Old Saybrook starts fund for residents impacted by coronavirus economic slowdown
OLD SAYBROOK — Town officials have launched a program to help residents who are having trouble making ends meet due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
An ad-hoc committee has been established to oversee the grant program, dubbed Old Saybrook Cares, and has begun soliciting donations.
The program already has its first financial commitment, made by From You Flowers, with a pledge to match donations up to $30,000, according to Kristen Roberts, a member of the Old Saybrook Cares committee.
The company is an online, same-day flower delivery company that has a significant presence in town. Mike Chapin, president and chief executive officer of From You Flowers, said he hopes “this matching grant motivates others to donate to this important program to help even more Old Saybrook residents in their time of need.”
The goal is to raise $100,000 for the program.
Donations to the program will enable residents to apply for a grant of up to $1,500. The money can be used for food, housing, utilities, child care or transportation costs related to layoffs or ongoing unemployment as a result of the pandemic, according to First Selectman Carl Fortuna.
“I am proud to say that 100 percent of the funds raised through the Old Saybrook Cares program will benefit town residents affected by COVID-19,” Fortuna said in a statement. “We are a generous town and the time is now to help our fellow citizens.”
Applications will be reviewed and rewarded in the order they are received, according to Roberts, with the first round of grants to be distributed by the end of August.
Applicants must be residents of the town and use the grant money for basic needs. Only one grant will be awarded per household, according to Fortuna.
Applications can be dropped off at Town Hall, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to OS CARES Committee, 302 Main St., Old Saybrook, CT 06475. Donations can be mailed to that same address, Roberts said.
More information regarding the grants can be found on the Middlesex United Way’s website. There is also a place to make donations to Old Saybrook Cares on that website.