As a regional community foundation, the Northwest North Dakota Community Foundation (NWNDCF) works to serve and strengthen communities across Williams, Divide, McKenzie, and Mountrail Counties every day. In light of recent events, NWNDCF has decided to do more, not only to help now but in the future, by establishing the NWNDCF Relief Fund to support communities and nonprofits as they deal with the myriad of issues posed by the downturn of the oil and gas industry and the COVID-19 virus.
“As this situation continues to unfold, our friends and neighbors will need help,” remarked Ward Koeser, Board President of NWNDCF. “We are still not certain of the longer-term effects this temporary economic crisis will have on our partners, but we are working to respond as needs arise.”
NWNDCF established the fund with an initial $10,000, which has since been matched by several community groups and local businesses totaling $40,000, including:
**$10,000 from Williston Community Builders
**$10,000 from Equinor
**$10,000 from the John & Elaine Andrist Charitable Trust
The Relief Fund will provide support to verified nonprofits, community organizations, and volunteer groups that are directly addressing the needs of those affected by local oil and gas economy pressures and COVID-19. Examples of immediate needs include:
**Access to food. With recent school closures, many children are missing out on daily food service and access to weekend backpack programs. Additionally, many are finding themselves without an income and ability to purchase groceries and organizations providing senior meals are overburdened with demand.
**Human services sector support. Many families are in need of child care and other supportive services.
**Healthcare sector support. Coronavirus poses unique challenges to educating, diagnosing, and treating patients.
**Organizations Supporting Individuals & Families to Self-Quarantine. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is integral to maintaining the health and wellbeing of our friends and neighbors and shortening its impact on our economy.
Funds will be distributed in an accelerated manner, where organizations will be asked to submit a very brief application indicating their relief efforts to support area residents and funds required to meet the need.
“It is so important that we try to support our friends and neighbors throughout this time, and we hope the communities of Williams, Divide, McKenzie, and Mountrail Counties will get behind this effort and provide contributions,” remarked Koeser.
Individuals seeking to support the efforts of the NWNDCF Relief Fund can donate online at www.NWNDCommunityFoundation.org or by sending a check to: NWNDCF - PO Box 371 - Williston, ND 58802-0371. All gifts to the NWNDCF Relief Fund are tax deductible.