OpEd/Guest Opinion

Published March 23, 2020
by Maryam Elahi

We live in challenging and uncertain times. While it is impossible to predict how events will unfold in the coming weeks and months, we want you to know that you can count on us. Your Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut has been here to support and advance the basic needs and rights of our residents over the last 37 years, and we will continue to be here in these difficult times.

We are committed to being flexible, innovative and nimble to respond rapidly as COVID-19 impacts our communities. Therefore, last week we announced the Neighbors for Neighbors Fund at the Community Foundation. In addition, we are collaborating closely with the United Ways of Southeastern Connecticut and Central and Northeastern Connecticut, as well as other community partners, to effectively deploy resources to those in greatest need and to support nonprofits on the frontlines.

We are working to keep our community healthy, safe and informed. We are following guidance from public health officials to keep our team and partners healthy. We are planning to ensure continuity of operations. We will be in touch with our nonprofit partners and scholarship applicants as we assess any necessary changes to deadlines and plans. Many of us will be working remotely, but we are all available via email and phone. Our staff directory is available on our website. We have postponed all Foundation-sponsored events through the end of May and will evaluate those beyond that date in the coming weeks. We will update our website with list of resources that can help keep all updated.

Now is the time to come together. While there is much that is unknown about COVID-19, there are many "knowns" in our community: We have deeply committed nonprofits and municipal governments working hard to ensure that our communities remain safe, healthy and thriving. We have generous philanthropic partners who believe that advancing equity is paramount to safe, healthy and thriving communities. And we have your Community Foundation, committed to be collaborative, nimble and ever-present in these challenging times.

We are one community. We stand strong together. We are resilient in these difficult times. We are here with and for you.

Maryam Elahi is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. For more information about the Neighbors for Neighbors Fund, contact Alison Woods, VP & Chief Development Officer at alison@cfect.org.