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Ball Brothers Foundation Expedites Funding for COVID-19 Front-Line Responders

Monday, March 30, 2020
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PHOTO: IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital

Over the course of the past two weeks, Ball Brothers Foundation has awarded more than $100,000 to organizations on the front lines of fighting COVID-19 in Muncie and Delaware County. Funding is focused on meeting the needs of healthcare providers and emergency responders, including hospital employees, ambulance services, health clinics and law enforcement officers.

“Right now, we know that preventing the spread of COVID-19 is absolutely critical to protecting the lives of residents. Our initial funding for COVID-19 is helping to ensure that front-line workers have the resources they need to do their jobs: caring for those who are ill, transporting patients safely and efficiently, and maintaining vital public safety,” stated Ball Brothers Foundation’s president and chief operating officer, Jud Fisher.

Select organizations were invited to apply for support totaling up to $5,000 via Ball Brothers Foundation’s long-established Rapid Grant program. The foundation has further expedited the Rapid Grant process during this critical time, awarding grants and delivering checks to grantees— in some cases—in a matter of hours.

“The foundation is also very mindful of the effect of COVID-19 on senior citizens, families, and individuals across the community, including those who are most vulnerable,” said Jud Fisher. To this end, the foundation has also invited select social service organizations to apply for $5,000 Rapid Grants to support a variety of needs related to childcare, emergency food and other needs.

First-responder grant recipients include:

  • Delaware County Emergency Medical Services: Powered Air Purifying Respirator systems as well as N95 filters to use with multiple patients
  • Delaware County Sheriff’s Office: purchase of personal protective gear—such as Tyvek suits, sanitizer, respirator filters and more—for officers on patrol and for corrections officers
  • IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital: healthy snacks and food options for team members, including for those who work at night when the hospital’s cafeteria is closed
  • Meridian Health Services: implementation of virtual health technology that will allow Meridian to continue serving patients without face-to-face appointments
  • Muncie Fire Department: specialized sanitizing and disinfecting equipment for ambulances, fire trucks and EMS services
  • Muncie Police Department: purchase of “Personal Protection Equipment Bags” which contain gear essential to safeguarding the lives of officers, including sanitizer, Tyvek suits, gowns, masks and gloves
  • Open Door Health Services: introduction of telehealth services and transition of many office functions to “remote work” to reduce the number of staff on-site to prevent the spread of illness
  • Red Cross–Indiana Region: funding to support the costs of hosting blood drives to address severe shortages

Among the grants to select social service agencies are awards to:

  • Boys & Girls Club: cleaning supplies, food and support for staff salaries while the Club remains open for a limited number of students with priority given to families whose parents work in the medical field, fire department, police department or EMS
  • Inside Out: purchase of food and “to-go” containers to assist with a dramatic increase in demand for food pantry assistance and hot meals
  • Lifestream Services: support for costs associated with transitioning from congregate “group” meal sites to a meal delivery model for senior citizens
  • Muncie Public Library: purchase of additional mobile internet hotspots for use by Muncie Community Schools students without home internet access
  • Second Harvest Food Bank: support to expand tailgate “drive through” distributions, create new partnerships with neighborhood associations, and provide food to families via more than 30 school buildings across eight counties

A full list of all COVID-19 Rapid Grants awarded is available at: ballfdn.org/grants-database.

Ball Brothers Foundation will continue to prioritize funding for organizations that received an invitation to apply from the foundation. Other organizations can continue to submit “unsolicited” Rapid Grant proposals. These will be thoughtfully reviewed and given every consideration.

As always, there is no guarantee of funding for any request made to the foundation. Ball Brothers Foundation will not be able to fund all requests that are received during this challenging time.
The foundation will, however, continue to share information with other funders about unmet needs in the community.

In reflecting on these COVID-19 grants, Fisher stated, “Ball Brothers Foundation looks forward to brighter days ahead, and we stand behind those who are working tirelessly to contain the virus and continue vital services.”

Established in 1926, Ball Brothers Foundation awards approximately $8 million annually in grants supporting arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services, and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county, and state.

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