COVID19 Response Fund for Guilford

January 2021 Update COVID19 Response Fund for Guilford

Almost exactly eight months after launching its COVID-19 Response Fund meant to support struggling non-profits, healthcare workers, art institutions, and individuals during the pandemic, the Guilford Foundation announced it has paid out almost $140,000 into the community, providing a desperately needed lifeline to more than 20 local organizations and hundreds of families.

With in initial goal of raising $20,000 to provide stop-gap relief until government benefits would kick in, initial donations to the fund quickly rocketed past that number as donors made sure that despite the continued onslaught of the pandemic and fading support from Washington D.C., their neighbors could continue paying bills and receiving important services.

“We’re still in the middle of this crisis, obviously,” Guilford Foundation Executive Director Liza Petra said. “But what I’m particularly thinking about…at the end of the year is how grateful I am to this community to just step up when the need is there.”

2020 Impact Report

The Guilford Foundation is proud to present our 2020 Impact Report, although 2019 seems like a hundred years ago. Since March, our work has focused on responding to the community’s needs in response to COVID19. The 2020 Impact Report presents three stories about the crucial impact of your gifts since the onset of the pandemic and also provides a summary of our work in 2019.

We hope the information within the 2020 Impact Report fills you with great pride in our work over the past few months and in 2019– it’s been an amazing community effort, and we couldn’t do it without you.



August 13, 2020

22 weeks since that week in March when everything changed.

Since then, you’ve given $137,284.38 to the COVID19 Response Fund for Guilford.

That allowed us to contribute to 21 grants totaling $114,483 to organizations who were not only impacted by coronavirus, but directly responding to community members who suddenly faced joblessness, food insecurity, and health concerns.

Since the May 21, 2020 update (below), we’ve awarded 3 additional grants through the COVID19 Response Fund, and an additional 14 awards through our Competitive Grant process. Click here for details on those.

New COVID19 Response Fund for Guilford awards since May 21:

$1,000 to the Neighborhood Music School to focus on need-based financial aid programs, which saw an uptick due to the impact of coronavirus.

$1,000 to Legacy Theatre for operational support as they pivoted from in-person theatre to virtual performances.

$2,000 to The Guilford Center for Children for tuition assistance.

THANK YOU. We have funds remaining and will continue to seek out and support those organizations serving our neighbors who need help.


May 21, 2020


As of May 18th and heading into week 12 of quarantine, The Guilford Foundation’s COVID19 Response Fund for Guilford has raised $122,207.81 and distributed $110,583.

Thanks to you, new grants made since May 1:

$5,000 to Clifford Beers Child Guidance Clinic to support case management and care coordination services for Guilford children and families, which is critically needed during this time of increased stress and anxiety.

$2,000 to the Jordan Porco Foundation (suicide prevention) to support virtual adaptation of “4 What’s Next,” a program to provide coping skills to youth facing vulnerability to mental health adversities.

$2,703 to the Community Dining Room to address increased demand from Guilford residents during COVID19.

$3,100 to the Dudley Foundation Farm & Market to help cover loss of income from normal fundraising activities and programs due to COVID19 shutdowns.

$10,000 to support the Guilford Art Center as it faces massive income deficits due to loss of programs, classes and fundraising, most notably the cancelation of the Guilford Craft Expo 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

$5,500 to Shoreline Chamber of Commerce to support its efforts to pivot services to provide information updates to the community at large (regardless of Chamber membership) and providing weekly platforms for the community to hear from elected officials and get their questions answered. The Chamber shifted its focus to help local businesses and non-profit organizations navigate the governmental mandates and assistance due to COVID19. Due to its tax status, the Chamber didn’t qualify for assistance through the CARES Act, and their income has been stifled due to loss of event revenue. This award, along with a matching grant through the Branford Community Foundation, will enable the Chamber to bridge the gap as they wait for funding through the State of Connecticut’s Work Share Program.

$5,280 to The Guilford Center for Early Education to cover costs associated with closing down the facilities, furloughing staff, and other unanticipated administrative costs caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

$5,000 to the Orchard House to address budgetary gaps for programming, infrastructure, and salaries caused by the pandemic.

$5,000 to SARAH Foundation to provide personal protective equipment to SARAH Tuxis to support its Guilford clientele and staff.

Thanks to you, our local nonprofit organizations serving our Guilford neighbors have received significant and critical support they need during this pandemic.


May 1, 2020

Your support has made an immediate and crucial impact on the lives of your neighbors.

The Guilford Foundation extends its deepest gratitude to all who have donated to the COVID19 Response Fund for Guilford to date.

As of May 1, TGF has raised $116,070 and distributed $67,000.

Thanks to you, The Guilford Foundation, through the Women & Family Life Center, has been able to provide emergency financial assistance to 51 Guilford residents, including Michelle. Michelle is a single mom of two tween-age boys and a $500 grant allowed her to pay utility bills and buy groceries. “This has been a very difficult time for myself and the kids. Thank you for granting us the money during this pandemic—it is greatly appreciated.”

