In this January 2002 file photo, representatives from the Community Foundation for Greater Rome present a $12,500 grant to LivingProof Recovery and Elevation House to offer programming and support for individuals with a dual diagnosis related to substance abuse and mental health issues.

The Community Foundation for Greater Rome has created a new COVID-19 Recovery Fund, specifically to help local nonprofits and small businesses deal with needs as the impact of the pandemic evolves.

In an effort to deal with an immediate situation the likes of which has not been felt across the community, the group’s Impact Grant fund has been redirected to the new COVID-19 Recovery Fund. Approximately $40,000 is now in the fund.

“I’ve had more people call in with stuff, I just don’t know much in checks they’re sending in,” Executive Director Ashley Garner said. “We’ve got some new donors, so that’s exciting.”

Donors can make an online contribution at by selecting COVID-19 Recovery Fund from the drop down menu or by emailing Garner to discuss other options.

The foundation will stay in close contact with community leaders, nonprofit executives, as well as public health officials to determine how to best distribute financial resources.

“We’re going to broadcast through our email groups and try to get a general feel for funding needs,” Garner said. “I think it’s important for us to get the full picture here. There are a lot of creative ways that we can respond.”

She said one of the questions they are likely to ask in the email is, if that individual had $1,000 or $25,000, how would they help?

Foundation Chairman Ed Watters said the board would meet next week to review potential use of the funds.

“We’re going to try to consolidate all of our options and opportunities,” Watters said.

“We can respond to emergency needs, or to longer term needs that not have been felt, or even known yet,” Garner said. “We’re looking for something that is impactful, measurable, transformative and, hopefully, can be be used to leverage more money.”

In addition to the COVID-19 Recovery Fund, the foundation is managing funds for the temporary emergency shelter organized by local sheltering agencies, Floyd County Emergency Management, and the United Way, along with an Easter 2020 Fund organized by local churches to respond to COVID-19 situation.

Anyone interested in making a contribution can reach Garner at or 706-728-3453.

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