Giving back COVID-19 update: EasterSeals fundraiser moves to August; Habitat for Humanity video fundraiser


Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore has announced they have moved their annualEasterseals/CAI Volleyball Challenge to August 21-22. The event will still take place at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington. The Volleyball Challenge raises funds for Easterseals which provides services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in the community.

Recently, Easterseals had to make the difficult decision to temporarily suspend some of their programs, making fund-raising more critical, a release noted.

Many of the aspects of the event have not changed. The 2020 Volleyball Challenge will still offer a corn hole tournament, vendor fair, kid zone, raffle baskets and so much more. For more information about the event, contact Stephanie “Steff” DiMartine at

Teams consist of six to 10 players who play teams of similar ability in non-competitive play. Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraising individuals and teams. Registration is open for the Easterseals/CAI Volleyball Challenge at to register a team, volunteer or donate to the event.

Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers children’s therapies, assistive technology, recreational camping, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, and respite services for caregivers. To learn more about how Easterseals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit

Habitat for Humanity homes, store on hold

Habitat for Humanity New Castle County’s longtime CEO Kevin Smith asked “– if you don’t have a safe, healthy home – how do you shelter in place?”

“We have families ready to go to settlement – parents ready to be reunited with their kids, seniors in inadequate housing waiting on repairs and a 12 unit project on Wilmington’s Eastside, all stalled,” Smith says.

COVID-19 has brought construction on Habitat homes to a standstill. Smith has led Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County. for nearly 25 years. To date, the agency has provided more than 250 low-income families with healthy homes at an affordable, 0 percent interest mortgage.

The Habitat ReStores, a source of income for the agency, is presently closed due to the pandemic. Habitat completes 50 percent of construction work through the helping hand of volunteers, but in the face of COVID-19, and the need for social distancing – volunteerism is suspended and events canceled.

Moving forward for Habitat NCC means reaching out – not only for support but to be of assistance. Habitat builds homes, community and hope. And in that spirit, Habitat
NCC immediately moved to help –by identifying materials in the ReStore that could be donated as PPEs, offering the 2 warehouses and ReStores as staging sites for medical care or food distribution, sharing resources for economic assistance, and connecting with nonprofit partners to help mobilize volunteers who are well and willing to offer a hand.

This week, Habitat NCC launches #stayhomeforhabitatncc – a call to Delawareans to follow the guidelines on social distancing, and offer a hand-up to the low- income families hardest hit by the current crisis. “We need to protect each other,” says Smith.

The pandemic has hit home for Habitat staff. Habitat NCC Development Director Julie Karavan, lost her mother to the virus in Massachusetts just last week.“My mom loved nothing more than being home with family. The virus came to her.: offers Karavan. “As difficult as it is to do, it is so critically important that we all take these guidelines on social distancing seriously.”

Under the program, participants make a 30-second video and a gift to Habitat NCC. The challenge? To build a shelter with whatever you have on hand in quarantine – and call out others to the same.

“Schools are closed.” said Smith. “There are a lot of kids home with parents, who we hope will find this to be a fun and welcome distraction, and a way to offer a hand-up to hardworking families.”

M&T announces $125,000 grant

M&T Bank Contributes $125,000 to Delaware and Eastern Shore of Maryland Nonprofits in Support of Those Affected by COVID-19

M&T Bank donated $125,000 to five nonprofit organizations to support Delaware and Eastern Shore of Maryland residents who are directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“In times of need it is important for all of us to work together and do what we can to make a positive impact,” said Nick Lambrow, M&T’s Regional President for Delaware. “M&T Bank and our subsidiary Wilmington Trust recognize that we are in challenging, unprecedented times. Through our support, we hope to help alleviate the effect the pandemic is having on the region’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.”
Funding from M&T Bank’s Charitable Foundation is being directed to the following organizations:
  • Delaware Community Foundation: M&T has made a $50,000 contribution to Delaware Community Foundation’s Strategic Response Fund, which supports nonprofits that target the emerging and evolving needs of the First State’s communities. As part of the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Initiative, the Strategic Response Fund will supply grants to organizations serving those who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from the current crisis.
  • United Way of Delaware: The bank has provided $25,000 in financial support to the organization’s Delaware Does More: COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, which is designed to address the immediate needs of children in low-income households, the working poor and seniors.
  • Food Bank of Delaware: As many families struggle to make ends meet, the Food Bank of Delaware has been tasked with meeting the rising demands of Delaware’s neighborhoods. M&T Bank will donate $25,000 to help cover costs of the nonprofit’s increased food distribution and pre-made meal kits for children.
  • United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, 15,000.
  • Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, $10,000.
With the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers making headlines, M&T Bank donated 300 masks to ChristianaCare. Masks were delivered to ChristianaCare’s drop-off location in Newport by M&T Bank personnel.
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