Thanks to you, patients and staff at the Connecticut Hospice have masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, shoe covers, and sufficient Purell, to stay safe as the facility transitioned into a site for patient overflow from area hospitals who have been overwhelmed with COVID19 cases.

Thanks to you, Lifelinx has been able to continue services to individuals recovering from substance abuse despite loss of revenue due to canceled fundraising events due to COVID19.

Thanks to you, the nurses continuing to make home visits in Guilford through VNA Healthcare & Hospice have personal protective equipment to keep them safe while providing the highest quality care.

Thanks to you, we can promote The Gift Card Project’s support of our Guilford businesses by committing to a grant to the Guilford Social Services Welfare Fund that matches the cumulative dollar amount for every gift card purchased up to $5,000.

The Guilford Foundation is committed to helping our caring community continue to meet the needs caused by COVID19. It is clear that this pandemic will continue to challenge all of us for the foreseeable future, and it’s impossible to know what to expect.

What we do know, however, is that The Guilford Foundation will be ready to help where we can —
thanks to you.


April 21, 2020

The Guilford Foundation established the COVID-19 Response Fund for Guilford on March 18, 2020 as soon as it became clear that this virus would significantly impact our community. The initial goal was to raise $20,000 to provide immediate, short-term financial relief to individuals who live or work in the Town of Guilford through the Women & Family Life Center.

As of April 20, thanks to your generosity, the fund has secured $106,879.78.

This generosity enabled TGF to not only support financial relief to individuals who live or work in Guilford through our partnership with WFLC, but has allowed us to expand the use of the fund to consider needs from additional organizations and programs that serve Guilford. The COVID-19 Response Fund for Guilford has invested $52,000 from the COVID-19 Response Fund as of April 21, 2020. Click here for details.

TGF is considering applications for funding for the COVID-19 Response Fund for Guilford on a rolling basis to provide resources that support our community members to get through this crisis. For more information, email Jennifer Mullett at

In order to continue to respond to the needs identified by our local service providers, TGF will continue to raise funds for the COVID-19 Response Fund for Guilford to provide whatever resources we can to help Guilford through this unprecedented crisis.

We are honored to report that a local family has initiated a fund raising campaign that will benefit TGF’s COVID-19 Response Fund for Guilford and the Guilford Food Bank called “Guilford Has Heart.” For each donation, the donor will receive a “Guilford Has Heart” lawn sign along with our deepest gratitude.

While we don’t know how the pandemic will unfold, we do know that you and Guilford Foundation will do whatever we can to support our community and service organizations through this crisis.

Thank you for your support. We are in this together.

Details on emergent grants funded through COVID-19 Response Fund for Guilford as of April 21, 2020:

  • $30,000 to Women & Family Life Center for direct grants to people who live or work in Guilford who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 (e.g., an individual tested positive for the virus and can’t work, loss of work or reduced work hours, loss of childcare, need to care for a loved one, etc.). WFLC has supported 51 individuals from Guilford to date with more applications in their pipeline.
  • $2,000 to Lifelinx to support their substance abuse transportation in the face of reduced revenue due to canceled events and programs.
  • $5,000 to VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice to provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to nurses who continue to treat patients at home. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, the VNA implemented significantly increased PPE requirements.
  • $15,000 to Women & Family Life Center to support increased demand for services coupled with decreased revenue due to canceled programs and events.


In response to the significant impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the community, The Guilford Foundation (TGF) announces establishment of a temporary fund, the COVID-19 Response Fund for Guilford, to benefit the Women & Family Life Center (W&FLC). The Response Fund is to enable W&FLC to make grants to provide immediate, short-term financial relief to individuals who live or work in the Town of Guilford.

Individuals who live or work in Guilford who have been negatively impacted as a result of this pandemic and seek temporary financial assistance are encouraged to reach out to W&FLC at (203) 458-6699. Examples include but are not limited to: an individual tested positive for the virus and can’t work, loss of work or reduced work hours, loss of childcare, need to care for a loved one, etc.

“We have been fielding calls from citizens who are desperate to help friends and loved ones face the impact of lost wages due to shorter working hours or tending to family member,” explained Liza Janssen Petra, Executive Director of The Guilford Foundation. “We are honored to provide a conduit with between those who want to help and those who need help right now, as the broader response to the crisis unfolds.”

“Thanks to the generosity of our community, we are grateful to partner with The Guilford Foundation to provide immediate assistance to local individuals and families in need,” said Meghan Scanlon, Executive Director of W&FLC.

W&FLC will provide one-time grants to individuals of up to $500 for immediate, short-term relief. This should provide stopgap support as local, state and federal programs ramp up to address this crisis on a broader scale.

TGF has secured a donation of $10,000 from a local citizen to seed this new fund, and we are encouraging donations to this fund through our website Our goal is to secure at least $20,000 for Guilford. All funds raised through this effort will support those impacted in our community by COVID-19.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to support those who work and/or live in Guilford who face hardship due to the pandemic.

For more information: