COVID-19 Community Response Fund

United Way of Marquette County has collaborated with the Community Foundation of Marquette County to establish the COVID-19 Community Response fund for people to donate to help meet immediate needs in the community related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund supports nonprofits and charitable causes who are serving vulnerable populations during this time. 

(Last updated August 6, 2020) So far, the fund has raised over $140,000! Thank you to the many individual and corporate donors who have stepped up to support our community during this unprecedented time. The fund has approved 40 applications totaling approximately $55,00, with a review committee meeting bi-weekly to discuss and vote on applications.  To ensure as many needs as possible can be met during this critical “basic needs” period of the pandemic, there is a $2,000 limit on grant requests.  

 The Mining Journal published a story about the Fund which can be viewed here

Grants Distributed from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund: 

Trillium Hospice House – Tpurchase thermometers, probe covers and additional sanitizing supplies. 

Propylon Nonprofit Housing – To purchase sanitizer, cleaning and household products and pre-made meals for 17 residents.  

Lutheran Social Services – To purchase groceries, cleaning and household supplies for adults and families in the Welcome Home program. 

Partridge Creek Farm  To purchase coils of aluminum to manufacture nose pieces for face masks being sewn by volunteers.  

Salvation Army – To purchase supplies and food to continue serving food to those in need.  

Room at the Inn Homeless Shelter – To purchase groceriescleaning and medical supplies for shelter guests while in residence at Lakeview Arena.   

Negaunee Senior Citizens Center – To purchase food to deliver 100 meals per week for six weeks to senior citizens who can no longer access the Center.  

Messiah Lutheran Church – To support the Community Assistance Fund that provides housing, transportation, utility, and medical needs to the community.  

Queens Heart of Marquette – To purchase paper products and cleaning supplies to provide to agencies supporting low-income residents. 

906 Community Church – To assist families in Gwinn and K.I. Sawyer with rent, utilities and educational supplies. 

Marquette Area Public Schools – To purchase a 3D printer for Bothwell School’s Makerspace to produce PPE for Marquette County 

Superior Housing Solutions – To purchase food and supplies for residents.  

Travel Marquette, Hotels for Hero’s – To support reduced rate hotel rooms for front line workers. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters – To assist families with basic needs including food and technology.  

Ripple Effect NMU – To purchase personal care items for students who utilize the NMU Food Pantry.  

St. Anthony Church – To purchase food to facilitate free meals being provided twice weekly to Sawyer residents. 

Teaching Family Homes – To purchase surgical masks and gloves for youth and staff.  

The New Free Store – To purchase cleaning and hygiene supplies for families.  

Masks for Marquette – To purchase elastic, fabric and thread for volunteers to sew masks, surgical caps, respirator covers, intubation masks and gowns for front line workers and facilities.  

Care Clinic – To purchase groceries, gas cards, diapers and wipes for young families.  

 Doulas of Marquette – To support “A Healthy Start – Preparing for Birth and Postpartum in the Time of COVID-19” program, offered free of charge for up to 200 couples/individuals.   

Feed the Frontline – To support meal purchases from local businesses to feed front line workers.  

Great Lakes Recovery – To purchase additional personal protective equipment in the Adult Residential Services facility.  

Synergy Fitness – To purchase tablets to distribute to skilled nursing facilities, allowing residents to stay in touch with loved ones.  

Gwinn Area Community Schools – To support and expand food options for breakfast and lunch for area families.

Hope Free Lutheran Church – To purchase food to prepare and distribute to at risk populations.

Community Action Alger Marquette – To purchase face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer & stands for staff.

Silver Creek Church – To purchase hand sanitizer, tissue packets and soap to distribute to children and families at the drive-thru Neighborhood Block Party backpack distribution in August.

Feeding America West Michigan – To purchase and distribute food to local food pantries, including St. Vincent de Paul pantries, Marquette (also serves Gwinn), Negaunee, Ishpeming, and Republic; Salvation Army pantry in Marquette; NMU Food Pantry in Marquette; Hope Free Lutheran pantry in Ishpeming; and Paw Packs Backpack program in Gwinn.

Start the Cycle – To cover increased costs of purchasing bikes for at-risk youth participating in the program.

Society of St. VIncent de Paul-Marquette District – To purchase sneeze shields and masks for staff and volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores in Marquette and Gwinn.

Beacon House – To purchase PPE and safety supplies for reopening.

Forsyth Senior Center – To purchase a computer for participating in virtual meetings and assisting seniors with electronic communication.

UP Children’s Therapy – To support therapy services for children.

Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum – To purchase PPE supplies for reopening.

NTN Noquemanon Trail Network – To purchase PPE for volunteers, cleaning supplies and equipment.

Republic-Michigamme Schools – To purchase a sanitizing machine.

U.P. Children’s Museum – To purchase a sanitizing machine.

Janzen House – To purchase food and supplies.

NICE Community Schools – To purchase a sanitizing machine.


Moving Forward, Thinking Ahead 

The Community Foundation is joining with local foundations, funders and government entities to prepare for an extended response to address the near and long-term implications the COVID-19 pandemic will have on area nonprofitsWe are approaching this in three phases: 

 Phase one: Basic and immediate short-term needs for non-profits and grassroots charitable causes. The goal of this phase is to assist those who are providing basic necessities such as food, shelter, household supplies and basic medical supplies (face masks, PPE) for vulnerable populations and essential workers.  

 Phase twoIntermediate support for nonprofitsAs community non-profits begin to adjust to a new environment, support will be needed to help them adapt. This might include fewer employees and volunteers and cancelled or postponed events. The goal of this phase is to adjust grantmaking practices to provide flexibility for grantees to address current needs. We also need to assess how the non-profit sector can help support our small, local businesses through partnerships and collaboration. The Community Foundation will also evaluate how to best stay sustainable beyond the immediate crisis and recovery periods as market conditions may remain uncertain for years to come.  

 Phase three: This phase will be looking towards what many call a “new normal”. The goal of this phase will be to assess and strengthen basic infrastructures in the county and strategize how the Community Foundation can play a vital role moving forward. As this crisis continues to unfold, these details will be better understoodHow can we, as a Community Foundation, be best prepared to respond to disasters – such as a second wave of the virus – to respond immediately?  

During this time of uncertainty and isolation, we are deeply concerned about how this pandemic and continuing emergency will impact the most vulnerable in our community. Marquette County has always been committed to coming together in supporting each other during times of crisis and ensuring those who struggle financially and economically are supported in every way possible. Working together, we will continue to survive and thrive.