Editor's Note: The nonprofit 4-CT Charitable Organization, formed earlier this year, was hailed in April by Governor Ned Lamont as "a never–before–seen coordinated effort to link philanthropists, donors, and community foundations to the needs of our residents, as we all work together to get through this COVID-19 pandemic."
4-CT was co-founded by Don Kendall, currently chair of the organization's board, and Ted Yang, currently its chief executive officer. In this letter, Mr. Yang discusses 4-CT's accomplishments and plans to shift into direct support.TO THE EDITOR:
When Don Kendall and I answered the call to serve our state on March 15th, 4-CT was just an idea. Our goal at the outset was to establish a statewide non-profit that would make grants to scale up the most impactful and most efficient programs and deliver rapid relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, we can proudly report that we have met this goal; thanks to our generous donors we've made and advised almost 30 grants ranging from $25K to $3 million to help the residents of our state recover from COVID-19.
We have made these commitments with an eye on equity, working to help those who need help the most. This pandemic has profoundly impacted all of our lives, but it has disproportionately harmed those people of color and the working poor who have been systemically placed at the bottom.
Here are just a few of the things that have been accomplished through our support of our grantees: provided PPE and health care to thousands of residents, kept hundreds of families out of shelters and in their own homes, purchased and donated more than a million pounds of food, established more than two dozen child care facilities to support essential and out-of-home workers, established a statewide mental health care warm-line, got back millions from the federal government for the working poor, provided educational support for hundreds of thousands of students and more.
As always, our website 4-CT.org has the most up-to-date information on our outbound grants.
Our biggest highlight is our 4-CT Card direct aid program, which has delivered more than $1 million (and counting) in direct aid to the most vulnerable populations.
Through our partnership with community health centers and community-based organizations, we've helped more than 3,000 families across 77 towns. We've worked from the bottom up with community-based organizations working in their neighborhoods assisting those whom they know need the most help.
At a time when having access to health care is so critical, it is especially encouraging that 20% of our card recipients have built new health care relationships to get the PPE and services they need in this pandemic. It is for this reason that the Alliance for America and other national organizations have recognized the 4-CT Card as a ground-breaking and efficient program that is making a difference to those that need it most.
Therefore, as we enter the fall with the possibility of a second wave, 4-CT will be re-focusing all of our energies on the 4-CT Card program so that we can provide the most aid possible to the greatest number of Connecticut residents.
Accordingly, we will complete our COVID-19 relief focused grant making in October and shift all of our future fundraising and program activities to delivering the 4-CT Card. We want to stick with what works to help the most residents we can, and the 4-CT Card is that program.
We could not have achieved such tremendous impact without the support of Governor Lamont and state officials along with our partners in the community foundations, non-profits and countless other organizations who have helped us, and the more than 75 volunteers and staff who are part our 4-CT team.
Thanks also to all those who have contributed to 4-CT, whatever the amount, especially those who have raised money for us through their own good works. A special thanks to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, without whose support we could never have gotten off the ground.
Our goal with the 4-CT Card remains helping those who need the most help here in Connecticut, and we will continue to need all of your support for us to succeed as we move to the next phase of the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you so much for all you have done for our state.
Co-Founder and CEO, 4-CT
New Canaan, CT