The Open Hearts Foundation, co-founded by actress/philanthropist Jane Seymour, announced the creation of an Emergency Relief Fund to provide grants to non-profits on the frontlines who are serving women and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To kick off this Fund, the Foundation provided grants at an initial total investment of $100,000 to non-profits in California and New York, which are among the regions where the pandemic is currently impacting larger populations. Moving forward, the Fund will consider grant applications on a rolling basis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and welcomes donations from the public to continue this important effort.

Jane Seymour, Co-Founder and Board member of the Open Hearts Foundation stated, “The coronavirus is an unprecedented situation which is impacting the health of people across the world. My mother, Mieke Frankenberg, always said that in times of great challenge, you must accept what is happening, and look to see what you can do to help others. The Foundation is doing just that by establishing this Emergency Relief Fund, spreading stories of hope through #TheOpenHeartedChallenge, and creating virtual volunteerism opportunities. We can all do something to open our hearts and help one another.”

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors and partners, the Open Hearts Foundation is thrilled to support nonprofits on the frontlines delivering the most basic human care and support to at-risk and vulnerable women and children during this worldwide pandemic. The Board of Directors and I feel compelled to respond with immediate support. We are in this together and we will get through this, together.” explained Trena Pitchford, Executive Director of the Foundation.

From the initial investment of $100,000, six grants will be provided. To serve the communities in California, the Foundation conducted due diligence with its charity partners and selected the following:

· Children’s Lifesaving Foundation: $25,000 matching grant to support the Step Forward Family Emergency Fund Campaign providing at-risk children and families in their Vita Network with shelter, groceries, financial stipends, and other basic essential needs right now in this pandemic.
· Children's Hospital Los Angeles: $5,000 grant to support their COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to help provide specialized supplies, medical tests, expert services and technology for the children and families in their care.
· Jenesse Center: $10,000 matching grant to support the ongoing and increasing number of families seeking shelter, basic needs, and other mental health services due to the surge of domestic violence incidents surrounding the COVID-19 virus.
· Mending Kids: $10,000 matching grant to support efforts that provide medical supplies to clinics, doctors, and nurses on the frontlines of this pandemic taking care of adults and children in the underserved populations of the Los Angeles area.

To serve the communities of New York, the Foundation conducted due diligence to identify non-profits on the frontlines utilizing the programs of Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization. Two non-profits were initially chosen:

· Association to Benefit Children: $25,000 grant to support their COVID-19 Disaster Response efforts delivering the food, education, mental health treatment, and vital family preservation services to families with children at the greatest risk of morbidity and mortality.
· Harlem Children’s Zone: $25,000 grant to support their continued COVID-19 crisis response efforts to provide food packages, remote learning access to students for continued learning in the home, and basic needs or direct services to families in the Zone.

The Open Hearts Foundation is responsible for the careful stewardship of our donors’ donations and is requiring each non-profit to submit a brief Final Report explaining how the funds were used and the impact they achieved.

More detailed information about the Foundation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

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