Episcopal Community Ministries (ECM) is pleased to announce that $17,200 in COVID-19 emergency relief grants were awarded last week to outreach ministries directly benefiting beleaguered communities in Southern Ohio.

On March 30, a quickly assembled diocesan COVID-19 Financial Aid task group created a matching grant program from the William Cooper Procter Memorial Fund for emergency relief donations made to ECM, matching every dollar donated. In just three weeks’ time, your generous donations to ECM made it possible to give significant aid to six crucial outreach ministries throughout the diocese. The ECM committee met April 23 to review applications and were able to disperse funds that day to the ministries that so desperately needed them.

Volunteers in these ministries have worked tirelessly to continue to safely serve their neighbors while observing COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions. The work they do is always essential in their economically challenged communities, but never more so than during the financial fallout of this unprecedented pandemic. The funds provided are not only a financial lifeline, but crucial psychological and spiritual support for people serving on the front lines in some of our most economically devastated neighborhoods, and will be used to help address food insecurity, support housing relief programs and provide emergency assistance with utility bills and rent. The diocese and ECM are proud to support their amazing work and offer our profound thanks to all who donated.

  • CityHeart is Christ Church, Dayton’s primary congregation outreach. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and escalating need, CityHeart’s ministry is now 100% emergency assistance for rent and utilities to low income wage earners, both single individuals and working families. CityHeart is committed to keep people from becoming homeless by helping to pay rent and assisting with utility bills.
  • Grace Church, College Hill’s weekly community dinners have transformed to take-away meals during the Covid-19 crisis. They are serving more than 250 meals each Wednesday and the number grows each week. The congregation also helps to support the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) which is now housing homeless clients in hotels rather than in churches.
  • Church of Our Saviour / La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador, Mt. Auburn (Cincinnati) provides two community meals per week, which they have now converted to take-out meals due to COVID-19 restrictions. They also run a food pantry to provide emergency food, hygiene products, diapers, and cleaning products to those in need.  Almost all their guests are minorities and/or immigrants, populations particularly at risk for both Coronavirus infection and for the economic fallout.
  • Transformations is Church of Our Saviour / La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador, Mt. Auburn (Cincinnati) outreach ministry in Price Hill.  They work directly with immigrants from Central America and the US-born children of immigrants in the areas of health, education and public policy.  They are launching two self-empowerment projects – sack gardens to grow fresh vegetables in small spaces, and COVID-19 mask production to generate family income.
  • St. John’s, Columbus has two feeding ministries:  Street Church (Sunday lunch) and His Place (Wednesday dinner).  Because of safe serving restrictions, they now purchase take-out meals to distribute to their neighbors.

ECM continues to raise funds for outreach ministries. We are still accepting applications for emergency assistance and will shortly start accepting applications for their annual grant cycle. One hundred percent of your contributions to ECM directly benefit our neighbors in need, not only now but in the days and weeks to come. Please consider making a donation today. For more information visit  https://ecmsouthernohio.org/