April 3, 2020

Contact: Alison C. Woods
Vice President & Chief Development Officer

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut (CFECT) announces today the following three actions to address the impact of COVID-19 on residents of Eastern Connecticut:

1. Immediate relief: Disbursement of $403,500 in grants to 24 organizations addressing the basic needs of residents of southeastern Connecticut.

These grants were fast-tracked through CFECT’s regular regional competitive grants cycle and made possible by existing donor funds at CFECT. The grants are aimed at building the capacity of nonprofits that are working with some of our most vulnerable populations who are disproportionately affected by work closures, income reduction, lack of childcare, and challenges to the delivery of physical and mental healthcare. See list of grants here.

2. Announcing a challenge: To date, more than $200,000 has been committed to our recently established Neighbors for Neighbors Fund. On top of that, today, we announce a $200,000 Challenge put forth by local anonymous donors to match all additional gifts to the Fund, dollar for dollar, up to $200,000.

This Fund is designed to bring us all together and to address the question, “How can I help?” in response to the COVID-19 crisis in our region.

We recognize and thank funding partners including the Edward and Mary Lord Foundation, the Chelsea Groton Foundation, Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation, CorePlus Credit Union, and the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation, as well as many local residents who have shown their love for their neighbors and community by giving to this Fund.

CFECT is working closely with our key partners, the United Ways of Southeastern Connecticut and Central and Northeastern Connecticut, as well as our towns’ governments, social service providers and area nonprofits, to identify the greatest needs in order to make grants in the short and longer term. More information on the grantmaking process will be released soon.

Donors are encouraged to donate online or by electronic funds transfer (ACH), given CFECT’s remote working conditions. Visit for details.

3. Supporting health care providers: Immediate grants to support the COVID-19 response efforts of 4 hospitals made possible by anonymous local donors.

Up to $345,000 will be awarded to four hospitals for COVID-19 response. Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Day Kimball Hospital will use these funds to purchase equipment and supplies and to address other needs that ensure a strong response to the pandemic as it unfolds.

CFECT President & CEO Maryam Elahi observed, “Health is a basic human right. The virus is impacting us all, but we know that some will have daunting challenges given their limited access to health care and other services. It is heartwarming to see the level and speed of response by compassionate people in our community. We are all in this together and we will persevere as long as we care about each other. The Neighbors for Neighbors Fund gives us all a concrete way to wrap our arms around everyone in our region, especially our most vulnerable residents.”

For more details on the Neighbors for Neighbors Fund or to make a gift, visit If you need more information, contact Alison Woods at

About the Community Foundation
Serving 42 towns and comprised of 547 charitable funds, the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut puts philanthropy into action to address the needs, rights and interests of the region, focusing on four priority areas: empowering youth, promoting basic needs and rights, preserving the environment, and advancing animal welfare. The Foundation manages a permanent community endowment and has awarded more than $62 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and students since its founding in 1983. To learn more, visit