RCEF Launches COVID-19 Family Relief Fund
COVID-19 affects us all, but our most vulnerable neighbors, classmates, and friends will be impacted the most. The Redwood City Education Foundation is focused on improving academic performance among underserved students, and we know that no child can learn if their basic needs are not being met. As the Redwood City School District moves to at-home learning, our community must come together to ensure that no family falls through the cracks.
Our vulnerable RCSD families, especially our hourly wage workers, are faced with no-win economic decisions. They’re asking themselves: “do we pay for groceries or for rent? Do I take unpaid time off from work, or do I leave my child at home alone?”
RCEF has established a COVID-19 Family Relief Fund to provide direct financial support to RCSD families experiencing severe economic hardship due to COVID-19. Every cent donated to this fund will go directly to these families.
The fund will support two critical programs:
The Community Schools Family Emergency Fund, which provides gift cards to help low-income families purchase basic provisions like groceries, toiletries, and gas
The City of Redwood City Emergency Housing Assistance program, which provides direct financial relief to families at imminent risk of losing their homes
We are responding quickly to needs that are evolving daily, so our fund will adjust to meet shifting need in real time as the situation changes. Every cent will go directly to RCSD families in great need.
Our goal is to raise $200,000 towards this fund by April 1. Will you give to the RCEF COVID-19 Family Relief Fund today?
We will get through this crisis. Our community is strong, because our community is compassionate. We must help our most vulnerable community members weather this storm, but we need you to act today.
Thank you for your support. Please see the attached FAQ for more information or call Executive Director Jason Galisatus at 650-521-1772.
-RCEF Board of Directors
P.S. Please check with your employer about matching your donation.
FAQ: RCEF COVID-19 Family Relief Fund
(as of March 19, 2020)
If RCEF still accepting funds since it has now reached its goal?
While we are no longer actively fundraising, we are still accepting funds. As the full extent of the need, as well as the public funding that may become available, cannot yet be known, additional private funding support may be needed in the future. RCEF will resume actively fundraising if urgent additional needs are identified.
How can families in need access support?
If families need help with food, rent, or other essentials, they are asked to call the Fair Oaks Community Center at 650-780-7500. The Center will begin conducting need assessments starting Monday, March 23.
How can I donate and designate my gift?
You can mail us a check to PO Box 3046, Redwood City, CA 94063. You could also donate on our website. There is a drop-down menu where you can designate your donation to the RCEF COVID-19 Family Relief Fund
Will RCEF use any of the funds to cover administrative costs?
No. 100% of your donation goes directly to families in need if designated for the RCEF Emergency Relief Fund. However, RCEF does need financial support as well in order to continue to operate. You can still make a separate donation to RCEF directly to support our organization; simply donate online and do not designate your gift.
Why is RCEF not supporting other needs like food security or digital access?
RCEF worked closely with the Redwood City School District to identify where gaps in services and funding currently exists, and it’s an ever-changing landscape. At this time, the District has identified solutions for these challenges along with other nonprofit and corporate partners. RCEF will be helping to promote these services.
How much funding does each family receive from the Family Emergency Fund?
At this time, we are preparing to offer families one $100 Target gift card and one $50 gas gift card.
How does RCEF know how many gift cards will be needed?
The short answer is: we don’t yet know; it depends on the scope and severity of this crisis. We will be purchasing gift cards in $10,000 increments to adjust for demand in real time.
How are these programs administered?
The Family Emergency Fund is run by Community Schools, a program of the Redwood City School District that connects district families with wraparound services above and beyond educational services. Families can pick up gift cards at any of the five the Family Resources Centers in the Redwood City School District.
The Emergency Housing Assistance program is administered through the City of Redwood City.
Will RCEF track the gift cards?
The Family Emergency Fund program closely tracks the serial numbers of gift cards and which families are in possession of them to ensure accountability.
What happens if not all the funds are used or needed?
RCEF will remain in close contact with our partners to assess the current need. If the current demand does not necessitate additional funds, RCEF with look for other programs to support that address pressing needs faced by families impacted by COVID-19. If funding will support programs beyond what has currently been identified, we will notify donors.