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Catholic Diocese of Cleveland launches Emergency Response Fund to support parish response to those impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

News of the Diocese

March 26, 2020

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland launches Emergency Response Fund to support parish response to those impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
An Emergency Response Fund was established by the Diocese of Cleveland to provide funds for parishes with limited resources and funds to address the immediate needs of families and individuals in their parish communities who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds will be disbursed by parishes to people in their community who have become financially vulnerable as they scramble to cover the costs of food, rent, utilities and their health. The Catholic Community Foundation, which manages the fund, provided $500,000 to kick-start and position the fund to have a direct benefit to those who are now vulnerable due to the current financial upheaval.

“As weeks go on, the hardship on individuals and families will intensify. Many will be pushed into crisis. We need to act now so that this Emergency Response Fund can help people in parish communities get through this critical time,” said Father Donald Oleksiak, administrator for the Diocese of Cleveland.”

Assistance from the fund will be delivered at the parish level. Pastors will apply for grants from the Catholic Community Foundation that will, in turn, provide financial assistance to families and individuals. Donations to the Emergency Response Fund can be made online through the Catholic Community Foundation crowdfunding site at

“The spirit of philanthropy and collective action is at the core of the Catholic community in Northeast Ohio,” said Patrick Grace, executive director of the Catholic Community Foundation. “Now is the time for all of us to come together to support people in need and contribute to the vitality and health of our community.”

In addition to a parish-based response, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, continues to be at the forefront of helping people in great need throughout Northeast Ohio through a network of more than 60 sites, many of which are delivering services during this crisis under the guidelines issued by the state of Ohio. Catholic Charities’ mission is to serve the most vulnerable people, especially now amid the coronavirus pandemic. Donations to the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal will assist the growing number of families, children, men and women in need of critical social services. To help Catholic Charities assist others, visit or call 216-696-6525, Ext. 3670.

Checks to benefit the Emergency Response Fund and/or the Catholic Charities Annual Appeal can be mailed to Catholic Community Foundation, Attn: Megan Gerome, 1404 East Ninth St., Cleveland, Ohio 44114. Mark “Emergency Response Fund” or “Catholic Charities” in the memo line.

The Catholic Community Foundation is dedicated to enriching lives by encouraging faithful philanthropy. The foundation supports the mission of the diocese to provide for the spiritual, educational and charitable needs of people throughout Northeast Ohio. Since its inception in 2000, the foundation has raised more than $465 million to support Catholic Charities, Catholic education, priestly formation and other ministries in the diocese.

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