Dear Friends,
This week, our community continues to slowly reopen - learning lessons along the way. Restaurants, beauty shops, nail salons, and barbershops are opening, taking special care to limit capacity and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and hand sanitizer to protect the safety of not only their patrons but their staff as well.   
Here at the Community Foundation, we are making plans for our phased reopening starting on June 1. Rest assured whether we are in the office or working remotely, the CFCC team continues to seamlessly serve our fundholders, donors, nonprofits, and the community in these new and uncertain times.
We are also making plans and providing funds to help pour nonprofits to help them with the reopening process. We know our nonprofits need extra help right now, so our program grants have been converted to general operating support or COVID-19 relief. Applications for this grant cycle for nonprofits of all sizes serving Collier County is now open through May 22. Please visit the Apply for Grants page on our website to learn more. 
We are listening to our nonprofit needs. We recently completed a survey to find out how COVID-19 is affecting their operations. We are asking questions like what are the impacts on the clients they serve, if they have had to modify their services, how they are dealing with lost revenue due to canceled events and programs, and how donors are responding. And then once they reopen, how will they protect their staff as well as their clients? We granted $11,550 this week to Meals of Hope for hand sanitizer. If you have watched the news lately and seen the hours-long car lines for food pantries, you have an idea of how much those funds are needed. We will be also be responding with grants in the coming weeks for other PPE, such as disinfecting wipes and masks.
Other grants that went out this week include:
  • $10,000 to the Hunger and Homeless Coalition for basic needs and housing
  • $5,000 to Noah's Ark Food Pantry for food
  • $5,000 to Brighter Bites for Winn Dixie Produce Program in Immokalee
  • $35,000 to the United Way of Collier and the Keys for staffing for their Rental Assistance program
While we are proud of all the support we have been able to provide, we are also very grateful for the collaborations in our community that make us stronger and better together. You may have seen a  letter in the Naples Daily News  this week about our alliance with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Naples Children & Education Foundation, and the United Way of Collier and the Keys - a group I like to call the Philanthropic Four. Our superpower is working together to provide a comprehensive safety net of funds and services to cover our community that ensures best practices and addresses this pandemic as effectively as possible. Great things that happen when a community comes together!
We want to do everything we can to help our community reopen in a safe, healthy, and efficient way-so we can stay open in the long run. Slow and sure wins the race! This reminds me of our beloved sea turtles who are having a banner year so far, thanks in part to our CFCC nest cage grants. Just like them, we will continue to make our way, slowly but surely, to a brighter and safer Collier for all.
If you would like to support your community, donate online at or mail a check to the Community Foundation of Collier County at 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples FL 34108. If sending a check, please enter "Collier Comes Together" and the area you wish to support in the memo line. 
With gratitude, 
Eileen Connolly-Keesler 
CFCC president and CEO


Click on the turtle to see his determined journey as he makes his way to the shore.

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