Pandemic deals a "double whammy" to nonprofits and people who rely on them
The coronavirus crisis has taken a toll on nonprofits across Rochester.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester has launched a community relief and recovery fund to try to bolster more than two dozen institutions and organizations, including synagogues, the JCC, Jewish Senior Life, and more.
Federation CEO Meredith Dragon said many of these places - already on tight budgets - closed to avoid further spread of the virus, and they need help so they can support the vulnerable people who depend on them.
"We have a lot of seniors, we have Holocaust survivors, people well into their eighties who survived so much hardship already in their lives," Dragon said. "I'm very concerned about that elderly population, many of whom live alone and rely on people from the outside to support them and don't necessarily have their usual supports."
Dragon described the "double whammy" she says is playing out in light of the pandemic: The organizations that are needed the most by the most vulnerable are facing unprecedented challenges themselves. She added that many of the groups serve the community at large, not just the Jewish community.
"When there have been emergencies around the world that we have taken part in the relief and recovery of, we've always been okay and we've been able to help somebody else," she said. "Nobody is here to help us right now because everybody around the world is going through the same thing at the same time. It's really quite remarkable."
Dragon said they'll probably need to raise well into the seven figures to ensure that the nonprofits are on solid ground. She estimated that between $500,000 and $700,000 was already raised as of Wednesday morning thanks in part to contributions from two foundations.
Donations can be made at JewishRochester.org or by calling the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester at 585-461-0490.
The United Way of Greater Rochester and the Rochester Area Community Foundation are also partnering to help nonprofits that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing a community crisis fund.