The Crusader Newspaper Group

Lake County foundations raise over $916,000 for COVID-19

With significant gifts from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation, the joint effort from Legacy Foundation, the Crown Point Community Foundation and Foundations of East Chicago has raised $916,950 for COVID-19 relief in Lake County, Indiana.

“In the 26 American communities where Knight functions, we will join others providing immediate relief. In Gary, we will contribute $500,000 to support Legacy Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund,” the Knight Foundation wrote in an email statement.

The White Family Foundation announced that it will contribute $250,000 to the Lake County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund at Legacy Foundation.

“We are deeply grateful for the response we’ve received to the Emergency Fund. We’ve heard from many people within and outside of our community who recognize the health and financial impact this pandemic is having on our residents and businesses and want to contribute,” said Legacy Foundation President, Carolyn Saxton.

Crown Point Community Foundation, Foundations of East Chicago and Legacy Foundation met recently to award $107,759 in emergency grants to nonprofit organizations serving Lake County, Indiana. The Foundations are collaborating to support charities whose clients and services have been most impacted by the health and economic consequences of COVID-19.

“We saw many applications come in during the first week that the grant was open. We feel the increased need and sense of urgency to get these funds distributed to organizations quickly,” said President of the Crown Point Community Foundation, Mary Nielsen.

The awarded organizations include: 219 Health Network, Inc., Beachfront Dance School, Best Buddies Indiana, Catholic Charities Diocese of Gary, Chicagoland Immigrant Welcome Network, CRWorks, Inc., East Chicago MOMS Taking Charge, Foodbank of Northwest Indiana, Franciscan Health Foundation, Goodwill LEADS Inc., Hanover Township, Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana, The Salvation Army of Lake County, St. Jude House, and YWCA of Northwest Indiana. The grants cover a wide range of services, such as protective equipment for healthcare workers, meal delivery and distribution, sanitation supplies, housing assistance and childcare.

“The crisis has led us to work together in a new way. We have the same priorities in mind, but we bring unique perspectives because of the different areas we serve and relationships we have with organizations in our communities,” said Rosa Pena, executive director at Foundations of East Chicago.

Applications to the emergency fund are accepted on a rolling basis, with a weekly deadline of Sunday by midnight. Representatives from the foundations meet each week by phone to review new submissions and make funding decisions. The number of future grant awards will be dependent on the money raised through the foundations’ emergency response funds and the evolving needs over time.

Interested organizations can see eligibility criteria and access the grant application online at

Donate online or by check to support the emergency grants. Gifts are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. No gift is too small, and that every dollar contributed will provide services in our communities.

How to Donate Online

  • Legacy Foundation, Lake County Emergency Response Fund:
  • Crown Point Community Foundation, CARE-Emergency Fund:  www.
  • East Chicago Coronavirus Response Fund:

Donate by Check

  • Legacy Foundation: indicate Emergency Response Fund in the memo line and mail to 370 E. 84th Drive, Suite 100, Merrillville, IN 46410
  • Crown Point Community Foundation: indicate CARE-Emergency Fund in the memo line and mail to P.O. Box 522, Crown Point, IN 46308
  • Foundations of East Chicago: 100 W Chicago Ave, Suite G, East Chicago, IN 46312

About Legacy Foundation

Legacy Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit community foundation that supports the passions of philanthropic individuals, organizations, and businesses in Lake County, Ind. Through the generosity of many donors, Legacy has awarded more than $40 million to charitable causes since its founding in 1992. With a deep knowledge of local issues, we work creatively across the public, private and philanthropic sectors to address challenges throughout Lake County. The foundation manages $60 million in assets and is governed by a diverse volunteer board of directors. For more information, visit

About Crown Point Community Foundation

The Crown Point Community Foundation connects people who care to causes that matter. Since 1990, we have served the citizens of Crown Point and South Lake County through a range of charitable and civic activities, while helping individual donors achieve their philanthropic goals. As a public charitable organization, the CPCF is dedicated to building permanently endowed funds. The Crown Point Community Foundation will help to positively shape the future of the community and act as a facilitator of community good.

About Foundations of East Chicago

Work of the Foundations of East Chicago is funded by the AMERISTAR East Chicago Casino and Hotel. The Mission is to support local schools, churches, municipal agencies and nonprofit organizations that work to improve the quality of life in East Chicago. To advance this mission, the Foundations of East Chicago provides financial support through educational assistance in the form of scholarships; the awarding of grants that are strategic to achieve their objectives and by their service and leadership within the community. FEC’s vision is to be recognized as the model for philanthropic leadership and community partnership, demonstrating that positive change is possible and East Chicago residents can live in hope of a bright, safe and prosperous future.

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