Employee-led Pandemic Relief Group
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the most vulnerable in our communities, like many organizations doing justice work, we did our part to provide pandemic relief. Our COVID-19 Response Fund provided micro-grants to employee-identified organizations and initiatives that were experiencing financial uncertainty due to COVID-19, prioritizing those that focused on supporting communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
As the economic fallout from COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact the most vulnerable in our communities, like many other organizations doing justice work, we took a close look at our annual budget to see how we could reallocate funds into 2020’s big unseen need: pandemic relief.
We quickly created a COVID-19 Response Fund to provide support for employee-identified organizations amidst the uncertainty sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Employees from Beneficial State Foundation and Beneficial State Bank were invited to participate in the employee-led working group which brought requests for community organizations we believed could most benefit from support at this time because of the critical nature of their work. The group met monthly to consider, evaluate, and decide how available funds could best be disbursed.
Along with seeking to bolster an array of fields critical to social and environmental justice, our team prioritized initiatives and organizations that were specifically working to support communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. All microgrant funds were unrestricted and ranged from $500 to $5000 per organization or initiative.
Since the start of the pandemic, the COVID-19 Response Fund reallocated nearly $100,000 in direct support funds designed to serve communities in California, Oregon, Washington, and beyond as they adjust to operate during shelter-in-place orders. The working group donated $78,900 to 42 organizations working in the following sectors which represent Beneficial State Bank’s mission categories:
At Beneficial State, we recognize the multifaceted nature of needs that must be addressed to make progress toward a more just economy. Therefore, it’s critical that as we try to create a lending practice favorable to those organizations working on economic development centered on historically marginalized communities, we also pay attention to locally sourced nutritional food, affordable housing, and other community development efforts. Luckily, there is no shortage of passionate and dedicated leaders who were working incredibly hard before the pandemic, and now are taking on heroic efforts to continue serving the people and planet right now.
As long as these changemakers and the communities they come from are working toward a brighter future, Beneficial State is committed to staying vigilant about the ways we must adapt to accelerate their sustainability and ensure their long-term success.
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