Cecilia Russo Turner is the Founder and CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing, a company she…
——At the onset of the pandemic, we recognized that our funded agency partners would face significant challenges to their operations and finances related to COVID-19, including increased demand for essential services like shelter, food, childcare and emergency financial assistance; costs related to safety and health measures; combined with decreased revenues from cancelled fundraising events, sponsorships, and more. United Way repurposed previously budgeted dollars to create an emergency fund to assist our partners through the crisis. To date, we have awarded a total of $54,700 to 10 agencies*.
Family Promise of Greater Savannah – $10,000
Provided an additional full time case manager to assist with the increased call volume due to COVID-19, helping 70 applicants with financial assistance, and assisting with community outreach and emergency shelter relations. $6,000 supported the hiring of overnight staff for the new Oasis of Hope static site, hosting almost 60 nights of shelter for homeless families with children.
Senior Citizens Inc – $10,000
Assisted 873 seniors and ensured that no one who turned to SCI for assistance during this time went unserved. More than 4,000 meals were added to meet demand for Meals on Wheels; hard-to-find supplies, such as adult diapers and toilet tissue, were provided to home-bound seniors in need; and in-home support was given to adult day health clients who could not attend the Center but still needed oversight since their caregiver needed to work (essential staff). What cannot be measured is the amount of relief these services provided to the older adults and their families to know that someone would be there during this frightening, uncertain time.
Coastal Georgia Council – Boy Scouts of America – $5,000
Provided PPE, enabling staff and 298 campers (including 23 ScoutReach and 75 financial hardship family campers) to safely attend camp.
Savannah Speech & Hearing – $5,000
Provided four laptop computers, enabling speech therapists to provide HIPAA compliant teletherapy and ensure continuity of care for 74 speech patients.
Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club – $5,000
Supported a summer nurse, enabling staff and 66 campers to safely attend camp.
The Mediation Center – $4,000
Supported upgraded technology for remote services to more than 500 people including mediations, community conferences, volunteer training, parenting classes, and family law paperwork.
Inspiritus – $3,500
The UWCE Emergency grant funds have been used to provide case management and translation/interpretation services to 70 refugee clients impacted by COVID-19. The benefits our clients have received include: routine phone calls to assess their needs, translation services as needed, notification of shelter in place orders and restrictions on gathering of people, as well as sharing of CDC guidelines about preventing the spread of COVID-19. In addition to sharing CDC resources in their native languages, with increased case management capacity, Inspiritus has also provided clients who are in immediate need with access to financial coaching, guidance, and assistance such as: household income-needs assessment, emergency financial rent and utility assistance, assistance applying for unemployment benefits, and client education about other public benefits they might be eligible for and helping them apply when possible. Our Employment Specialist has actively supported clients with obtaining employment, maintaining existing employment through employer advocacy on behalf of the client, and rapid re-employment assistance for individuals who have lost their job due to COVID-19. Families with school-aged children have also been provided with access to much-needed technology for digital learning and facilitated communication between school and parents.
The Salvation Army – $2,500
Supported PPE, increased food, shelter and staffing costs.
Step Up Savannah – $1,700
Upgraded the agency’s server and VPN Functionality, enabling the program to pivot to an online format and securely receive online program applications for public benefits and the Chatham Apprentice Program, serving 4,147 people.
Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire (RCC) – $1,500
Supported a tablet enabling the licensed Professional Counselor to provide exceptional tele-mental health services to 30 survivors of sexual violence, resulting in an increased ability to live a positive and meaningful life after an assault.
*Assistance given as of 8/17/20*