RCEF Launches COVID-19 Family Relief Fund
April 3, 2020
The Redwood City Education Foundation, a non-profit fundraising organization for the Redwood City School District, recently launched the COVID-19 Family Relief Fund to provide support to families in our community who have been hit the hardest by this ongoing shelter-in-place order. Earlier this week, we met with RCEF Executive Director, Jason Galisatus, to discuss this shift in fundraising efforts, what else is being done to support these families, and what we can do to help.
According to Jason, about 60% of the families in the RCSD are free or reduced lunch eligible, many of which rely on wage workers who have been furloughed or laid off as a result on the shelter-in-place. These are families who – on top of struggling to make ends meet on reduced or completely lost income – now have children at home who need to finish the remainder of classes online. To help with this burden, the RCSD is providing all students grades 3-8 with Chromebooks that they can use to complete their school work. And for families with no WiFi, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is stepping in to help provide WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them. Still, even with the support for facilitating distance education, many of these families are at risk of homelessness depending on how long they remain out of work.
The RCEF launched the COVID-19 Family Relief Fund to help send aid directly to these most at-risk families. The Fund raises money for two different things: gift cards for things like food, gas, medicine, and clothes, as well as an emergency rental assistance program being administered by the Fair Oaks Community Center. This program will provide aid to families at risk of defaulting on rental or utility payments, in order to ensure that their financial obligations are met.
Jason says the goal is for the COVID-19 Family Relief Fund to raise $200,000 per month for the duration of the shelter-in-place. So far, the support from the community has been strong, and as of April 1, RCEF had raised about $290,000. Still, to meet their goals for May, in the likely event that this SiP order stays in affect, they are seeking to raise at least an additional $110,000.
If you are in a position where you can offer some financial support to those most at-risk in our community, we highly encourage that you make a donation to the COVID-19 Family Relief Fund. You can donate by clicking on this link. Any amount that you can afford to donate is helpful.
Thank you and stay safe! We look forward to seeing you all when this is over.