Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it will be making a $250,000 donation to the Eastern Washington COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund, which deploys resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the region's outbreak. 

The donation, which was announced on Wednesday, March 25, brings the fund up to a total of $631,500 with donations from businesses, philanthropic organizations and individual donors. 

The fund is hosted at Innovia Foundation in partnership with Empire Health Foundation and Spokane County United Way.

"This generous donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides a message of hope for local communities that are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the consequences of the outbreak," Innovia Foundation CEO Shelly O'Quinn is quoted as saying in a press release. "We are grateful to them, and all the regional funders, who have quickly stepped forward to support those who are most vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic."

The $250,000 grant is part of a commitment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of up to $5 million that they would put toward the coronavirus response efforts throughout Washington state. 

"The pandemic feels like a universal experience, but we have to recognize that not all of us will experience it equally," Melinda Gates said "By supporting local community response efforts, we can help make sure that, in this moment of crisis, we're not leaving the most vulnerable behind."