Pictured above are Erik Sievers, executive director of Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center, and Nancy Brown, president of the Winona Community Foundation.

Community Foundation’s COVID Relief Fund helps local organizations, people


After receiving over $65,000 in donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, initial $5,000 checks were immediately sent to the Winona Community Foundation’s agency partners to be distributed to individuals in need. These partners include Family and Children’s Center of Winona, Hiawatha Valley Mental Health (HVMHC), Home and Community Options and Project FINE. Erik Sievers of HVMHC shared that in just one week, it had distributed funds to one family and four individuals. If it weren’t for these funds, these individuals would have stopped receiving necessary therapy through HVMHC because they could not afford phone minutes and other necessities.

While the Winona Community Foundation does not provide direct program services, it partners with direct program providers to provide financial resources to individuals in an emergency. Established partners receiving funds from its Emergency Assistance Fund include the Advocacy Center of Winona; Bluff Country Family Services in Hokah; Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota (prescription assistance only); Hometown Resources in St. Charles; St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Wabasha; Semcac in Winona, Houston and Fillmore counties; and Winona Volunteer Services.

The COVID-19 Relief Fund also has the flexibility to fund key areas such as how to support the homeless population during the shelter-in-place order and recently over $5,000 was used to help 10 individuals for this purpose. Any remaining funds in the COVID-19 Relief Fund will be distributed to nonprofit organizations working to reestablish operations post pandemic. Contributions to the fund may be made at any time by visiting www.winonacf.org, by contacting the Winona Community Foundation office at 507-454-6511 or wcf@winonacf.org, or by mail to 111 Riverfront, suite 2E, Winona, Minn., 55987.


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