When a crisis arises, United Way of the Ozarks works to meet the needs of our community and our nonprofit network. Our partner nonprofits have been diligent to implement and innovate as part of their COVID-19 response efforts. From the beginning of this health crisis in early 2020, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield shifted its operations to ensure that the safety and health of families became top priority. The Clubs have worked diligently to implement protocols from the CDC and Springfield-Greene County Health Department. They are dedicated to navigating this crisis together with Club families, working with partners in creating alternative services and programming. This allowed children and families to stay connected during times of uncertainty and isolation.
We allocated $16,900 to the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield during the COVID-19 health crisis. These efforts are made possible because of our donors’ contributions, which are crucial to our ability to support our partners. Thanks to our donors, we are able to continue to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community.
Outlined in their COVID-19 Impact Report, the Boys and Girls Club assessed the needs of members in our community. They found that access to food and hygiene items was a top concern. Their team then provided over 1,350 health and hygiene items and 23,000 meals in 26 days. They served an additional 550 members of our community in their efforts to provide stability.
During a time of isolation, the Boys and Girls Club sought to continue communication and support by directly connecting with families in our community. They launched a 12-hour COVID-19 helpline as a way to stay connected to Club families and to help them access critical needs and information. The staff also checked in with families via phone calls to ensure that needs were being met. The calls focused on needs such as shelter, food, hygiene, and medical care.
With virtual learning becoming the norm practically overnight, the Boys and Girls Club addressed the need for computers and internet access for families with limited or no access. They combated this by creating at-home learning packets with supplies and engaging activities. Along with this, they worked with partners to provide avenues for families to receive discounted or free internet services and equipment.
Club members were able to access virtual programming which involved activities that allowed students to avoid learning loss. As stated in their COVID-19 impact report, the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield is “ providing our Club members and their families stability and structure during these unstable times. After this crisis passes, kids, teens, and their families will need us more than ever”.
With help from United Way of the Ozarks’ Coronavirus Respond Fund, the Boys and Girls Club’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been unwavering. Even during a global pandemic, they continue to live out their mission to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens”. See more about how the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield responded to the COVID-19 crisis in KY3‘s story from April of 2020.
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Stay tuned to our blog as we publish a “good news” story each week detailing the ways our community has risen to the pandemic’s challenge to LIVE UNITED. You can also sign up to receive our monthly newsletter to stay connected to the work United Way of the Ozarks is doing to make a difference in our community.
United Way of the Ozarks is committed to supporting our nonprofit community throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.