The Golisano Foundation recently announced $426,300 in COVID-19 response grants.
Grants totaling $403,000 will help organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with urgent needs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Funds went to the Arc of Steuben ($50,000), AutismUp ($100,000), Best Buddies WNY ($20,000), Best Buddies South West Florida ($30,000), Heritage Christian Services ($75,000), Mary Cariola Children’s Center ($64,000) and Special Olympics New York ($64,000).
The remaining $23,300 from the Bailey and Friends Fund will go to organizations dedicated to animal welfare that are experiencing unexpected costs. These grants went to Beverly Animal Shelter ($5,000), The Humane Society of Yates County ($1,000), Mr. Grey’s Strays Inc. ($2,000), Pet Pride of New York ($4,800), Rochester Hope for Pets ($3,000), SNIP Collier ($5,000) and Wyoming County ($2,500).
Now through the end of October, the Foundation is redirecting approximately $2 million in grant funding to assist organizations in western New York and southwest Florida.
“These organizations are supporting some of our most vulnerable citizens and are experiencing tremendous pressures,” said Ann Costello, executive director. “As we launched this grant process, our objective was to be flexible, give some peace of mind and pay some very needed expenses.
“We are so impressed with the creativity being used to keep as many services as possible going to maintain safety and quality of services, stay in touch with people, and put programs online and in homes. We appreciate and admire their commitment, dedication and creativity as they work hard under new and difficult circumstances to continue to help those in need.
“The organizations dedicated to pet welfare rely so much on fundraisers and those are on hold right now, so this funding will enable them to buy essential supplies, take care of emergency veterinary services and support foster homes.”
Grants help cover short-term operating expenses for essential programs, safety net and specialty services; the purchase of personal protective equipment and other supplies/equipment; new technology and technical assistance for virtual commuting and telemedicine; cleaning supplies for health and hygiene; and efforts to ensure safe distancing in group homes and facilities.
“Right now, our 2,500 local families living with autism are without essential social, fitness and recreation programs that they rely upon from AutismUp,” said Sarah Milko, executive director. “These programs are their nourishment and they are what literally keeps many AutismUp families afloat.
“Those living with autism are struggling now more than ever because they are even more isolated than before due to the stay at home order. With this grant, AutismUp will be able to continue our operations and our efforts to support our families virtually until the time comes when we can all be together again. For this, all of our AutismUp families are extremely grateful.”
“This funding is going to help ensure that when we are able to bring back live training and programs, our athletes, coaches and volunteers will have everything they need to compete in a safe and healthy environment,” said Stacey Hengsterman, president and CEO of Special Olympics New York.