PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas (CFSEK) announced Thursday that it has granted a total of $25,000 to four local non-profit organizations working to support area residents most affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Wesley House, and The Lord’s Diner each received an equal share of the $25,000. These grants, made from CFSEK’s Disaster Relief Fund, will be used to address housing, utility-bill, and food-security needs in the local area, CFSEK said in a press release.


"We know many families in our communities are struggling with obtaining adequate food and keeping up with rent and utilities," said CFSEK Executive Director Kit Parks. "These four organizations have been instrumental in addressing those needs, and the Community Foundation is pleased to help them continue their good work."


CFSEK began accepting monetary donations to the Disaster Relief Fund to address community needs caused by COVID-19 in late March. The Fund will remain open for further donations to address those needs for the foreseeable future.


Anyone interested in donating to the Disaster Relief Fund can do so online by visiting www.southeastkansas.org and selecting the Disaster Relief Fund from the dropdown menu on the Donate Now page. Alternatively, donations may be made by check payable to CFSEK with "COVID-19" written in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to P.O. Box 1448, Pittsburg, KS 66762. Donations to CFSEK are tax-deductible.


United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas also has awarded $22,179 in funding to six area nonprofit agencies, including three southeast Kansas groups, in the second phase of its COVID-19 Response Campaign, the organization announced Thursday.


Kansas Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Crawford County is receiving $1,000 to support its one-on-one mentoring match program, Communities in Schools of Mid-America will be getting $1,400 to provide additional food, hygiene and cleaning supplies as well as masks and other personal protective equipment for students and families in Pittsburg and Parsons, and Safehouse Crisis Center, Inc. is receiving $2,116 to purchase technology to assist with serving clients virtually.


United Way established its campaign in March to support efforts by its member agencies to meet the increased need for essential services in the midst of the pandemic and to assist local individuals and families impacted by the crisis. Previously, the organization awarded $5,000 to Catholic Charities of Southeast Kansas to assist with utility assistance.


United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas will continue to accept applications from member agencies.


"We know that this is a very fluid environment and that changing situations will create challenges for our nonprofit partners," said Duane Dreiling, the group’s executive director. "United Way thanks our community partners and all of those that contributed to the COVID-19 Response Campaign that enables us to invest funds strategically to meet the needs of our community."