Pratt Library Family Literacy Outreach Specialist Julia White (left) and library associate Tyliah McDonald (right) pause while packing a Books for Me kit at the Walbrook Junction Branch. These take-home kits of 5 new books for children ages 0 – 5 help foster parent-child reading time. BCF awarded a $40,000 grant from our COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund to expand the Pratt’s resources for remote learning through the distribution of hotspots and devices via library branches across the city.
BCF’s response to the COVID-19 crisis began in March 2020 with a series of emergency grants for distribution of food and essential supplies, enabled by the generosity of hundreds of our donors. Our rapid-response philanthropy tapped our relationships and expertise to spotlight the best ways to support our community to help donors multiply their impact. The foundation launched the COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund, raising $2.3 million for it in 2020 – to address the far-reaching immediate, intermediate and long-term effects of the pandemic. In the first phase of our response, from March – May, BCF awarded more than $912,000 to 88 organizations meeting a wide range of urgent needs – from food assistance and remote learning support to mental health counseling and domestic violence intervention, among many others. In July 2020, we began to home in on educational equity and mitigating the effects of the public health crisis on the region’s most vulnerable students.Throughout the winter of 20-21, we also made a series of grants to respond to the mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. Donors have continued to give generously to the COVID-19 Evolving Community Needs Fund in 2021. Since inception, as of June 2021, BCF has awarded nearly $2.5 million from the Fund to community-based organizations responding the pandemic.
Follow Our Updates on BCF’s COVID Response Throughout the Pandemic: