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AAACF Update: Week of 4/20-24/2020

In this week’s update, we focus on action through recent grants for communities most impacted by this pandemic, according to data both quantitative and qualitative. Building on our previously shared collaborative, community-driven and research-based approach, AAACF has deployed more than $1 million in grants to date, including these recent commitments for maximum impact:

AAACF’s Glacier Hills Legacy Fund directed a two-year grant of $50,000 annually to the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County for its recuperative care unit, as we know seniors and those experiencing homelessness are disparately impacted by this crisis nationally.

Locally, data show that communities in Ypsilanti and Eastern Washtenaw County have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. In partnership with existing community networks and our affiliate, the Ypsilanti Area Community Fund, we have directed several grants to address basic needs, health, education and economic impact in those areas of our County:

  • $10,000 each for the health clinics serving those communities: Corner Health Center, Packard Health and Hope Clinic
  • $10,000 to Food Gatherers specifically for its work in the greater Ypsilanti area
  • $15,000 to Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) to assist with basic needs and educational instruction

In last week’s update, we introduced Trista Van Tine as the Director of the Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund (A2EF), and she has already helped to mobilize young entrepreneurs from the University of Michigan to assist YCS families in accessing distance learning technology—an exciting partnership that magnifies the YCS grant.

Our previous update also noted that we were activating networks developed through five years of “community voice” efforts, and we are now directing support through these community-driven solutions:

  • $18,000 for the Washtenaw County Health Department to provide direct resources through its health equity groups (including residents in the neighborhoods of West Willow, Parkridge, MacArthur Blvd., and Whitmore Lake as well as Ypsilanti youth and the Latinx community)

Beyond working through these health equity groups, our grant to the Health Department will also provide support to emergent community groups providing mutual aid (e.g., porch pantries). These investments work in tandem with our grants to another County program, Barrier Busters, which enables us to channel money to individuals in addition to our primary strategy of funding nonprofit organizations.

We are also providing support for nonprofits beyond grants. AAACF has already committed $100,000 from its Short-Term Cash Flow Loan Program and is in continuous review of loan applications. Along with the other Coordinated Funders, and in partnership with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, we have also made a substantial investment in the Catchafire platform so that nonprofits can receive free expert assistance during and after the crisis.

As the dedicated endowment for Washtenaw County, we are taking action now for our community during this crisis — and planning continued responses for the post-pandemic future!



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