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The pandemic poses ongoing challenges to aid agencies in southern Chester County

Kennett Square — The COVID-19 pandemic is straining human support agencies in southern Chester County.

“The leaders and staff of nonprofits such as Kennett Area Community Services, LCH, Oxford Neighborhood Services, Garages and Tick Tok Learning Centers are the hands and feet of our community and provide important assistance to the most vulnerable populations. “We are,” says Carrie Freeman, CEO of the United Way of Southern Chester County (UWSCC). “They are our heroes in every sense.”

The community relies on being there when these nonprofits are needed. However, the breadth, depth, and prolongation of COVID’s impact has pushed these organizations and their staff to the limit. “This horrific pandemic only exacerbated the needs of those who were somehow vulnerable before the pandemic occurred. Our nonprofits provide food, housing, basic supplies, medical care, and more. I was immediately overwhelmed by the request for help, “says Freeman. .. While there are enviable emergency services and resources in southern Chester County, there is only one response to an unexpected emergency, and the months of crisis-level response are completely different.

Where can nonprofits go if resources are depleted by such ongoing and urgent needs among service providers? What many do not know is that the UWSCC is a “nonprofit nonprofit” whose mission is to support and nurture local nonprofits and their leaders. “Our nonprofits have fallen into a strong and stable pandemic, primarily due to the presence of the United Way. Not only do we provide funding, but we also provide essential and ongoing support to our leaders.” Freeman says. “We are the backbone of the support they depend on — year-round, year-round.” Over the past year and a half, the question has been “Who cares for caregivers?” It came to the front more and more. “This is what UWSCC has done in our community for over 75 years,” says Freeman. “Literally, we have their backs.”

Over the past year and a half, everyone understands the challenges of crisis management at the global, national and local levels in new ways. One of the clearest lessons is that the structure needs to be put in place before a crisis occurs. When there is an urgent need, there is no time to scramble to build a support system or form a committee. When people need food, housing, devices, or internet access, when a school is suddenly virtualized, or when a significant proportion of the community does not have access to clear information about the deadly virus, they do it. You may pass it without even knowing that you have one. To act quickly and effectively, the system must already be in place.

“Difficult times build stronger relationships,” says Freeman. “And this community united during the pandemic and became even stronger because of this terrifying experience. Our community has strong United Ways, generous donors, and united activities, all. There are extraordinary non-profit organizations that have overcome the people of the world. ”The word“ unity ”is very important. Freeman appreciates the efforts of the Southern Chester County Opportunity Network (SCCON), an initiative of the Square Roots Collective led by Kate Daneker, to bring together all social sector leaders, share needs and share resources at weekly Zoom meetings throughout the pandemic. Identify and work together. According to Freeman, part of UWSCC’s role was to connect community leaders with the resources needed to meet their immediate needs. “UWSCC has built strong relationships over the years with companies and major philanthropists who have donated more than $ 120,000 to UWSCC to meet these needs during this crisis.”

One of the best examples of UWSCC’s agility and strength is the funding raised by Freeman for an early pandemic test of mushroom workers. On Monday, May 18, LCH contacted Freeman requesting funding from the COVID-19 Response Fund. LCH needs $ 75,000 to fund mobile testing units, medical supplies and materials to start COVID testing on a local mushroom farm where the virus is rapidly spreading in fear and turmoil I was there. Freeman knows that UWSCC can donate $ 25,000 in the required funding and within 24 hours has established a funding consortium with the American Mushroom Institute and the United Way of Chester County (UWCC). Each organization has donated $ 25,000 to pay for this important community health initiative.

In the midst of UWSCC’s fall campaign, Freeman says he is more aware of how important it is to be prepared for the unexpected. She also warns that it will take time to recover from the many losses suffered by the pandemic. People who live on the edge without a safety net are most likely to fall, and it takes much longer for these individuals and families to recover. “This crisis will be with us for a long time to come,” she says.

“Thanks to everyone who participated. These” people in the know “neighbors understand that donations to the United Way are a great investment in the overall health of our community. “Freeman says. .. According to Freeman, any amount of gift can make a difference. “This is broad community support, and a gift of $ 20 to $ 10,000 can make this kind of difference to the community.”

People often ask Freeman why they need to support the United Way when they already support their favorite nonprofits. “We are the number one champion of all agencies and we encourage everyone to donate directly to their favorite nonprofit,” says Freeman. “But we also recommend giving gifts to the entire community by donating as generously as possible to the local United Way. Everyone else is intimately aware of the needs, components and circumstances of all nonprofits. You can’t. This is a very important role that United Way plays. During normal times and times of crisis, to better understand and support all of these important organizations and to maintain a strong community support system. Needs arise. Like the backbone, we are the support they depend on, and we rely on our community to support us. “

“Thankfully, we are a trusted and tested organization in this community,” says Freeman. “With the continued and growing loyal support of our donors, we continue to strongly support the community’s reliance-whatever needs arise.”

To make a donation to UWSCC and support the human needs of this entire community, please visit: Alternatively, mail your donation to United Way of Southern Chester County, 106 West State St, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania 19348. The office phone number is 610-444-4357.

The pandemic poses ongoing challenges to aid agencies in southern Chester County

Source link The pandemic poses ongoing challenges to aid agencies in southern Chester County

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