• COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
  • HealthVisions Fort Wayne Names New Director
  • Sharing our Story in Washington D.C.
  • American Red Cross Blood Donation
  • Submit Your Census Response Online
COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Foundation Update:
COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
In response to the global pandemic, St. Joe Foundation is commited to supporting our community partners on the front line of providing direct care to populations in Allen County. To better understand the current needs, the St. Joe Foundation also partnered with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and the Parkview Mirro Center for Research to survey the local community. The results are being used to help assure resources are directed effectively.

St. Joe also reached out to its community partners, those grantees who received at least $2,500 in support from St. Joe in 2019, inviting them to apply for a Rapid Response Grant to address COVID-19 concerns . Organizations may request up to $5,000 each to support their COVID-19 response, through a specific program or direct support of a vulnerable population with whom they have expertise.

A simplified ‘Rapid Response’ grant application process has been established. Applicants will be asked for the following:
  • Project Name
  • Amount Requested (up to $5,000)
  • Description of the Need
  • Other Funding Also Addressing this Need
  • Program Budget
COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
One of St. Joe Foundation’s first Rapid Response grants was awarded to the YMCA, to provide access to healthy meals and baby formula, from their Renaissance Pointe YMCA.
Grantee Spotlight :
YMCA Meal Access Program
On March 20, the St. Joe Foundation announced that 2019 grantees would be eligible for special funding of up to $5,000, to enable them to address the challenges posed to the most vulnerable in the community, as a result of COVID-19.  We know that many lower income individuals are losing or have lost their incomes and have fears of being unable to attain food, shelter and medicine. The Rapid Response grants are intended to help past grantees, experienced with and trusted by our community’s most vulnerable populations, to modify their operations to address the new needs created by the pandemic.
YMCA distributes food to vulnerable populations in Allen County
COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Wellspring's WOW program also received a COVID-19 Rapid Response grant to provide critical food services in Allen County
Grantee Spotlight:
Wellspring On Wheels
Wellspring Interfaith Social Services reported a 400% increase in Food Bank clients, and reached out, asking for help. Executive Director Melissa Rinehart advised they were shifting some of their part-time employees who were working a program that had been temporarily shut down to help deliver food to four additional (and temporary) Wellspring on Wheels sites. St. Joe Foundation was able to respond with a COVID-19 Rapid Response grant.

Wellspring shared the following statement about the impact of the COVID-19 Rapid Response grant from the St. Joe Foundation:

" COVID-19 has impacted Wellspring in many ways. Three of our five programs are temporarily suspended, however, the Food Bank and mobile food bank, Wellspring on Wheels (WOW), remain open as they are deemed essential services. Through the generosity of the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and other supporters in our community, we’re able to dedicate more staff to both programs as well as purchase more food for distribution. We’re also adding temporary sites to the WOW program including Study Elementary (pictured) and others to be determined."

- Melissa Rinehart
Partners with The Spirit
Renetta Williams (Left) and Sharon Tubbs (Right)
"I'm excited to continue the mission of HealthVisions, which has provided programming that empowers under-served populations for more than 20 years. I look forward to engaging in more opportunities to serve the community, partly by collaborating with other local nonprofits and agencies, including the St. Joe Foundation." - Sharon Tubbs, Incoming Director of HealthVisions Fort Wayne
Foundation Partner Update:
HealthVisions Fort Wayne Names Sharon Tubbs as New Director as Renetta Williams Retires
Renetta Williams, Director of HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne (HVM), has retired after 20 years of service to the ministry. HVM strives to meet the needs of poor and underserved families and individuals in Allen County.

Sharon Tubbs assumed Renetta's duties as of March 30 and is continuing the mission. Sharon has been the community liaison for the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation for the past four years, working to expand the organization’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Program. In 2019, the NAACP recognized Sharon for her efforts to improve health in Fort Wayne’s black community. Prior to her community endeavors, Sharon worked professionally for nearly 20 years as a newspaper reporter and manager in the greater Philadelphia area and in Florida. Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University, a master’s degree in human services counseling from Liberty University, and is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, developing new community partnerships and collaborating with local faith-based institutions. Sharon will be tasked with health and social service agencies. Sharon will leverage her relationship with the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and others to forge collaborative partnerships that will benefit HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne clients. 

HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne is a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, the religious order that formerly owned St. Joseph Hospital. The St. Joe Foundation extends its best wishes to Renetta Williams and asks for God’s blessings as she embarks on the next chapter of her life’s journey. The Foundation welcomes Sharon Tubbs as she steps into the Director’s role and looks forward to growth and prosperity for HealthVisions Midwest of Fort Wayne and its clients. 
Advocacy for Vulnerable Populations and Philanthropy
Meg Distler speaks with Indiana Senator Todd Young
Foundation Update:
Sharing Our Story in Washington D.C.
On March 10-11, Executive Director Meg Distler joined with the Indiana Philanthropy Association to meet with Indiana’s senators and congressmen and women, as a part of the annual Foundations-on-the-Hill. 

According to Distler, “The legislative meetings provided an excellent opportunity to share the impact of federal legislation on not only philanthropy, but some of our focus areas of expertise, including the health of pregnant women and their babies. In several cases, it opened the door for future discussions.”
Meg Distler with Indiana Senator Mike Braun and other representatives from the Indiana Philanthropy Association
Access to Quality, Affordable Healthcare
Partner Spotlight:
American Red Cross Blood Donation
The American Red Cross is facing an unprecedented battle in ensuring an adequate blood supply for our local community and our country. As more organizations and schools encourage social distancing, blood drives are being cancelled at an alarming rate. Over the last few days, the number of blood drive cancellations due to coronavirus concerns has rapidly risen. This problem is growing every day, and we are anticipating additional federal and state isolation recommendations that will compound the situation.
A blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer. We understand why people may be hesitant to come out for a blood drive, but we want to reassure the public that we are taking additional precautions to ensure the safety of our donors and staff. Blood donors and blood drive hosts play a critical role in maintaining a sufficient blood supply and are asked to keep hosting blood drives for patients who rely on lifesaving blood.
How you can help:
  • Visit our fixed site blood collection centers at 1212 E. California Rd, Fort Wayne 46825. Hours are Mon, Tues, Wed 11:30a-7p; Thurs 11:30a-6p; and Fri, Sat, Sun 6:30a-2p. Or, 7950 W. Jefferson Blvd (Lutheran Hospital), Fort Wayne 46804. Hours are Mon, Tues 12n-7:30p; Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun 6a-1:30p.
  • Schedule a mobile blood drive with our bloodmobile at your office, house of worship or in your neighborhood, and we will bring the blood drive to you. Call Whitney Thomas at 317-671-4855 or email at whitney.thomas@redcross.org to discuss blood drive options.
  • If you are not able to donate right now, please encourage someone who is able to donate on your behalf and spread the message of our critical need for blood.
Access to Quality Affordable Healthcare
Foundation Update:
Submit Your Census Response Online
The time is now. Help shape your future, and your community's future, by responding to the 2020 Census.

Most households received their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12 – 20. These  official Census Bureau mailings  will include detailed information and a Census ID for completing the Census online.

In addition to an invitation to respond, some households will receive a paper questionnaire (sometimes known as the census form). You do not need to wait for your paper questionnaire to respond to the Census. Please complete your census form online, by phone, or by mail when your invitation to respond arrives. The 2020 Census will ask a few simple questions about you and everyone who is or will be living with you on April 1, 2020.

Click the links below to learn more about the 2020 Census and to submit your response. Fort Wayne counts on you!
  A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.
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