The Springfield-based Community Foundation of the Ozarks has launched the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to accept charitable donations to support nonprofits affected by disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials said in a statement that the foundation has extensive experience in disaster recovery and is positioned to help fill gaps for services and needs identified by local nonprofits, which are expected to see increased demands during the outbreak for food, child care, transportation and other areas.

“The CFO has been active in disaster philanthropy for 17 years now — since the Stockton tornado in 2003 caused extensive physical and economic damage from which that community recovered very well,” foundation President Brian Fogle said in the statement. “Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with seeing the effects of the immediate disaster evolve into longer-term needs that the nonprofit sector supports in invaluable ways. If previous experience holds true, the same nonprofits asked to step up may be further challenged with fundraising event cancellations, staffing issues and other factors related to this national emergency.”

The fund will be started with $10,000 from the foundation. As the scope of needs is identified, the foundation will develop a grant-making process to distribute funds to 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies, schools, faith-based organizations and government entities.

Joplin-area nonprofit partners include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jasper and Newton Counties, the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, Bright Futures Joplin, the Community Clinic of Southwest Missouri, Connect2Culture, Crosslines Ministries, the Downtown Joplin Alliance, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, the Joplin Family Y, the Joplin Humane Society, Joplin Workshops Inc., Pro Musica, Watered Gardens Ministries and the Wildcat Glades Friends Group.

Regional affiliates include the Joplin Regional Community Foundation, the Carthage Community Foundation, the Neosho Area Community Foundation and the Sarcoxie Community Foundation.

To donate

Donations can be made by credit card online at cfozarks.org; select the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund at the top of the drop-down menu. Checks with "COVID-19 Fund" in the memo line may be sent to Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, MO 65801. All gifts are tax-deductible, as allowed by the IRS.

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