Sidney Area COVID-19 Relief Fund

The United Way of Sidney has partnered with the Sidney Central School Alumni Association to set up a fiduciary fund entitled Sidney Area COVID-19 Relief Fund to serve specifically the needs of Sidney area non-profit organizations that may be unable to fulfill their missions in serving others as a result of the economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional monies for the fund will come from area businesses, foundations and individuals.

About the Crisis Relief Fund

Hosted by Sidney United Way, the Sidney Area COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this outbreak. One-time grants will fund organizations that have deep roots in the community and strong experience working with residents without health insurance and/or access to paid sick leave, people with limited English language proficiency, healthcare workers, among others. The Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible.

The first phase of grants will address the economic impact of reduced and lost work due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19 related closures, the increased demand for medical information and support, and fear and confusion about the outbreak among our most vulnerable residents. We anticipate the primary areas of need will include: Food for children out of school, housing assistance for displaced workers (renters and owners) and people experiencing homelessness. Sidney United Way reserves the right to support other areas of need that develop from the crisis.

Although this fund is geared towards relief and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, unrelated emergency requests may still be considered through our regular United Way Contingency Fund.

Sidney United Way will administer grants from the Fund. Recommendations for funding will be made by an advisory committee made up of representatives from the various local contributors to the fund, with final approval made by the Sidney United Way Budget Advisory Committee. Together, we will proactively identify potential grant recipients, solicit guidance on potential recipients from community advisers, and recommend final awards. Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases.


Frequently Asked Questions

I'm an individual who's been affected by COVID-19. Can this Fund help me? We understand many individuals and families have been affected by the outbreak already and more will continue to be affected. Sidney United Way is working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic, and social impacts.

While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, it is funding community-based organizations that have experience and history of providing people and families with services and support. As we begin to award grants, we will post them here. Please check back for a list of the organizations that may be able to assist you. If you are looking for resources now, please call 2-1-1.

We understand the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting nonprofits in many ways, including increased demand for their services, lost revenue due to closures and cancellations, as well as other challenges. Sidney United Way's Board of Directors is working to ensure that the grants awarded meet the greatest needs in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for the Fund. Rather, please fill out this short application to apply: Sidney Area COVID-19 Relief Fund Application

To confirm your application has been received, please email

I want to donate. Can I restrict my funding to a prioritized grantee? We are so glad that you are interested in donating! Currently, we ask that all gifts remain unrestricted to ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted.

Should I give to this Fund instead of making other donations? This Fund was not created to be the only vehicle for getting needed resources into the community, but to help facilitate getting more targeted resources into the community. This is a critical time for so many, including the nonprofit organizations who've benefited from your giving in the past, as well as those who've had to cancel their annual fundraising events or depend heavily on public gatherings. Please continue to give to organizations you regularly support, and those that need your help at this crucial time. Now is the time to double down for our community.

What will NOT be included in the first phase of funding? We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. In this first phase, we are prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. In this first round, we are not able to prioritize organizations who have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that are strained by increased demand for services. We recognize these challenges, and as the crisis and long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to assess and evolve our funding strategies.

Based upon the charitable structure of the COVID -19 Relief Fund, our grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive a tax-deductible contribution. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501c4, 501c5, and 501c6 organizations.

Is there a geographic area of focus for the Fund? The Sidney Area COVID-19 Relief Fund will prioritize community-based organizations within Sidney and the immediate surrounding communities. We are doing this with a recognition that many area nonprofits serve workers and residents in our neighboring counties. We also know that there are many organizations in neighboring counties that have broader footprints, serving their residents.

When will you share who you fund? We will share a list of agencies we are supporting on our website as grants are awarded. We hope this will help the community navigate available resources, as well as provide transparency for our fund.


Application Form
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Cullman Child Development Center - $8,500 to purchase food for 10 weeks for the children at the center
Catholic Charities of Delaware Otsego & Schoharie Counties - $2,000 to purchase food and gas cards for clients
Catholic Charities Sidney Office - $1,000 to purchase food items for the Community Help Center project in Sidney
St. Luke's Lutheran Church Backpack Program - $762 to finish the backpack program through the school year
Bainbridge Soup Kitchen - $300 to purchase ice chest containers for take-out food
Delaware Valley Humane Society - $1,500 to purchase food for the animals and cleaning and sanitation supplies
Salvation Army - $2,500 to provide personal protection kits to five area food pantries
AO Fox Hospital Tri-Town Campus - $6,350 to purchase equipment that will enhance patient and staff safety
Sidney Emergency squad* - $10,000 for Pandemic Safety Kits and hand sanitizer for small businesses as they reopen
Afton Community Chest - $1,000 to assist community organizations negatively affected by COVID-19
Bainbridge Community Chest - $1,000 to assist community organizations negatively affected by COVID-19
Unadilla Community Chest - $1,000 to assist community organizations negatively affected by COVID-19
Sidney Memorial Public Library - $1,250 to purchase personal protection items and cleaning supplies
Sidney Emergency Squad* - $4,516.93 to provide face masks to small businesses for their employees as they reopen
Nex-to-New - $400 to purchase PPE and cleaning supplies necessary to reopen the store
Family Planning - $500 - to purchase PPE and cleaning supplies to protect staff and patients
Tri-Town Nursery School - $2,000 to help with start-up materials and use of building donation as they recover from loss of tuition due to closure
*These items were purchased through the Sidney Emergency Squad because they have tax exempt status, but they were distributed to the businesses by Sidney United Way

Thank you to the following business contributors to the fund:

Alpine Roofing
Amphenol Corporation
Sidney Central School Alumni Association
Sidney Federal Credit Union
Sidney Rotary Community Foundation
Sidney United Way

And a very special Thank You to all of the individual donors!