As we continue our thank-a-thon, we would like to recognize our “community of givers” for stepping up in times of great need. Today, I’d like to highlight one inspiring example.
Eight years ago, Cliff White was a new Community Foundation donor who joined our Sharing Montgomery Grants Committee for a “crash course” in the nonprofits addressing our county’s most pressing needs. At the time, the economic downturn had just started. Over and over, Cliff visited safety-net nonprofits that were experiencing skyrocketing demand while contributions were plummeting. The visit that really shocked him was to Manna Food, the county’s leading food bank, which saw a 40% increase in demand over just a few months.
Wondering how he could make a difference, Cliff turned to his Community Foundation team, challenging us to galvanize our whole network to make a difference. After a morning of brainstorming, we launched the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund to boost our investments in the safety-net nonprofits providing critical hunger-relief, shelter, clothing, and emergency support to people affected by the economic downturn. Inspired by the vision of this campaign, two anonymous Community Foundation families stepped up to provide $1 for $1 challenge matches, doubling the value of each gift received.
To date, the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund has given over $1.3 million, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of individuals, families, and businesses. Your gifts continue to help our most vulnerable neighbors stay in their homes, keep the lights on, and put food on the table. We are especially proud that these grant investments respond to immediate needs while fostering innovation so nonprofits can serve more people and help families lift themselves out of poverty.
Executive Director, The Community Foundation in Montgomery County