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The Children’s Foundation Launches COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding

Local nonprofits to receive immediate funding to impact needs for food and supplies
for Michigan children and their families

DETROIT – March 20, 2020 – The Children’s Foundation announces today a community investment in children’s health with essential COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding. This will provide nearly a dozen local partners with supplemental grant awards of up to $10,000 each during these unprecedented times. The funding will be used to assist the organizations with unexpected needs and costs so they can support the communities they serve. Urgent needs range from food donations, diapers and formula, to technology to transition mental health in-person visits to telehealth.

Emergency funding for key safety net organizations will ensure their immediate ability to serve families enduring economic hardships and support the sustainability of these organizations. Existing disparities due to Social Determinants of Health will be magnified as families in need will be in greater demand and turn to these grantee partners who will experience interruptions in revenue.

Brilliant Detroit, which works to give Detroit neighborhood children tools they need to succeed, is working with The Foundation to provide boxes of food at their eight locations for food-insecure families, as well as securing toilet paper, cleaning supplies, diapers and formula. Additionally, with the funds received they will provide play and learning kits for kids aged 0 to 5, an age group not being served by schools. Learning kits will include an educational and a craft activity, and a printed resource sheet for families that do not have internet access.

“The Children’s Foundation continues to be at the forefront of the charitable community for their excellence, care, and responsiveness to meeting the needs of this moment, said Cindy Eggleton, co-founder and CEO of Brilliant Detroit. “Their latest grant will help us get food, ‘learn at home’ kits, and resources to the more than 2,000 families with young kids that we serve. We have been so proud to partner with them in meeting the needs of families in Detroit.”

Starfish Family Services, which serves more than 4,000 children across Metro Detroit, has expressed an immediate need to provide their early childhood center students and their families food, diapers and formula.

“Starfish is 110% committed to supporting our families, staff, and broader community during this time of crisis, said Ann Kalass, CEO of Starfish Family Services. “And, there’s no playbook for how to do this. The Children’s Foundation’s generous and swift support gives us the resources and confidence to make the right decisions for all our stakeholders, in the moment. This helps us get food, diapers, formula and other basic needs to our thousands of Starfish families.”

“Times of crisis call for exceptional leadership. The Children’s Foundation is acting with urgency and generosity to support critical safety net organizations like Starfish. We are incredibly grateful. This support allows us to make the right decisions for thousands of Starfish families and hundreds of staff – in the moment.”

After this initial wave of dispersing funds, the Foundation plans to award up to $250,000 from this fund.

“In the midst of a crisis like we have never experienced before, our Foundation Trustees expect effects to include financial strain on families, while impacting the mental health of kids, which has been one of The Children’s Foundation’s primary focus areas,” said Matt Friedman, board chairman of The Children’s Foundation. “Through this emergency response, the Foundation wants to allow children-focused nonprofits, who are close to their communities, to do more than they would have been able to do otherwise. We are acting quickly so they can respond to the needs of the children and families they serve.”

Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $58 million to more than 75 partners across the state.

“The Children’s Foundation is a proactive organization that is always looking at how to help our partners in times of greatest need,” said Lawrence J. Burns, president & CEO of The Children’s Foundation. “We will be assisting the community with immediate items needed today and will continue to disseminate funds later on. I am very grateful for the support of the board members who acted swiftly to make this initiative possible.”

For more information on The Children’s Foundation and how you can donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, visit


About The Children’s Foundation:

The Children’s Foundation, an independent community foundation for children, is the largest funder dedicated solely to advancing the health and wellness of children in the state of Michigan and beyond. Through fundraising, grant-making and advocacy The Children’s Foundation enables researchers and community organizations to identify and implement innovations capable of advancing children’s health and wellness. Since 2011, the Foundation has distributed more than 58 million dollars in grant funding to more than 75 partners throughout the state. Current initiatives of The Children’s Foundation include Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, The Jamie Daniels Foundation and the Paul W. Smith Golf Classic. Current areas of focus for the Foundation include mental health, nutritional wellness, abuse and neglect, oncology and cardiology research and injury prevention. Learn more at

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