Rebecca Petersen of the West Central Initiative. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global fundraising effort to raise money for charities usually held after Thanksgiving but being done now for responses to the coronavirus. The host organization is matching all donations and one organization participating is West Central Initiative, which recently established a Resiliency Fund to help those in its nine county service area in western Minnesota deal with the pandemic. West Central Initiative Development Director Rebecca Lynn Petersen told the KMRS Community Connection that they have been working with foundations and individuals to get the fund established.

“We’ve reached the million dollar mark and so we’ve already pushed about $300,000 — even more than that — into our home-based and center-based child care centers and we know that there’s still great need in those venues,” said Petersen. “So we’re still working to help that constituency. But we also know that there’s a need for food and shelter. And one of the rising needs right now is mental health and mental wellness.”

Petersen said they are accepting grant applications every week through the month of May. She said they hope to keep the Resiliency Fund going for the long term, even after this current pandemic has run its course. To donate, or if you are an organization looking for funding, contact wcif.org or go to the GivingTuesday platform and look for WCI.

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