Dear Grantees and Community Members,

April 30, 2020 

The COVID-19 virus has been slow to reach rural communities – here in Coles County, the Health Department reports a total of 22 cases, many now recovered. However, the impact of stay-at-home orders and social distancing on our economy and the social fabric has been devastating.       

The Lumpkin Family Foundation is aiming to maintain a degree of normalcy, and reliability.  We will continue to make grants in accordance with our mission within our current programs. The underlying challenges our communities face still exist, even if the virus makes them greater.  It’s important to us that the organizations we have supported may continue to rely on current programs.   

Of course, life is anything but “normal.” Although Payroll Protection and other programs are proving invaluable, many nonprofit organizations are facing existential challenges. At the very least, they are delaying vital programs. Some have made the painful decision to furlough or lay-off staff.  And the needs of the most vulnerable among our neighbors and friends weigh heavily. 

In order to help meet the expanding needs of our region, we are leveraging additional resources by working with other funders. 

We have entered into a partnership with the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation to create an Emergency Response Fund that will support organizations on the frontlines of caring for those most affected by the pandemic.  Read more about this fund, how to donate, and what types of established organizations can apply for funding.  

We are also assisting the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, gratified at the outpouring of support from the Chicago philanthropic community to rural parts of the state.  Several million dollars has already been distributed to some of the larger organizations providing support to families in need. 

Finally, we’re doing our best to stay in touch with our grantees, to understand their needs so that we may identify further strategies to help as conditions change. If you fit in this category, or even if you don’t, and there’s something we should know, please get in touch. 

Be safe, stay well.