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As needs grow and the pandemic stretches on, the Foundation for the Future of Delaware County continues its efforts to support growing needs. A grant for $2,500 from the Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund seeded the new Delaware County COVID-19 HOPE Fund, which was developed by Delaware County Pay-It-Forward in partnership with Delaware County Community Services.

The HOPE Fund was created to serve those who have experienced income loss due to the pandemic and, likely for the first time, will need assistance in the form of gas or food. Organizers anticipate that many community members will fall into a resource gap, not qualifying for resources available at the state and county level, but still struggling to make ends meet. With the help of Delaware County Community Services, the Hope Fund will provide gas and grocery cards to individuals and families that fall into this gap.

“The ripple effect of COVID-19 has caused uncharted financial hardship due to income loss across Delaware County. It is happening to neighbors, friends, co-workers; it impacts any one of us who has experienced unemployment, furlough, wage cuts, or loss of hours due to the pandemic,” explains Lisa Guetzko, fund representative. “The HOPE Fund offers a way to pay it forward to those that may not be eligible for other financial resources.”

One positive ripple the crisis has created is a renewed spirit of generosity in Delaware County. The HOPE fund is resonating with that desire to help.

“We’ve received generous donations from many individuals and businesses who want to assist their neighbors in need,” said Guetzko. “We are beyond grateful to announce an anonymous donation of $20,000 designated for the HOPE Fund.”

The Foundation for the Future of Delaware County’s COVID-19 Relief Fund provides an opportunity for the public to give with the reassurance their donations will be used to quickly move resources to where they are most urgently needed in their own community, particularly toward needs not being met by existing non-profit, local, state and federal programs.

Gifts to the HOPE Fund should be directed through the Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, with “HOPE Fund” noted in the check memo line. Checks made out to Foundation for the Future of Delaware County COVID-19 Relief Fund may be dropped off at F&M Bank in Manchester, GNB Bank in Manchester, and Community Savings Bank in Manchester, Earlville, and Edgewood. Checks may also be mailed to FFDC, 200 E. Main St., Manchester, Iowa 52057-410. To give online to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, visitdbqfoundation.org/ffdcCovidRelief.

For more details on how to apply for a gas or food card from the HOPE fund, and to find out if you are eligible, please contact Delaware Community Services at 927-1077, or visit their office at 601 Grant Street in Manchester.

Delaware County Pay-It-Forward is supported by the mission and 501©3 of First Lutheran Church in Manchester.