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Local Nonprofit Leaders Partner to Form COVID-19 Response

We have proven before that we are a resilient community, and we will get through this together.

A team of four local nonprofit foundations committed to supporting the community are working together to swiftly coordinate a response to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus and provide relief to the hardest-hit and most vulnerable members of the community.

Together, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies (CFA), United Way of the Laurel Highlands, Lee Initiatives, and 1889 Foundation are evaluating the continuing and evolving impacts of the virus. Together, they are identifying the most impactful areas where the organizations can invest philanthropic resources.

The coordinated effort will serve the geographic regions and missions of all four organizations. The response will focus on supporting and investing in local front-line human services, health care, and economic relief. The funders also understand that their local nonprofit partners, many of whom are grantees of all four funders, may have evolving needs during these uncertain times. Each of the funders has indicated a desire to be as flexible as possible in the coming weeks and encourages grantees with specific questions to follow up with the appropriate contacts at each foundation once a formal announcement is made.

Additional details on this collaborative strategy, and information on how the public can help, will be released as soon as possible.

CFA will be establishing a local fund to support relief efforts, to be announced in the next few days, CFA President Mike Kane said.

“On behalf of all the organizations, we understand how this unprecedented situation calls on all of us to stay true to our missions, to continue to be attentive to needs as they arise, and to respond collaboratively,” he said. “This response is a reflection of the way members of our community step up to support one another. It’s what we’re founded on and part of each organization’s mission to answer community needs in ways that have the greatest possible impact.

“We have proven before that we are a resilient community, and we will get through this together.”

1889 Foundation’s mission is to support innovative programs and initiatives that improve and transform the overall health and wellness of our region. Through collaborations and partnerships, with a focus on population health, the Foundation is dedicated to making meaningful change in the areas that are negatively impacting the health and well-being of our local communities. For additional information about 1889 Foundation, please visit

Founded in 2005, the Lee Initiatives Health and Wellness Endowment (LIHWE) was established as the “Legacy of Lee Hospital” to improve the health and well-being of the residents of the area served by the former Lee Hospital in western Pennsylvania. By collaborating with people, organizations, and resources, Lee Initiatives works to fulfill its mission: “Caring for our future, honoring our past.”

The United Way of the Laurel Highlands (UWLH) is an independent, volunteer-driven, community leading organization, responsible for creating, expanding, and accelerating positive social change. The UWLH focuses on addressing critical key areas of need within the communities of both Cambria and Somerset Counties. As an organization, UWLH is committed to improving the education, health, and well-being of children, families, and other vulnerable area residents.

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is a public, nonprofit foundation that manages funds to strengthen communities in Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset counties. CFA empowers individuals to become philanthropists, donors to make meaningful change, and caring citizens to design a legacy.

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