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Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation announces COVID-19 Relief Fund and matching donation opportunities

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation announces COVID-19 Relief Fund and matching donation opportunities

EFFINGHAM — Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, in partnership with Lumpkin Family Foundation, announces the creation of the Southeastern Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Fund will make grants to established community-based organizations that provide direct support to local residents and families most affected by the emerging health, economic, and social impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Lumpkin Family Foundation has donated $75,000 in seed money and an additional $50,000 as a matching opportunity for all gifts made before May 1.

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation has added $55,000 to the relief fund from current assets: Agracel Can Do Fund, Ralph and June Kidwell Fund, Effingham County CommunityWorks, Mattoon Area CommunityWorks, and Siemer Milling Endowment and Dr. Henry and Esther Poterucha Family Fund.

“These are all examples of permanent, discretionary dollars that we, along with our donors, were able to quickly re-direct to provide critical funding for our area nonprofits during these unprecedented times,” explains Amanda Lessley, President/CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation. She adds, “In addition to meeting urgent needs like food, shelter, rent/utility assistance, primary health and mental health services, we also want to provide flexible operating dollars to area nonprofits over the next few months to ensure they can continue to provide much needed services to our most vulnerable community members.”

Potential grant recipients must demonstrate a need for funding due to the pandemic or the impact of following public health recommendations taken to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections locally. Grants may be made to nonprofit organizations, schools, or units of government located in or significantly serving southeastern Illinois: Coles, Effingham, Cumberland, Jasper, Crawford, Clark, Shelby, Richland, Lawrence, Fayette, or Clay counties. A short application will be released soon and reviewed on a rolling basis to ensure funds are distributed quickly.

While the relief fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, it will be funding community-based organizations that have experience and a history of providing individuals and families with services and support. There are organizations that are already working to help the public.

“The Lumpkin Family Foundation is honored to stand behind such a critically important effort by the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation,” states Bruce Karmazin, executive director of Lumpkin Family Foundation. He adds, “One hundred percent of the funds raised will go to helping our neighbors and friends make it through a historic and challenging time, and we’re confident that those of us who can, will step forward to help.”

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation is accepting donations to the relief fund.

Checks can be made payable to Southeastern Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund and mailed to Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, PO Box 1211, Effingham, IL 62401. For gifts of stock or other assets, please contact Amanda Lessley at 618-304-7668 or Donations of $500 or less can be made online at All donations made before 11:59 p.m. on April 30 will be matched by Lumpkin Family Foundation. The Community Foundation will receive no administrative fee on these funds. Online donations are subject to a small credit card processing fee that the donor may choose to cover.

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation manages more than 160 affiliated funds for the immediate and long-term benefit of communities in southeastern Illinois. For more information, contact Amanda Lessley, President/CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, at 217-342-4988 or

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