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Grand Island Community Foundation hands out $19,000 in donation grants

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 11:02 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - ‘Tis the season of giving and the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation did just that this week. The group gave out almost $19,000 to area non-profits.

They wanted to choose groups heavily impacted by COVID-19 so they donated to places like Hope Harbor, The Crisis Center and a number of food pantries.

“Now is the time that they need those dollars probably more than they ever have because they are not getting a break,” GGICF CEO Melissa DeLaet told Local4 News. “Those services haven’t shut down just because the country has. In fact they’re being accessed more so it’s just more strain on the resources that community organizations have.”

The food pantry at Saint Mary’s Cathedral was just one of the locations that was chosen for a donation.

“It was a surprise and then when she said the check was for $2,000 it was really a surprise,” Food Pantry Chairperson Marie Schuster said. “It’s a very, very generous offer and we are very pleased to get it.”

Schuster said they’ve seen an increase in need for their services recently and that this would be very helpful for them.

“We’ve noticed more now within the last month or so where we’ve been having more people come in for donations,” she said. “We’re more than glad to help them out. We’re glad we can help them out.”

DeLaet said they were looking for organizations are guiding the community through the pandemic to help them help others.

“All of the different food pantries and food security programs and the organizations that are providing for rent and utilities and those things, they are seeing an increase in the need out there,” DeLaet said. “They’re seeing more and more people access their services. Now is the time that they need those services probably more than they ever have.’

Another group that really benefited from this surprise donation was the Christmas Cheer Association. They have seen about a 30% increase in applications this holiday season.

“As far as our records show that would be the biggest number that we’ve seen as an organization in modern time for sure,” President Don Smith said. “It’s a difficult time, for sure. I think that’s going to approve when we go back to normal but I think the coming year is going to be a hard time for a lot of people.”

The foundation also spent about $1,500 on gifts for Toys for Tots and gave the Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addiction $2,700 to start their new young mental health program.

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