GARFIELD PARK — An anonymous donor is giving up to $100,000 to the coronavirus relief efforts being coordinated by Marillac St. Vincent under the condition the social service organization raise a matching amount from the community.
The donor has already given half the amount to the organization, and will donate another $50,000 once Marillac reaches its funding goal. Now the nonprofit is pulling all the stops to bring in as much money as possible so that it can have enough funding to support residents through the worst of the public health crisis and even through the city’s long-term economic recovery.
“The best thing about it is that it’s money that’s going straight to the families. We’re not taking out an administrative fee or anything,” said CEO Peter Beale-DelVecchio.
Marillac’s COVID relief funds are distributed through the families participating in the nonprofit’s education and youth services programs. Recipients are getting up to $400 in gift cards each week to pay for food, supplies and bills.
The fund is currently supporting the weekly income of 182 families. So far, Marillac has sent out over $130,000 in gift cards.
Many families in Marillac’s networks are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, Beale-Delvecchio said. Many have lost their jobs or had their hours cut. Others have loved ones recovering from COVID-19.
“Even once the stay at home order is lifted … not all of our families are going to hired back right away. And frankly, some of their jobs may not come back. And so this is going to be a long game for us,” he said.
So far, Marillac has raised about $68,000 towards the goal set by the anonymous donor, and Beale-DelVecchio said they hope to hit their mark in a few weeks. The nonprofit is aiming to raise enough money in its combined fundraising efforts to continue to provide relief long after the emergency unemployment benefits are due to expire in July.
“The fact that we’re raising so much money now is going to allow us to continue to support them well into the summer,” he said.
Marillac St. Vincent is accepting donations on its website.
Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.
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