MLK Center among first nonprofit grantees to receive RI Gives Vax Challenge grant


Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Executive Office of Commerce and the Rhode Island Foundation announced today that 5,000 more Rhode Islanders have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, reaching the first RI milestone Give the Vax challenge.

Based on the RI Gives Vax Challenge, 10 Rhode Island nonprofits will be awarded $ 10,000. Eligible nonprofits were selected through a lottery system by the Rhode Island Foundation. All of the winners were on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a win-win situation for Rhode Island, our local nonprofits and the communities they serve,” Governor Dan McKee said. “Through the RI Gives Vax Challenge, we are becoming healthier, raising awareness and being able to help organizations that have stepped up to support those who need it most during the pandemic. If you have not yet received your vaccine, help us continue to meet these Vax Challenge goals and get vaccinated today.

Jointly created by Governor McKee, the Rhode Island Commerce Department, the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Foundation earlier this month, the Vax Challenge encourages Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated by providing grants to nonprofits. who have supported the general response to COVID-19 and recovery.

“Reaching the first immunization milestone and securing the first round of grants is a good start. Each new person who gets vaccinated against COVID brings us closer to awarding the next $ 120,000 to nonprofits that do so much every day to help Rhode Islanders recover from the impact of the pandemic, ”a said Neil D. Steinberg, President and CEO of Rhode. Foundation of the island.

The recipients of the first round of grants are Access To Recovery, Adoption Rhode Island, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the Elisha Project, Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, the Refugee Development Center, the Free Rhode Island Clinic, Southern Rhode Island Volunteers and WARM Center.

Access to recovery: Throughout the pandemic, Access to Recovery has helped more than 120 people with substance use disorders by providing financial assistance, housing, basic needs, supervision and recovery support through pairs.

Rhode Island adoption: Throughout the pandemic, Adoption Rhode Island has expanded services to families and youth to reduce isolation and help address mental and behavioral health challenges resulting from COVID-19. In addition, the organization also provided basic needs support including food, basic needs and housing assistance to clients facing health crises, housing instability and loss of life. ’employment.

Boys and Girls Clubs of North Rhode Island: Throughout the pandemic, Boys & Girls Clubs have provided meals, transportation and educational support to residents of Woonsocket, Cumberland and other communities in northern Rhode Island. Its pantry has increased its meal and grocery services serving over 300 meals a day to those in need during this time.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center: Throughout the pandemic, the MLK Center provided essential food assistance, supported the elderly in their struggles to access health care, food and other services; and worked with a local pharmacy to provide an on-site vaccination clinic. The organization served approximately 5,000 people last year.

Elisha project: Throughout the pandemic, Project Elisha has delivered fresh, culturally relevant food and household supplies to families in need across Rhode Island, especially those in hardest-hit communities. The organization served approximately 250,000 people last year.

Pawtucket Soup: Throughout the pandemic, Pawtucket’s soup kitchen has shifted from on-site meals to food delivery to temporary accommodation sites and shelters in Pawtucket, Woonsocket and Providence. The organization served approximately 1,000 people last year.

Refugee Development Center: Throughout the pandemic, the Refugee Development Center has focused its efforts on assisting refugees with food security, financial assistance, and COVID-19 awareness and information. Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has helped more than 1,500 refugees and immigrants, a 400% increase from pre-COVID activity.

Rhode Island Free Clinic: Throughout the pandemic, the clinic mobilized its volunteer medical staff to provide COVID-19 intervention care, piloted telehealth services and launched a COVID-19 test site specifically for adults who had no doctor or insurance. To date, the clinic has provided more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests and vaccines to vulnerable and low-income people of color.

South Rhode Island Volunteers: Throughout the pandemic, volunteers in South Rhode Island have provided food and other basic needs to homebound seniors in South County.

HOT center: The WARM Center provided 34,000 take-out meals to people in need in the Washington County area in the first year of the pandemic. It has also provided essential hotel vouchers and temporary housing while working to find permanent housing solutions for hundreds of South County residents.

“This program not only helps encourage new vaccinations, it also helps support small nonprofits that are making a big difference as Rhode Island recovers from the COVID crisis,” said Stefan Pryor, secretary at Rhode Island Commerce. “We thank Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Foundation and our state’s nonprofit community for their collaboration on this innovative and important program.”

The budget for the fund is $ 750,000 to be allocated in the form of $ 10,000 grants to Rhode Island 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organizations. The state provided $ 500,000 and the Foundation $ 250,000. Up to four rounds of additional grants could be awarded each time Rhode Island administers 5,000 additional first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, as reported by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

“Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a way to stay healthier and safer, along with those of your loved ones, and a way to support the critical network of nonprofits that have done so much for Rhode’s. Islanders since day one of this pandemic, ”said Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “Reaching that RI challenge benchmark gives Vax Challenge is great, but we have a lot more vaccines to go. It has never been easier to get a photo. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, do your part and get vaccinated today. “
The Rhode Island Foundation will be accepting applications from interested nonprofits at until July 30.

The remaining timeline for award disbursements will coincide with increases to 5,000 COVID-19 vaccines as follows: $ 120,000 will be distributed for the first 5,000 additional COVID-19 vaccines administered (12 awards); $ 150,000 will be distributed for the third 5,000 additional first-dose COVID-19 vaccines administered (15 prizes); $ 180,000 will be distributed for the fourth additional vaccine of 5,000 first-dose COVID-19 vaccines administered (18 awards); and $ 200,000 will be distributed for the fifth round of 5,000 additional first-dose COVID-19 vaccines administered (20 prizes).

Eligible applicants must be 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organizations located in Rhode Island. While the state and partners recognize the impacts of large nonprofit organizations, these grants are designed to support nonprofit organizations with annual operating budgets of less than $ 3,000,000 in 2020. Applicants must provide direct services or assistance in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals or communities. . These organizations can provide services in categories such as health, basic needs or children and youth. Examples include behavioral health services, food insecurity, and programs that address learning loss.

Rhode Island Foundation staff will review and determine if applicant organizations qualify for program eligibility. As each milestone is reached, Rhode Island Foundation staff will enter eligible lottery applications to make selections for grants.

To learn more about vaccinations and to register today, visit The RI Gives Vax Challenge Tracker can be found here.


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