One of the biggest challenges of supporting a community through a public health crisis is maintaining a consistent stream of funding. People tend to give more in the direct aftermath of a tragedy, but that can lead to shortages during the critical phases of recovery and rebuilding. We knew that our partner agencies, who directly serve vulnerable populations, were worried about facing that type of shortfall.
We kept that in mind as we entered a six week fundraising sprint for the Maimonides Fund. The sprint was a "match challenge" from our parent organization, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). In just a few weeks, we raised over $1 million dollars for service agencies that focus on housing, food, medical care and mental health assistance. After we hit our goal, JFNA contributed $500,000 to our total, bringing it up to $1.6 million.
Our Maimonides Fund grants were distributed to 13 local agencies to help meet basic needs for vulnerable populations: rent or utility relief, extra meals, technology upgrades and assistance, supermarket gift cards, transport to COVID vaccines, and PPE. The funds will also help cover expenses for additional staff and overtime costs that are necessary to meet the growing demand.
At this stage in the pandemic, those grants made a big different. Here's what some of our community partners had to say:
“The Maimonides Fund is a great boost for us to help more people. Our interest free, no-fee loans enable people to pay for housing expenses, education, debt consolidation, medical and dental costs, fertility, adoption, and more.”
-Cheryl Barish Erlick, Executive Director, Hebrew Free Loan Society of Greater Philadelphia
“The Maimonides Fund dollars were immensely helpful, because they provided additional resources after the typical decrease in disaster funding and created a way for donors to have an even greater impact with their end of year giving.”
-Brian Gralnick, Director of Social Responsibility, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
“The Maimonides Fund gave critical dollars to help the most vulnerable members of our community during these very challenging times. These funds will help JFCS provide food to isolated older adults, ensure clients have transportation to vaccination appointments, and offer tele-mental health services to persons struggling to cope with anxiety and life’s challenges.”
-Paula Goldstein, President and CEO, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia
“The Maimonides Fund was a ‘true’ gift to our organization at a very critical time. These dollars helped provide much needed equipment and services required during the pandemic to keep our nearly 6,000 seniors, many of whom are at-risk, safe and secure wherever they reside with the help of our outstanding staff.”
-Ande Adelman, Senior Development Advisor, Abramson Senior Care