SACRAMENTO, Calif. — City of Sacramento and other community leaders are stepping up to provide some relief during the coronavirus outbreak.

On Monday morning, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, along with Councilman Jay Schenirer, announced a fundraising effort that will provide support for local families, unhoused individuals, non-profit organizations, and small businesses that are struggling through the crisis.

The economic campaign called Donate4Sacramento was created over the weekend.

Access that website HERE, through community partner the Sierra Health Foundation.

“[The campaign was created] in under 48 hours through a partnership with our community partners and leaders,” Steinberg said.

The fund allows individuals to donate toward four categories: families in need of childcare, meals, and rental assistance; small businesses through loans of up $25,000 with no interests; homeless services; and help for non-profits, said Schenirer during a press conference at city Hall. The money will be managed and distributed by the Center at Sierra Health Foundation, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, United Way California Capital Region and the City of Sacramento.

“People can also donate without selecting a category and their money will be spent where it’s needed most,” Schenirer said.

“The beauty of living in Sacramento is that when there’s a challenge, Sacramento steps up,” he added.

According to Steinberg, the goal is to raise roughly $1.5 million and had raised more than $300,000 just a few hours after launching. Most of that money came from donations from private organizations, he explained.

Additionally, Chet Hewitt, president and CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation who is also part of the effort, announced a $150,000 donation on his foundation’s behalf. Other donations included $150,000 from HealthNet; $30,000 from Comcast; and $10,000 from the Teichert Foundation.

While those are big donations mostly from big organizations, Steinberg urged Sacramentans to donate whatever they can.

“Even if it’s just $5 or $10,” he said. “Though the lead donations are from large organizations, we encourage you to give whatever you can donate. Let’s get tens of thousands of Sacramentans to donate.”

Last week, the city began to accept applications for its $1-million emergency relief fund. It will distribute loans with no interests for small businesses who need it the most. According to Schenirer, in just two days the city received more than 3,000 applications. The city is expected to respond to those applicants within a week.

The city of Sacramento and Sierra Health Foundation will both create websites showing where donations are coming from and how they will be spent, Schenirer said.

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