The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all parts of our society, including non-profits like Friends of Historic Forest Grove. Fortunately, the federal government made grants available for individuals, businesses, and non-profits. According to the Oregon Cultural Trust website :
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and appropriated $150 billion to the Fund. The State of Oregon has allocated $25,984,872 in CRF for Cultural Support (CRFCS) “for business, innovation and trade, for providing financial assistance to arts organizations and cultural and community venues that have canceled or postponed public programming because of economic conditions and executive orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
FHFG has been significantly impacted this year as we have not been able to hold any fundraising events (Garden Tour, Historic Homes Tour) and have not had the ability to interact with the community (our Museum and Library at the Old Train Station has been closed) nor our members (we had to cancel our Annual Summer Picnic and Winter Holiday Social).
FHFG applied for this grant and was awarded $2821. According to the grant, it could be used for:
- Reimbursement of the costs of business interruption caused by required closures and/or reduced operations (excluding PPP or other federal funds); rent, lease or mortgage/loan payments for venue facilities; and operating costs (insurance, utilities, and personnel).
- Reimbursement of costs associated with venue reopening, including alterations to facilities to
meet reopening guidelines, extra cleaning costs or supplies and the purchase of employee
personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Reimbursement of costs associated with transitioning services to alternative means or methods (i.e. online services or outdoor or limited attendance performances); and
- Durable goods or services acquired during the covered period that were previously unbudgeted and a necessary expense incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
The FHFG Board of Directors voted to use the majority of the grant received to purchase technology that would allow us to reach the public and membership by transitioning our services to alternative means, such as virtually. With this in mind, we were able to purchase:
- A new computer, monitor, desk and chair that will be used for creating digital content that we can share with social media, creating virtual events (such as our recent virtual Holiday Social) for the public, and on our website
- A photo and negative scanner that we will use to scan our library of photos, negatives, and other written artifacts
- A special 360 degree camera that will allow us to create virtual walkthroughs of historic homes and properties
- Microphones and special lighting that will allow us to record better oral histories from local residents.
In addition, we used some of this grant to purchase personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies for when we are allowed to reopen.