WHAT WE DO
The Kent Community Fund was established in 2006 “to help individuals living in Kent meet emergency needs, and to support community charitable programs serving Kent residents.” The Fund provides grants for the emergency needs of individuals and families in Kent, paid directly to service providers or vendors – fuel and utility companies, medical providers, etc. The Fund is available after other sources such as fuel banks, government and special programs are utilized.
As of the end of 2020, the Grant Committee has approved over 600 grants totaling more than $400,000. Assistance has been provided for rent, home and auto repairs, medical and dental care, a wheelchair purchase, ramp construction, car registration, child care and summer camp tuition, gas cards, payment of fuel and utility bills and other emergency needs. All grants are strictly confidential.
KCF also provides financial support for the weekly Kent Food Bank. As a non-profit organization, KCF is a member of the Connecticut Food Bank and accesses free and low-cost food and related items for the Kent Food Bank. In 2020, more than 5 1/2 tons of food was provided to the Kent Food Bank by its CTFB membership.
The Kent Nursing Association merged with KCF in the summer of 2018. Since its incorporation in 1943, KNA’s mission was to help secure needed home health care and wellness resources for Kent residents who lacked adequate insurance or financial resources – through support of local Visiting Nurse Associations. That work continues under the KCF umbrella, whose mission has been expanded to “assist and improve the community’s health and welfare through the utilization of resources available to the organization….and to identify and financially support families living in Kent, Connecticut to help them meet their health care needs and financial emergencies.”
All members of the KCF board are longtime residents of Kent with backgrounds in business and finance, journalism, law, medicine and nursing, government, non-profit management, counseling and social services. KCF is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. Current board members are Catherine Bachrach, Jim Blackketter, Ruth Epstein, Ruth Greenberg, Hal Kamm, Pat Lawrence, George Potts, Lorry Schiesel and Joe Speranzo. Ruth Epstein is the president of the board.
Referrals are accepted from various sources. Most come from the Town’s Director of Social Services/Municipal Agent for the Elderly - but they also come from local clergy, school & hospital social workers and other medical and social service providers. KCF has developed a list of more than 40 area-wide social service and health agencies – and has hosted information sharing sessions for those resources each year since 2008.
Grant Requests are reviewed by the three-member KCF Grant Committee.
Every grant is strictly confidential - a policy that is especially important in our small town.
Types of grants include:
• Medical expenses including prescription medications
• Heating fuel
• Home and auto repair
• Electric and telephone bills
• Wheelchair and medical appliance purchases
• Housing emergencies and rental assistance
• Scholarship assistance to Camp Kent
• Scholarship assistance for the After School Program at Kent Center School
Support for the Kent Community Fund, a non-profit organization under Section 50l (c) (3) of the I.R.S. code, comes from hundreds of full and part-time Kent residents who generously assist neighbors in need, as well as from local churches and organizations. Contributions and bequests are welcomed throughout the year and can be mailed to K.C.F. at P.O.B. 262, Kent, Connecticut 06757.
"I'm writing to tell you how grateful I am for the KCF grant for medical expenses. I was really in crisis and without your help I don't know what the resolution would have been. Thank you!" - grant recipient