TO SOLVE PROBLEMS IS OUR SUPERPOWER!! This is recognized by even the most high net worth families, corporations, and leaders in America. So while we are extremely proud to know this is how we as Community Foundations are regarded and respected across the nation and the world, it is also in times of crisis like this, that we are forced to expand our resources, do more with less due to the financial downturn in the stock markets, and we are held to the highest of both expectations and standards, in that people’s lives are counting on us!
I have spent significant time in constant contact with our Governmental Officials in the North Carolina General Assembly as well as our House and Senate Members in Congress, and our local and regional elected officials. We are absolutely monitoring the most pressing and critical needs that are being represented as a result of the Covid 19 Virus. As each of you know the situation is very fluid at this time and changes daily. We do believe that as a result of many things, including the current stay at home and social distancing plans of action, that this will lead to significant progress in preventing spreading of the virus. But that leads us to the critical needs we are currently facing and today I am proud to announce an important step we are taking as a Foundation to help us be able to offer our resources quickly and effectively.
Effective today at 12:00 noon, (Thursday, March 26th) we are announcing to our Donors, Community Partners, Leadership and Members of the Communities in our Region, the official start of our Covid 19 Philanthropy Pledge! We invite anyone who wishes to give back by investing in our communities and our region, to please consider making donations immediately to our Disaster Relief Fund. Your donations which are an investment in our own communities, will be used immediately to go towards the following areas of need: 1. Community Feeding Our Children Program 2. Pitt County Council on Aging to feed as many home-bound, pre-qualified senior citizens as possible 3. The Hope Lodge of Greenville 4. Assisting Nonprofits that provide workforce programs to help those in need of employment/maintaining employment 5. American Red Cross – eastern North Carolina chapters.
These will be the top 5 focus areas that we will use our funding to assist. In addition, I am working with North Carolina elected officials on the details of the Stimulus Bill that is being passed by Congress and the President, and how it will be available to help meet the needs of eastern North Carolina.
We feel that this is a tremendous effort but one we can all work together to accomplish. As the Community Foundation of NC East, we have always risen to the occasion in every past crisis or time of disaster, and this will be another example of how we must all pull together and do our best to help ensure we can take care of those in need at this very critical time. So I ask that each of you will first, please let others know that they can be a part of our Covid 19 Philanthropy Pledge, and second, please visit our website and make a donation today. IF YOU HAVE THE MEANS AND THE ABILITY, PLEASE BE GENEROUS!
Thank you and Best Wishes for your safety and good health as we all work together to get our communities through this temporary time of challenges!
Melissa Q. Spain, CEO The Community Foundation of NC East