The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Atlanta Jewish Foundation have created a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support organizations serving those affected by the global pandemic in Atlanta’s Jewish community.
“COVID-19 represents the opportunity to ensure that our community does what we do best — come together and support one another,” said Eric Robbins, Federation president and CEO. “We need each other now more than ever. This is a time to deepen our commitment to our neighbors by providing for the most affected and most vulnerable during this unprecedented time.”
Federation already granted emergency funds to AgeWell Atlanta, an organization serving the elderly, one of the most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. AgeWell Atlanta will mobilize a crisis response plan to alleviate food insecurity and support the needs of older adults sheltering in place as a result of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will enable AgeWell Atlanta to respond to the large-scale needs now apparent. AgeWell Atlanta is a collaborative between Federation, Jewish HomeLife, Jewish Family and Career Services and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.
“As a philanthropic champion for the Jewish community, Federation is using everything at our disposal to serve the immediate and ever-growing needs of Jewish Atlanta around the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mark Silberman, Federation board chair. “Year-round, Federation powers organizations that make a difference in our community, but in today’s uncertain time, we are acting quickly to meet the pressing needs of those affected by COVID-19.”
Federation and AJF launched the fund in response to an extensive list of needs that have already been identified, and a growing list of those anticipated. They include:
- Increased costs for masks, gowns and gloves for clinical team members who are caring for older adults in our residential facilities.
- Increased needs for services to support older adults living in their homes, including expanded phone support, food delivery and increased transportation costs for supply deliveries.
- Emergency financial assistance for those in distress who now struggle with exponentially increased grocery bills and more.
- Overtime wages for healthy caregivers who are working additional hours for those who cannot work and for extra clinical staff who must ensure the health of these caregivers with extra checks of vital signs multiple shifts per day.
- Ensuring wages of professionals who are not able to perform their duties as buildings close and programs/service deliveries get cancelled.
- Increased scholarship needs for schools as enrolled families face financial distress. Federation encourages those interested in making a difference in the Jewish community to also contribute to the 2020 Community Campaign. “These gifts will help support critical services for people in our community who are directly or indirectly impacted by this pandemic,” Silberman said.
To stay updated on community resources, please visit jewishatlanta.org/covid19-resources.