COVID-19 MEDIA ADVISORY

MEDIA ADVISORY

For Immediate Release

Contact: Cristine Nardi, 434-531-7494

 

Area Nonprofit Organizations on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Response 

Community Call to Action: Our Social Impact Sector is Innovative, Resilient, and Urgently Needs Your Support

 

Our region’s nonprofit organizations, those dedicated to social impact, are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response: They provide services to the elderly, make sure families have access to food, house and support the homeless, provide care and education to our children, and provide arts and culture that sustains us.

 

Because physical distancing is required to slow the coronavirus infection rate, this critical, community-building work has been deeply disrupted and social impact businesses are at risk. Many have had to cancel fundraising events. Some are experiencing a drop in donations. Still others, who rely on older volunteers, are losing volunteer support. And those that depend on income from programs and services, like for-profit businesses, have seen this revenue stream dry up in the last week. Our arts and culture organizations, many of whom rely on ticket and on-site revenue for survival, have had to close their doors completely.

 

And yet, social impact organizations, no strangers to adapting to address systemic community challenges, have already demonstrated how resilient and responsive they can be in this crisis:

  • They are providing services in new, innovative ways to meet the growing & emerging needs of their clients
  • They are partnering with local government, the private sector and each other to leverage community assets for greater impact.
  • They are taking care of their employees and their volunteers while having to restructure their business operations

Many social impact organizations have, by necessity, transitioned to remote work, but those community support agencies who provide front line services to our most vulnerable citizens may not have that option. There are agencies still open for business while practicing responsible social distancing at the same time.

 

Our social impact organizations are a critical part of the web that knits our communities together. They are our social safety net. They provide services that our government can’t and our private sector won’t. They work hard every day  to make this a region where all of our community members can thrive. The business challenge is thisdemand on social impact agencies actually increases when there is an economic downturn or community disruption, and yet financial support often decreases leaving these organizations less able to provide support for basic needs, to offer critical services to children and the elderly, and to enhance our quality of life when we need it most.

 

For more information on how serious a risk COVID-19 is to the social impact sector, see this CNN article.

 

If you’d like to cover the widespread impact of COVID-19 on the social impact sector locally, consider Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) a resource.

 

Also below are contacts for our member organizations who are finding innovative ways to help our most vulnerable neighbors through this pandemic while managing major business disruption. This list is also on our website, and will be updated with new information. We’d be glad to help you connect with any of these social impact leaders:

 

Abundant Life, Nathan Walton, nathan@charlottesvilleabundandlife.org, 434-774-5882, Suspending tutoring and youth mentoring while connecting with kids and their families virtually

 

African American Teaching Fellows, Tamara Wilkerson Dias, tamara@aatf.org, 804-869-7337, Supporting teachers in Albemarle County and Charlottesville City Schools during school closures

 

Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP), Jennifer Jacobs, jjacobs@ahipva.org, 434-989-5282, Managing critical home repair needs during social isolation

 

Alliance for Interfaith Ministries (AIM), Kimberley Fontaine, director@aimcville.org, 434-972-1704, Continued services to Albemarle County and Charlottesville individuals and families in financial and other crises through remote operations. Connecting those in need with support to advance self-sufficient and stable families

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge, Athena Gould, agould@blueridgebigs.org, Finding new ways to support children in the program

 

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Michael McKee, mmckee@brafb.org, 434-960-6519, Emergency food assistance across 25 counties in Central and Western VA with critical reduction in volunteer support

 

Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia, James Pierce, jpierce@bgclubcva.org, 434-242-8052, Serving kids virtually, connecting with parents and members by phone and mail, and working with schools to provide food distribution information, and in some cases helping with distribution

 

The Center, Peter Thompson, peter@thecentercville.org, 434-989-0180, Delayed opening of new Center at Belvedere and temporarily suspending on-site programs because older adults and those with health complications are more at risk

 

City of Promise, Mary Coleman, mcoleman@cityofpromise.org, 434-228-5153, Suspending on-site programs indefinitely and working with schools to support students virtually while they are out of school

 

Common Ground Healing Arts, Rachel Kiliany, rachel@commongroundcville.org, 434-218-7677, Moved all yoga and meditation services online and created additional online offerings specifically to support folks during this challenging time

 

Fountain Fund, Erika Viccellio, eviccellio@fountainfund.org, 434-760-2590, Suspending in-person operations,  moving loan program online and by phone, emergency assistance and loan payment relief for Client Partners.

 

Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA), Marta Keane, mkeane@jabacares.org, 703-615-3212, Temporarily closing community centers and now supporting seniors remotely to keep them safe

 

Live Arts, Anne Hunter, anne@livearts.org, 612-991-7285, Shuttering the theater, risking critical program revenue, and pivoting to serving community online

 

Madison House, Tim Freilich, tim@madisonhouse.orgSuspending in-person volunteering until further notice and identifying new ways to support community partners through virtual volunteering

 

Network2Work, Ridge Schuyler, rschuyler@pvcc.edu, 434-996-6780, Connecting job seekers to skills they need to become valuable employees and helping employers find quality employees they need with more limited access now to resources job seekers need (ex. works skills, life management, health, employment opportunity)

 

New City Arts, Maureen Brondyke, maureen@newcityarts.org, 434-202-5277, Emergency relief fund for artists in partnership with The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative

 

North Branch School, Bonnie Holliday, giving@nbsva.org, 434-989-2447, Closed for the remainder of the school year, and continuing with distance learning, staying positive, adapting to new ways in which to educate our students, sharing successes through social media, and keeping the lines of communication open.

 

Piedmont Housing Alliance, Sunshine Mathon, smathon@piedmonthousing.org, 512-217-0429, Keeping residents housed through the crisis while anticipating significant reduction in rental income creating financial risk for agency

 

Ready Kids, Jacki Bryant, jbryant@readykidscville.org, 434-882-1027, Suspending programs in the near-term and finding new ways to serve kids and their families through the crisis

 

Rise Together, Bryan Christ, brc4cb@virginia.edu, 336-529-8982, Offering free virtual tutoring, college guidance, and mentoring sessions for K-12 students led by team of trained UVA student mentors; creating a video library on Facebook that includes 2-minute videos from UVA mentors that discuss how students can make the most of quarantine, online learning, and transitioning to college in these challenging times

 

Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, Chip Boyles, cboyles@tjpdc.org, 434-242-7686, Government entity w/ nonprofit activities and regional policy advisor relying strongly on partner nonprofits at risk, particularly small quasi-governmental and nonprofit agencies who may not be eligible for federal stimulus relief

 

Virginia Humanities, Matthew Gibson, mgibson@virginia.edu,434-924-4531, Cancelling all live programs in the near-term and supporting partner agencies across the state in response to COVID-19

 

Wildrock, Carolyn Schuyler, cswildrock@gmail.com, 434-825-8631, Closed it’s Nature Playscape and barn in response to recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health; discontinued Urban Outreach programming and school field trips; trails remain open, however, and families can come out and hike the trails by appointment to ensure social distancing

 

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