Our nonprofits are rising to meet nearly impossible challenges, adapting to change, and serving their clients under increased pressure. Whether it’s through virtual meetings, meal delivery service, or COVID-19 cleanups, these Community Loan Fund borrowers continue to provide vital services even in the midst of this pandemic.
Take a look at these stories:
Second Chance Opportunities is on the front lines of keeping public spaces clean during this pandemic. The agency, which employs people who are in recovery from substance abuse disorders, has janitorial crews cleaning and sanitizing rest sites along the highway as well as the new SUNY COVID-19 testing site. Second Chance also helps people in recovery remain sober through virtual meetings and other online resources.
Battenkill Community Services is providing meal delivery services for shut-ins who are at high-risk of developing the virus. The team is providing safe meal transport across the community, delivering to students in Greenwich Central School District. They continue their collaboration with their local food pantry by transporting all of their food orders from the Regional Food Bank in Latham, to Greenwich. Located in Greenwich, Battenkill Community Services helps adults with developmental disabilities and their families with a day program, respite care, and supportive employment. During the COVID crisis they have launched an online version of their day program to keep clients connected with one another and engaged. “We are providing programming 5-6 hours a day with recreation, exercise and skill building to name a few, in the virtual environment,” says Executive Director Mark Flory. “It’s been a hit, as 65% of our clients are actively involved. To see the happiness on their faces says it all, many have a hard time understanding what is going on. Being able to see their friends has provided the relief that they and their parents have needed.”
Hudson River Sloop Club is working providing grocery deliveries to low-income youth and families. The organization is also coordinating donations for local families. The Sloop Club runs an education and stewardship program for the Hudson River, with classes for youth and adults alike. Their mission is to get people out on the water so they can develop an appreciation for the complex ecosystem that too many of us take for granted.
The SEAT Center has transformed their relational based education model to virtual in just a matter of weeks. The SEAT Center provides training and education programs for underrepresented populations, businesses and communities. The program combines high school education with job training and community service projects so that graduates emerge with employable skills and experience. During the COVID crisis, all their classes are continuing virtually, and to keep young people engaged they’re offering online meetings and activities, including game nights. The organization’s leadership also continues to do regular wellness checks with their clients and their staff.
The Arts Center of the Capital Region is presenting a series of online art classes, to help individuals and families stay creative during their quarantine. Funded by the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, the workshops are led by artist Kim Tateo who guides viewers through fun projects that you can do with supplies you find around the house. The workshops are presented as a six-week series and include tutorials on printmaking and DIY Tempura paint. Stay tuned on their Facebook page for more great workshops!
The Refugee Welcome Center provides housing and supportive services to refugees living in Albany’s West Hill. With the COVID-19 health crisis, many of the refugees in this community have been laid off and are having difficulty making ends meet. To assist, volunteers from CrossFIT donated fresh eggs, volunteers from Redeemer Church donated fresh fruits and vegetables, and several local restaurants donated surplus food. The families, which often include small children, have been grateful for the assistance.