The Three Rivers Area Community Foundation has been serving the local Three Rivers community for more than 45 years through educational scholarships, competitive grant making, and supporting special projects and events. Like others, continuing normal
operations during 2020, in the midst of a global health pandemic, was going to be a challenge. The focus wasn’t about the foundation but instead, “how can we help?”
As the pandemic quickly spread, Executive Director Melissa Bliss quickly began collaborating with the United Way of St. Joseph County and the Sturgis Area Community Foundation to provide a united front for the entire county. It didn’t
take long for each organization to establish COVID-19 Relief Funds that would provide assistance within the county.
In Three Rivers, an online crowdfunding platform was launched to provide an easy way for individuals to join the cause. With an initial gift of $10,000 in available matching funds from the Foundation, the fund quickly grew to $20,000. Additionally, local business and organization support included $2500 from the Fibre Converters Foundation, $2000 from Horizon Bank, $2000 from United Way of St. Joseph County, $1000 from Three Rivers Rotary Club, and $500 from Sturgis Bank and Trust. “Horizon Bank is proud to continue our support of the Three Rivers Area Community Foundation as they work to provide COVID 19 relief funding for those who truly need it within the Three Rivers Community,” Jeff Gatton, Market President of Southern Michigan and Central Indiana.
These funds were designated for three (3) key areas of support within the Three Rivers area; relief for individuals and families, small businesses, and the non-profit community. The Foundation has since awarded $13,000 in grants to individuals, assisted with stimulating over $24,700 back into the small business community and recently awarded $10,000 in grants to area non-profits. “We’re extremely grateful for the continued support from our local business community. Without their partnerships, we wouldn’t be able to do the work that we’re doing here in Three Rivers,” stated Executive Director Bliss.