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Gifts of Kindness Fund

A community-focused fund helping central Ohio individuals and families with emergency needs.

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In 2014, a Columbus Foundation donor approached the Foundation with an idea—to establish a fund that provides one-time grants to help lift up individuals and families who experience an unexpected setback.

The Gifts of Kindness Fund was established in September 2014, with a generous gift of $500,000 from that compassionate donor. The goal is not only to provide financial support but to illustrate how acts of kindness throughout our community make a difference—and inspire others to do the same.

 We were inspired to create the Gifts of Kindness Fund for two reasons: to provide meaningful, one-time, life-changing gifts to help lift people up during a setback, and to motivate others to participate in acts of kindness as well.

 

GIFTS OF KINDNESS FOUNDING DONOR

 

 

Make a contribution to the fund to help others in our community.

 

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, all donations to the Gifts of Kindness Fund are currently being matched.

 

          GIVE         

 

GIFTS OF KINDNESS GRANT EXAMPLES

A client became homeless after being terminated from his job as a result of COVID-19 and experiencing domestic violence in his residence. Gifts of Kindness covered car payments for the client while he was living in his car so he could get to and from work and save up money to afford his own apartment.

A diabetic client had his house robbed in September 2020. Intruders took his insulin, syringes, and other necessary medicine. He had to use his rent money to get his medications refilled. Gifts of Kindness covered one month of rent so that client could afford to purchase replacement medical supplies.

A client’s work hours were cut in March 2020, followed by her being furloughed. Due to an extended delay in receiving unemployment assistance, she was at risk of eviction. Gift of Kindness provided two months of rent to help her avoid eviction.

Gifts of Kindness has been life-changing for many of our Goodwill employees. It has helped homeless individuals get back on their feet and provide a roof over their head, employees have not had to worry about stable housing due to short bouts of unemployment or medical issues, and it has truly been a blessing to many of our single parents who have experienced a setback. Gifts of Kindness is ultimately responsible for helping Goodwill employees overcome barriers. Thank you!


Christi Meuser, Family Strengthening Coordinator, Goodwill Industries 

 

Pictured: Distribution of grants from the Gifts of Kindness Fund, 2019-2020.

FAQs

What are the “needs” covered by the Gifts of Kindness Fund?

Grants from the Gifts of Kindness Fund, usually between $500-$3,000, are awarded to nonprofit partners that work with individuals and families experiencing a sudden hardship. Those funds go directly toward expenses associated with that hardship.

 

Often, these expenses are related to housing, transportation, and assistance with utilities. Others include, but are not limited to, medical bills, food, and clothing.

How do I apply for assistance?

The Columbus Foundation does not apply for Gifts of Kindness on behalf of individuals. We partner with nonprofit organizations in Franklin County, Ohio to support individuals during difficult times. Please connect with one of the partner organizations, or contact Lutheran Social Services’ 211 line for referral services.

How can I support the Gifts of Kindness Fund?

You can give to the Gifts of Kindness Fund here.

View Gifts of Kindness Nonprofit Partners

Gifts of Kindness Nonprofit Partners as of 01/15/2021

 

  • Alvis
  • Broad Street Presbyterian Church—COMPASS
  • Catholic Social Services
  • Center for Family Safety and Healing
  • Center for Healthy Families, Inc.
  • Central Community House of Columbus, Inc.
  • Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center
  • Community Development for All People
  • Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio
  • Franklin County Family Recovery Court
  • Freedom a la Cart
  • Gladden Community House
  • Goodwill Columbus
  • The Homeless Families Foundation
  • Homeport
  • Huckleberry House, Inc.
  • IMPACT Community Action
  • Jewish Family Services
  • LifeCare Alliance
  • Lower Lights Ministries
  • Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio
  • Maryhaven, Inc.
  • Military Veterans Resource Center
  • New Directions Career Center
  • OhioGuidestone
  • Physicians CareConnection
  • Riverview International Center          
  • Salvation Army (Central Ohio)
  • Star House
  • Volunteers of America Ohio and Indiana
  • YMCA of Central Ohio
  • YWCA Columbus
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