Collage of Somos Uno Round 2 grantees carrying out their work during the pandemic

We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grants: Round Two Recipients

In partnership with the City of Tucson’s Mayor and Council, CFSA is pleased to announce the second round of We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grant recipients.  In this second round, $209,082 in CARES Act funding was awarded to eleven nonprofit organizations to support the continued provision of essential services to vulnerable members of the Tucson community during the pandemic.

“Key programs offered by our nonprofits were significantly affected by the cancellation of fundraising events due to the pandemic,” said Mayor Regina Romero. “It is our hope that the Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grants will provide the support our nonprofits need to continue to serve our community, particularly during these challenging times.”

We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grant Recipients

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona has seen an impact on the Little Brothers and Little Sisters in their program who now have to socially distance and attend school virtually.

Marie Logan, CEO, expressed, “Having a mentor to talk to and share feelings with makes such a difference for these kids!  Thanks to the Somos Uno/We Are One grant, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona can provide virtual activities for our Bigs and Little and age appropriate tutoring and curriculum.  These virtual activities allow our volunteer Bigs and Littles to keep in contact while staying safe.  Together we are keeping kids connected!”

Friends of Aphasia is dedicated to changing lives of individuals and families living with aphasia. They provide patient-centered services, develop education, advocacy, and outreach programs, and promote research to advance treatment.

CEO and Director of Clinical Services, Fabi Hirsch Kruse, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, shared, “Funds from the Somos Uno/We Are One Grant will allow Friends of Aphasia to grow our online aphasia programs to provide a much-needed lifeline of speech and language practice and psychosocial support during these difficult times as well as to plan a safe return to in-person programs.”

Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging is a skilled nursing and assisted living facility that serves older adults, those experiencing challenges to independent living, and other stakeholders, in a stable culture of caring to provide high quality choices throughout their lives. Travis Wissinger, CFO, shared that the funds will be utilized to pay for PPE and laboratory testing to help ensure the protection of staff and residents.

Wissinger further stated, “On behalf of the Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging organization, our residents, staff, and healthcare partners, I would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Somos/Uno for a contribution that will go a long way in protecting our community from the difficult battle with COVID-19.”

Interfaith Community Services (ICS) works to help people in need achieve stable, healthy, and independent lives. COVID-19 has impacted ICS’ Food Bank and Senior Services due to an increase in requests for help that exceeds their budget. ICS has also experienced a significant drop in volunteers at its food banks who have primarily been seniors.  Tom McKinney, CEO of ICS, stated, “The support from the Somos Uno | We Are One Grant is life-saving. ICS is witnessing every day the need for food. People are coming to our food banks from all over Tucson and if they cannot come to us we are mobilizing volunteers to bring meals or groceries to them.”

Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) offers housing, counseling and support services to those facing homelessness to help them transform their lives. The population served by OPCS includes veterans, individuals reentering the community after incarceration, and those struggling with substance dependency and mental illness.

Tom Litwicki, CEO of OPCS, articulated, “The Somos Uno/We Are One grant funding has made all the difference for households thrust into homeless because of COVID-19.  Many in our community lost everything.  But with this funding we have been able to give them a hand up.  Now they literally have a “new lease” on life as they move into a home of their own.  By intervening rapidly, we can prevent long term homelessness and all the problems related to homelessness, changing not just one family, but an entire community. “

Arizona’s Children Association works to protect children, empower youth and strengthen families through comprehensive child welfare and behavioral health services. Funds will be utilized to help Arizona’s Children Association comply with current pandemic health guidelines by creating spaces for their staff to provide services safely to their clients.

Lacie Ampadu, Grants Manager for Arizona’s Children Association, shared, “We are honored to continue serving the community in these difficult times and humbled by the support of the Somos Uno/We Are One Grant. Thanks to your generosity, and for helping us recover much of the unforeseen and critical expenses experienced during this pandemic. Your contribution allows us to continue to provide critical programs and services to our most vulnerable children and families in Tucson, while ensuring their safety and the safety of our staff.”