“The pandemic has hurt so many people in so many ways,” said Melinda Marble, communications coordinator at Hospice Austin, a nonprofit hospice hospice service.
Jobs have disappeared or working hours have been reduced. In-person resources have become virtual or closed. The prices of food, rent and gas have all gone up.
Families who were already on edge due to medical concerns, immigration status or systemic poverty have felt the pain of the pandemic even more.
“It’s been a heartbreaking time and seeing how desperate people are, just the economic divide in our community,” said Simone Talma Flowers, executive director of Interfaith Action of Central Texas, which focuses on many needs. communities, including refugee services.
Read more:Season for Caring, Tahaguas Abraha: UT Nursing Student Left Home in Africa for Better Education
How to make a donation :Donate to Statesman Season for Caring
Hospice Austin and Interfaith Action of Central Texas are two of the local nonprofit organizations that have benefited from the Statesman Season for Caring program.
Today, the Statesman is launching its 23rd Season for Caring program with 11 local nonprofits: Any Baby Can, Austin Palliative Care, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, Dress for Success Austin, Family Eldercare, Foundation Communities, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Hospice Austin, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, Meals on Wheels Central Texas, and Wonders & Wonders.
Since 1999, Season for Caring has donated $ 15.2 million to local nonprofits, including over $ 1.5 million through last year’s program. This year, the donations are doubled by the Sheth family until Christmas.
Selected local nonprofits use Season for Caring donations first to help families featured in the program, and then they can be used to help hundreds of other clients with basic needs. Season for Caring becomes the emergency fund for these non-profit organizations.
The power to give:Austin’s language of love: $ 1.5 million donated to Season for Caring during pandemic
Throughout the pandemic, the Statesman Season for Caring grants have helped hundreds of families in central Texas pay their rent and maintain electricity, and pay for groceries, bus tickets and medical bills.
“We were able to support families when they felt things were really, really tough,” said Talma Flowers. Interfaith Action of Central Texas used last year’s Season for Caring grants to help more than 300 people with rent and grocery gift cards and for technology to help refugees connect to resources.
Without these grants, “we wouldn’t be able to solve some of these individual issues that families face,” said Talma Flowers. “We could give a little but nothing substantial. That’s where the difference factor comes into play with Season for Caring.”
Learn more:How to Help Families Through the Statesman Season for Caring Program
Hospice Austin used last year’s Season for Caring money for grocery gift cards, rent assistance, air conditioners, towels, linens, scale, plane ticket, bug spray, socks, a lamp – big and small things his clients needed.
“We can help make this horrible time a little easier and focus on your quality of life,” Marble said.
Without the Season for Caring funds, Marble said, “we wouldn’t be able to keep people in their homes.”
This would mean that those served by Hospice Austin may have to spend their days in a nursing home without their families near them. Their families could not receive rental assistance either.
Read more:Hospice Austin announces new CEO as Marjorie Mulanax retires after 30 years
“Season for Caring has a huge impact not only on our featured family,” said Michelle Le, Special Projects Coordinator for Foundation Communities, which provides affordable housing to communities as well as other financial services to clients.
Season for Caring provided $ 50,000 in emergency rent funds in 2020 and a jump of $ 60,000: already this year for Foundation Communities, she said.
Without Season for Caring, the families of the Distressed Communities Foundation would lose their rent even more while trying to obtain rental assistance from government funds. They risk being deported.
During the pandemic, Foundation Communities saw even more requests for emergency rent assistance as families lost their jobs, fell ill or did not have daycare, Le said.
Read more:Season for Caring, Arelis López Guzman: In search of a safer life for his daughters after the attack
Season for Caring funds help caregivers provide “more person-centered services because each individual’s needs are different,” said Blake Smith, development and communications specialist at Family Eldercare.
This year, Family Eldercare used Season for Caring funds to help over 150 clients with prescriptions, dental care, pest control, furniture, legal services, and obtaining essential documents like birth certificates, as well. than rent, utilities and transportation.
“The availability of these funds helps our front-line staff respond to client needs much more quickly and efficiently,” said Smith. “Staff members have more time to spend with clients rather than having to focus on finding the right source of funding that will meet each specific need.”
Read more:Season for Caring, Cheryl Selby: widow, cancer survivor almost became homeless
Many Season for Caring partner nonprofits are primarily funded by Restricted Purpose Grants. While Season for Caring donations cannot be used for overhead, they can be used for anything that is direct customer support.
“These are really basic needs,” said Jennifer Peterson, director of public relations and strategic partnerships at Any Baby Can, which focuses on strengthening families with a focus on children with special needs. “It was food; it was layers; it was things that supported them.”
Read more:Season of care, Natalia Castillo: every day brings blessings for the mother of a fragile child
Peterson said that because of the Season for Caring funds, families can focus on their children’s health and education needs, instead of having to focus on their housing.
Without Season for Caring funds, “we would have to say ‘no’ to families that we really know are in need,” said Peterson. “No, we can’t help you with food or rent. “It’s just devastating.”
Donate to Season for Caring
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