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Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces $2.2 Million in Emergency Funding for Ebola Response Efforts

NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust today announced a $2.2 million grant to GlobalGiving to support both local and international humanitarian organizations' Ebola relief efforts in West Africa. By investing in locally-led organizations deeply-rooted in the affected communities and already working on the ground, the grant will fund ongoing activities to immediately address emerging priorities in the largest-ever outbreak of this deadly virus, while also ensuring ongoing support for recovery and reconstruction after the emergency response has ended.

While the Helmsley Charitable Trust typically does not make grants involving humanitarian relief efforts, more than 70 percent of its giving is directed to health and medical research initiatives across the U.S. and other regions of the world. "The enormity of this outbreak calls for action among all philanthropic groups that can play a critical role in saving lives," said John R. Ettinger, CEO of the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

GlobalGiving, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, manages a community of large and small nonprofits in more than 160 countries so that, when natural disasters strike or crises occur, it can quickly deliver funds to the locally-driven organizations best positioned to provide relief. GlobalGiving partners with key local nonprofits that can effectively assess and respond to both the immediate and ongoing needs in affected communities. With 24 vetted partner organizations demonstrating a clear purpose in their Ebola response work throughout West Africa, GlobalGiving is uniquely positioned to identify urgent and emerging needs in the rapidly changing relief efforts for the epidemic.

"One of the most important reasons we support locally-driven organizations during disasters is to help those groups build their own capacity and funding networks so that their communities will be stronger and more resilient in the face of future crises," explained Mari Kuraishi, Co-Founder and President of GlobalGiving.

"Some international aid workers have left the affected countries for their own safety, and eventually the others will leave after the immediate medical crisis has abated. However, there is a growing ongoing need for psychosocial support for affected families, de-stigmatization of Ebola survivors, and long-term economic recovery in the region. Local organizations like ours are well positioned to address these needs over the long term, with extra consideration for vulnerable and underprivileged groups, including women, youth and people with disabilities," said Nelly Cooper, President of West Point Women for Health and Development, a community-based organization formed by women in the West Point slum of Monrovia, Liberia.

The $2.2 million grant for GlobalGiving will support enhanced awareness, education, and direct medical response in the affected regions, as well as additional preparedness in neighboring countries not yet reporting infections.

About GlobalGiving

GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community for nonprofits. GlobalGiving's mission is to catalyze a global market for ideas, information and money that democratizes aid and philanthropy. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $150 million from more than 400,000 donors for more than 10,000 projects in more than 160 countries. Each of the nonprofits on GlobalGiving.org has been vetted, and has committed to providing donors regular updates about how donations are put to work. Find out more at www.globalgiving.org.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional nonprofits and other mission-aligned organizations in the U.S. and around the world in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1 billion to a wide range of charitable organizations. For more information on the Trust and its programs, please visit www.helmsleytrust.org.

CONTACT: Alison Carlman, acarlman@globalgiving.orgSource:The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust