The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation (GTCF) has partnered with United Way of Pierce County to launch a special philanthropic fund to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details of the emergency response fund, called Pierce County Connected, are still being finalized and more information will be released as it becomes available, said Megan Sukys, vice president of communications for GTCF.

The fund, seeded with $750,000 from GTCF, is expected to include family funders, foundations, and corporations from around the region as an aligned philanthropic response to critical needs spawned by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Pierce County Connected funding will support organizations providing services to address urgent needs and the disruption of basic human services due to COVID-19, GTCF said in a statement.

This is a rapidly developing situation, it added. GTCF is working closely with emergency operations centers, funders, nonprofits, and networks across Pierce County to align responses. Further details about funding will be posted as they are available.

The Pierce County Connected fund link allows anyone to make donations to complement funds provided by GTCF and other funding partners. All dollars will go to the aligned philanthropic response fund and neither United Way nor GTCF will collect fees on the fund, Sukys said.

GTCF also encourages continued donations to other organizations that matter to people.

“While the impact of COVID-19 is extraordinary, we can all make an even greater impact for good by supporting the people, organizations, and causes that make this a thriving community,” GTCF said.

Meanwhile, GTCF’s website includes a blog listing myriad organizations and information related to COVID-19 and is updated daily. The blog provides updates of community service disruptions, needs that are surfacing, and available resources. GTCF said additional information for the blog can be sent to info@gtcf.org.

United Way’s website also contains helpful COVID-19 information.

“We’re gathering all the different disruptions, services, and resources — the needs, but also the ways that the community is stepping up and coming together — and we’re keeping track of all of those and sharing that information,” Sukys said.

“This time is showing just how fragile the social safety net is and the limitations of current service providers, nonprofits, agencies, and others to continue meeting needs during times of crisis,” she said of GTCF and others trying to help, not only by making vital connections, but through the new Pierce County Connected emergency fund.


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