Like the rest of the nation, the Sisters of Saint Francis of Dubuque, IA received stimulus funds from the government. Immediately the sisters decided that they would use the $1,200 each sister received to set up grants to support people who needed help quickly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sisters created a very simple grant application and an ad hoc committee met to consider applications. All grant requests had to be initiated by a sister and organizations had to have a history of collaborating with other groups/entities. The funds were used to address immediate needs around food, health, and safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The money was distributed within days of approval. Forty-five non-profit organizations in Iowa, Mississippi, Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Honduras received anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 each, for a total of $200,000.