New Funds Support Local Workers

New Funds in Bedford, Somerset, and Cambria Aim to Support Service Industry Workers

After new statewide restrictions, including closing indoor dining, were announced to help curb the effects of the pandemic, locals wanted to do something to help people working in the service industry. The new guidelines came just a few weeks before Christmas—typically one of the busiest times of the year for bars and restaurants.

Fundraisers and leaders in three counties—Cambria, Somerset, and Bedford—have stepped up to raise money for local families. Restrictions have since been eased, but not lifted, and many families continue to struggle, so donations still are being accepted.

Applications for assistance are available at the links below, with funds available for distribution in all three counties.

“The Community Foundation is here to benefit our region every day, forever,” CFA President Mike Kane said. “This year, those every day challenges are magnified in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. As always, our community has stepped up to show how much they care, and this is another example. We are proud to help local people support our friends and neighbors right here in our region.”

Please note that applicants should apply for the fund in the county where they are employed, not where they reside.

CFA has helped address pandemic-related needs throughout the year, first with by establishing the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to respond to urgent needs arising from the pandemic. That fund provided more than $312,000 in assistance to nonprofits working in our region. CFA also worked to address coronavirus-related needs through the Foundation’s annual Fall Grants, plus a $40,000 Community Initiatives Fund grant, that is providing funds for a new Cambria County Destination Recovery Program. Working in partnership with Visit Johnstown, that program aims to help the local business community weather the pandemic. More information about that program can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Cambria County

The Greater Johnstown Service Industry Relief Fund provides an avenue for immediate fundraising. The fund has raised more than $5,000, and the aim is to provide support for service industry employees who work in Cambria County, including food service workers, bartenders, wait staff, and others, whose income has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lead organizer wanted to remain anonymous, and CFA is honored to help make this kind-hearted grassroots effort a reality.

APPLICANTS, PLEASE NOTE: We realize some people may live in one county and work in another. Please apply to the fund in the county where your employer is located.

Bedford County

The Help Save Our Bedford County Restaurants and Workers Fund, established by Bedford County Commissioners, will help Bedford County restaurants as well as workers who are unemployed or underemployed. Commissioners also are urging residents to support local restaurants by buying gift cards or ordering take-out.

The fund has raised nearly $6,000—and no county or taxpayer dollars are being directed to the fund. Commissioners’ Board Vice Chair Barry Dallara said local restaurant owners and their employers are struggling at this time.

“Through no fault of their own, now more than anytime we can remember in our lifetime, they are in need of community support,” he said.

APPLICANTS, PLEASE NOTE: We realize some people may live in one county and work in another. Please apply to the fund in the county where your employer is located.

Somerset County

The Somerset County Worker Relief Fund aims to help a broad range of workers: anyone whose business has been unable to operate as normal this year, such as restaurants or gyms. The is focused on people employed at businesses in the Somerset area, and so far, nearly $4,000 has been raised.

“Every donation big and small will have a direct impact on Somerset County Service Industry Workers, allowing them to provide for their families and their own well-being as they continue to navigate financial uncertainty,” Somerset County Economic Development Council Executive Director Joshua Boland said.

APPLICANTS, PLEASE NOTE: We realize some people may live in one county and work in another. Please apply to the fund in the county where your employer is located.