Rising to the Occasion

Response to the Global Health Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has been referred to by many as “the great equalizer,” but we know that this does not accurately capture the reality of the situation. While we are all at risk of infection, we are not all equally affected by the virus and the corresponding public health response. The pandemic amplified existing inequities, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable in our communities, including communities of color, older adults and low-income populations. The lasting effects of this virus will be wide and deep and are greatly impacted by the social determinants of health in our communities. Thus, it was and continues to be critical to apply an equity lens to the planning and implementation of short- and long-term response efforts.

Our partners in both West and Northern Michigan were quick to activate, joining forces and combining resources to survey and respond to the immediate needs of those most at risk. By April 2020, just weeks after the first “stay-at-home” orders, the Frey Foundation began deploying grants to support collaborative COVID-19 response initiatives. With a “now, near and far” approach, the foundation provided proactive and flexible support to non-profits in both regions throughout 2020. In total, nearly half a million dollars was granted to more than 30 community-based organizations.

By the Numbers









by amount granted in dollars


by amount granted in dollars

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