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Diocesan Emergency Response Fund Launched to Support Parish Response to People Impacted by COVID-19

Posted March 26, 2020

An Emergency Response Fund has been established by the Diocese of Cleveland to provide funds for parishes that have limited resources and funds to address the immediate needs of families and individuals in their parish communities who have been impacted by COVID-19. The funds will be disbursed by parishes to people in their community who have become financially vulnerable as they scramble to cover the costs of food, rent, utilities, and their health. The Catholic Community Foundation, which manages the fund, has provided $500,000 to kick start and position the fund to have a direct benefit to those who are now vulnerable due to the current financial upheaval.

Father Donald Oleksiak, Administrator for the Diocese of Cleveland, comments: “As weeks go on, the hardship on individuals and families will intensify. Many will be pushed into crisis. We need to act now so that this Emergency Response Fund can help people in parish communities get through this critical time.”

Assistance from the Emergency Response Fund will be delivered at the parish level, with pastors applying for grants from the Catholic Community Foundation that will, in turn, provide financial assistance to families and individuals. Donations to the Emergency Response Fund can be made online through the Catholic Community Foundation crowdfunding site at

“The spirit of philanthropy and collective action is at the core of the Catholic community in Northeast Ohio,” says Patrick Grace, executive director of the Catholic Community Foundation. “Now is the time for all of us to come together to support people in need and contribute to the vitality and health of our community.”

In addition to a parish-based response, Catholic Charities continues to be at the forefront of helping people in great need throughout Northeast Ohio through a network of over 60 sites, many of which are currently delivering services during this crisis under the guidelines issued by the State of Ohio. Catholic Charities stands by its mission to serve the most vulnerable people, especially now amid a pandemic. Donations to the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal will assist the growing number of families, children, men, and women in need of critical social services. To help Catholic Charities assist others, go to or call 216-696-6525 x3670.

Checks to benefit the Emergency Response Fund and/or the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal can be mailed to: Catholic Community Foundation, Attn: Megan Gerome, 1404 East Ninth Street, Cleveland, OH 44114. Please mark “Emergency Response Fund” or “Catholic Charities” in the memo line.

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