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La Crosse County Emergency Response Fund activated in response to COVID-19. More details here.

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We have incredible news to share!

May 14, 2020

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

In the two months since LCF and Great Rivers United Way (GRUW) jointly launched the La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund, hundreds of community members and businesses have made incredible contributions that now exceed ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Gift sizes range from $5 and a lucky quarter from a local eight-year-old, to the $500,000 gift from Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, and each one is making a great impact.

You can view a list of donors here!

LCF and GRUW staff evaluate proposals daily in our best effort to rapidly deploy grants to La Crosse County nonprofits who are working on the front lines of this pandemic and providing resources to those hardest hit. As of today, we’ve awarded over $700,000! Local nonprofits are showing incredible flexibility, selflessness, and ingenuity in the development of new or adjusted programming that allows them to meet the needs of a growing number of people who need help; many for the first time.

A Grantee Story

Couleecap created a new program to provide financial assistance for low-wage workers in La Crosse County who have lost or reduced their employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program can help individuals pay critical bills, such as rent, car payments, life-critical prescription costs, utility bills, and more. The Emergency Response Fund has awarded $97,000 to this program, over three separate grants.

From Ashley at Couleecap, “I can’t thank you enough for the extremely fast turn around time from your grant committee.  What that means to us is as of the time I submitted that application we had 31 new applications requesting $19,244 in assistance for La Crosse County. The fact that you were almost instantly able to provide a response meant that we could continue to process those applications and help those individuals without any interruption.”

A program recipient added, “Thank you so much for being able to help with this bill! This takes a load of stress off during this difficult time! Unemployment has been very difficult I have been calling everyday for the past week. Due to an issue they have with my claim. So hopefully I’ll be able to get a hold of them soon. Thank you so much again!!”

You can view the full list of grants awarded to date here.


If you are able to help, please do.

The immediate, mid and long-term effects of this pandemic will continue to require substantial resources. The Emergency Response Fund will unlikely be able to meet every need. As your personal economic circumstances allow, please consider the following: 

  • Reach out and directly support local nonprofits most important to you. Many nonprofits desperately need general operating support right now because mandated closures, lost membership fees, and cancelled events have significantly reduced revenues, yet their fixed expenses still remain. Many are in dire need. If you attended any fundraisers last spring, consider making a gift to that nonprofit equal to or greater than what you would’ve spent attending the event this year.
  • Give to the La Crosse Area Emergency Response Fund. 100% of every donated dollar will go directly to local nonprofits. This centralized, coordinated effort is intended to support area nonprofits so their staff can focus on serving clients’ needs and not worry about fundraising.

Click here to donate.

We are profoundly grateful to all those who’ve already shown support for local nonprofits; either by contributing to the Emergency Response Fund, donating directly to a nonprofit, or volunteering. Thank you! Let’s keep this good work going!