Arthur Blank, a co-founder of The Home Depot home repair goods store and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, announced he would be donating nearly $5.4 million to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Today, we’re announcing nearly $5.4M in funding for immediate and long-term #COVID19 relief. We’re committed to rallying together to support our grantees, communities & front line workers providing critical support during this time of crisis. FULL RELEASE: https://t.co/Qjwu8RRkYk pic.twitter.com/u2T6VFJfRM
— Arthur Blank Foundation (@BlankFoundation) March 20, 2020
The money will be donated through Blank’s philanthropy, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. In a press release, the foundation said the donation will go toward immediate and long-term recovery assistance to organizations in Georgia and Montana.
“As a Family Foundation we have always believed that it is the power of many that will make the greatest impact on the most pressing issues in our society,” Blank said in a statement. “This is that moment – to join together to truly harness the power of all of us to address a challenge that knows no boundaries and has no precedent in our lifetimes.”
The foundation was established in 1995 with a mission to invest in education, public parks, youth and community development and other programs.
Most of the money, $5 million, will be given to the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a newly formed entity established by United Way of Greater Atlanta and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
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An additional $100,000 will go to Hands on Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that connects individuals to volunteer opportunities throughout Atlanta. The press release notes that this money will fund 31 AmeriCorps members in their efforts to help public school students in Atlanta as mass closures grip the country. A similar donation of $100,000 will be made to the Atlanta Police Foundation to “ensure the safety of officers through the enhanced sanitation of police facilities and the provision of personal sanitation supplies to police officers and other essential city employees.”
Another $50,000 is pledged to Hopa Mountain, a Montana organization that works to enrich Native American communities through education opportunities and environmental awareness. The grant from Blank is meant to provide necessities, such as food, housing and sanitary supplies to both Native American and Latino communities in Montana through Hopa Mountain.
More resources will go toward food distribution. Two Montana organizations, the Livingston Food Resource Center and the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, received a cumulative $45,000 to increase food inventory.
In Atlanta, a 3.5-ton donation of surplus food donation from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium — another business belonging to Blank — was split between the local nonprofits Veterans Empowerment Organization (VEO), Atlanta Mission, Atlanta City Baptist Rescue Mission, Gateway Center, Hope House, and Salvation Army: Red Shield Services.
Meanwhile, $50,000 will go to the Montana HRDC to keep homeless shelters operational, according to the Atlanta Journal. The remaining $20,000 will go to the Healthy Gallatin Company in Montana to “disseminate accurate information around COVID-19 to all Montanans.”
Other wealthy private citizens who have donated to COVID-19 emergency services include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
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