In week eighteen, $45,000 in COVID-19 Community Support Grants were awarded to four organizations to provide meals for vulnerable seniors, support for detained immigrants at risk for COVID-19, rental assistance and financial support for people in need, PPE for nonprofit staff members, and support for teachers and staff.
- Santa Cruz Council on Aging
- Florence Immigration and Refugee Rights Project
- St. Mark’s Preschool and Kindergarten
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Rita in the Desert Conference
The Santa Cruz Council on Aging serves meals to seniors in need throughout the county, and COVID-19 has taken a toll on operations. Instead of seniors coming to SCCA for lunch, the focus is now on providing these meals safely to those in need. Marco Lozoya, Senior Center Manger, shared, “We find a lot of people are in need of these meals during the pandemic.”
Lozoya also shared a quote from on of SCCA’s clients, Janice Ann Newel, who stated, “These meals are really helping out people during hard times in our community. Many people depend on them, so we believe the senior center in Nogales is doing a great job for helping so many people like myself.”
With new challenges presented by the pandemic and enrollment down by 70%, St. Mark’s Preschool & Kindergarten has shifted operations to provide a safe learning environment for children. This includes face masks, social distancing while learning and playing, and smaller classroom cohorts. April Turner, St. Mark’s Director, discussed the use of these funds to support classroom teachers as they endeavor to provide in-person, high quality education for children and families in need. Turner shared, “We are thankful to the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for their support of our program.”
St. Vincent de Paul Society of Southern Arizona’s St. Rita in the Desert Conference is one of 34 conferences throughout Southern Arizona, where they work to serve those in crisis. Through their helpline, they respond to calls for help from community members. Susan Bois, President, shared the following statement regarding the Society, “No work of charity is foreign to the society.” When responding to calls for help, Bois emphasized, “COVID-19 has put a crimp in the way we operate.” When visiting the home of someone in need, safety precautions are now in place so they may continue helping in any way they can.