Every year, the Farmington/Farmington Hills Foundation for Youth and Families holds a May gala that funds a year’s worth of support for local groups and organizations.
Preparations for the 25th anniversary event were well underway when COVID-19 hit Michigan. Staff and trustees immediately began meeting remotely. They had some big decisions to make.
“In March, we decided pretty quickly to reschedule,” Executive Director Liz Hood said. “We hoped to reschedule sometime in the fall… We decided back in July that this just wasn’t going to be safe, practical or responsible.”
Instead, the Foundation canceled the gala and turned to sponsors that had already committed to support it. Asked about turning their sponsorship into a donation, Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Hubble Roth & Clark Consulting Engineers, Sellers Auto Group, and Wright Beamer all said yes.
“We were very, very happy to have then on board,” Hood said, adding sponsors will be spotlighted on social media, at ffhfoundation.org, and on the organization’s letterhead.
The support has allowed the Foundation to make COVID-19 emergency grants of up to $2,000.
“We realized that there would be a lot of pressure on a lot of organizations in our community seeing increased needs because of the pandemic,” Hood said.
To date, funds have gone to:
- CARES of Farmington Hills to assist with the increase in the number of people requiring food assistance,
- Sunflour Bakehaus in downtown Farmington, to support a community bread program for people in need,
- Operation Common Good, to supply Giving Boxes around the community, and
- Farmington Youth Assistance, for supplies for their summer Camp in a Box program
The Foundation will also reach out to Farmington Public Schools to offer support as distance learning puts greater demands on families. Emergency grant applications are still being accepted. Learn more here: ffhfoundation.org/359-2/.
Corporate support means the 2020 fall grant cycle will go on as usual. Applications close on October 15. Farmington/Farmington Hills programs and organizations that benefit youth and families are welcome to apply.
More information and an application can be found here: ffhfoundation.org/grants/
Hood said the plan for the last four months of 2020 is to simply keep moving forward.
“We’re just trying to anticipate where those community needs will pop up next,” she said.