Established by the state government in March, the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund pools resources to help fund community organizations throughout the state working to deliver much-needed aid to people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Gov. Doug Ducey's office announced that the fund has accumulated more than $8 million in the two months since it was established. About $175,000 was raised by private citizens, and $258,000 worth of in-kind donations were donated to the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education.
According to a press release, other contributions include $5 million from the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, $1 million from Chairman and President of the Arizona Cardinals Michael Bidwill, $1 million from Turf Paradise Race Course owner Jerry Simms and money from Arizona Public Service, Southwest Gas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Waymo, VanTrust Real Estate, and Valley Toyota Dealers.
The state government said they will distribute personal protective equipment purchased from this fund to county health departments in need. Several Arizona counties have reported major difficulties
in accessing these supplies and more.
But the fund also has other uses. The first round of funding to be dispersed through grants will include $1.5 million intended to keep Arizona students safe and on-track with their learning, preventing food insecurity and services for senior citizens.
A five-person committee oversees the fund's uses and coordinates with philanthropic communities to decide how best to use the money. The committee members are Nicole Bidwill, owner, and executive of the Arizona Cardinals; Tina Marie Tentori, executive director of the APS Foundation; Eileen Klein, former Arizona State Treasurer; Sandra Watson, President & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority and Dan Mahoney, a partner of Snell & Wilmer.
"The AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund is managed administratively by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA)," the press release states. "All dollars donated to the fund are going to causes and organizations in need; the ACA is receiving no additional funding to provide administrative support. Donations to the fund are fully tax-deductible as they are used solely for charitable purposes."
To learn more about this fund, visit arizonatogether.org