The spiral of poverty can repeat across generations. The lack of basic needs can endanger education, health, job security, psychological well-being, and personal safety. Children are often the hardest-hit. And when natural disaster or acts of violence strike, even secure families and individuals can be thrown into a cycle of turmoil that can last for years.
Corning Incorporated Foundation’s investment in human services programs is aimed at strategically combatting this spiral and also offering immediate aid when the unexpected happens.
It is, at its very core, an investment in community resilience. It helps ensure that people have the tools and support they need to survive difficult times and build a healthy, thriving future. Programs addressing the specific needs of at-risk youth are of particular importance.
Human services programs have a profound impact on every other aspect of the Foundation’s giving strategy. Children who are well-fed and feel safe at home can concentrate and learn more in school. This increases their chances, for example, of meeting math standards, a direct stepping-stone to a well-paying career. Adults who are healthy are better able to work, creating stability for themselves and their families. Neighborhood revitalization efforts prevent blight, drawing in volunteers with a strong sense of ownership and pride.
The COVID-19 Unity Response Fund was created by the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, the Corning Incorporated Foundation, The Triangle Fund and the United Way of the Southern Tier. In just seven business days after the NY State PAUSE announcement, the four funders, through their combined leadership and experience, collaborated to open the Unity Response fund with a $325,000 commitment to non-profit organizations on the front-line of the Covid-19 crisis in the Southern Tier. The Unity Fund focused on human service organizations that were supplying basic needs, supporting vulnerable populations, and easing burdens on essential workers with grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 to nonprofit organizations that had projects that were operational immediately.
During the month of April, an additional $100,000 was raised for the Unity Fund. Corning Incorporated senior leadership and numerous board members were among the contributors. In total, the Unity Fund, raised just over a remarkable $520,000 for the community.
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