We can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors if we unite.
Anne Calder, vice president of development for the Quad Cities Community Foundation, on Sunday summed up the Unite Quad Cities for COVID-19 Recovery, the 24-hour giving event to help those affected by the new coronavirus, COVID-19.
“We have gifts and commitments of over $750,000 now," she said. "For Monday, this is a one-day community-wide effort to share that this fund is a way for everyone to make a difference to the most vulnerable and the most affected.”
Already, $350,000 from the fund has been granted to 19 nonprofits organizations.
The funds will be distributed through the Quad Cities Disaster Recovery Fund at the Quad Cities Community Foundation. The Quad-City Times, Moline Dispatch-Argus and other Quad-City media, the Quad Cities Community Foundation and the United Way of the Quad Cities will lead the initiative. Funds will be granted to nonprofits involved in COVID-19 relief that serve the elderly and low-income populations, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness, among others.
The first $150,000 donated Monday will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The challenge match is made possible by a $50,000 gift from First Midwest Bank, a $30,000 gift from Sears Seating, $25,000 gifts from Modern Woodmen of America and MidAmerican Energy, and $20,000 from Mike and Monique Gorsline.
Calder said every donation will be granted out.
“The Community Foundation is donating services on the fund completely,” she said. “We are not collecting any fees, other than credit card fees.”
“Monday’s event will represent who we are as a Quad Cities community,” said Sherry Ristau, president and CEO of the Quad Cities Community Foundation, in a statement. “It is an opportunity to amplify the need, celebrate generosity in our community, and reflect on what we can do no matter where we are to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community impacted by this pandemic.”
W. Kenny Massey, president and CEO of Modern Woodmen, said in a news release the matching gift was made because the fraternal financial services organization’s mission is to improve the quality of life for its members and their communities.
“That starts with our home office’s hometown,” he said. “This $25,000 gift to the Quad Cities Disaster Recovery Fund will help multiple nonprofits in the area, and we hope it encourages others to contribute as well.”
“Much like the flood emergency like year, we recognize that this is going to have near-term, intermediate-term and long-term effects on our community,” said Dale Owen, president and CEO of Ascentra Credit Union, which is supporting the effort.
“We’ve always been very community-minded. The only thing that is changing is the dire need,” he said Sunday. “I hope this is successful to bring in resources to nonprofits so they can continue to do the wonderful job they do in serving our community.”
Donations are being accepted online at www.unitequadcities.org or by texting “UNITEQC” (using all capital letters) to 41444.
Since the fund was activated, organizations and schools have requested more than $2.5 million in grants.
Throughout Monday, Quad-City media partners will feature stories of the impact the pandemic is having on the community, and the efforts of Quad-Citians who are caring for one another.
Paula Sands, of KWQC TV6, will host a six-hour telethon, which will feature other KWQC personalities and Quad-City musical performances through a partnership with River Music Experience.
“This is a horrible thing we’re all having to deal with,” Calder said. “But I’m so glad I’m dealing with it with my community in the Quad-Cities. We rise to every occasion.”