Marillac St. Vincent Successfully Adapts and Surpasses Goals in 2020
January 2021 | Connecting Communities
2020 is coming to a close and as we look back on all that Marillac St. Vincent accomplished this year, we can’t help, but feel proud. With your generosity and support, we were able to keep our food pantries open through the COVID-19 pandemic, support hundreds of struggling families with our COVID-19 Relief Fund, provide remote learning support for children of essential workers, and more.
Here are a few of the major milestones we hit:
Established the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
We began the COVID-19 Relief Fund in mid-March, knowing that many families would need immediate and direct assistance with the widespread job losses spreading across all industries. This was a new initiative for MSV and we weren’t sure how our supporters would respond.
Over the course of the year, we raised nearly $400,000 for individuals and families experiencing hardship due to the pandemic. This money was distributed through weekly gift cards and provided support to over 300 families and over 800 individuals in need. 82% of recipients had lost their jobs or had reduced hours due to COVID-19.
Food Pantries remained open the entire year.
On March 16, 2020, the food pantries switched from client-choice model to prepackaged boxes of food, adjusting the service model to allow each guest to choose what to keep from each box, and what to leave in our food stores for future guests. Staff quickly stepped up as soon as COVID-19 hit to make sure these adjustments created a safe environment for clients and staff, while prioritizing dignity in the food distribution process.
For more details about the new food distribution process, click here.
During this time, volunteers also stepped up. In 2020, volunteers served hundreds of hours and we could not have accomplished all of this without their unwavering support.
Adapted summer programming to provide safe, engaging activities for youth.
This summer our Youth Services team quickly adapted summer programming and created a safe, engaging environment for youth and teens. Our summer programming continued as planned and even caught the eye of several news outlets.
Summer programming utilized the outdoor garden space at the Marillac Social Center to host outdoor, socially distanced events, gardening activities, and art projects. MSV kids started growing produce in June and was able to harvest in the Fall with the help of Chef Michael Pfieffer of Drumlin Supper Club.
In August, local artist, Issisia Drake, led a group of youth in creating a powerful mural, titled “The Movement” for the garden. The kids spent several weeks brainstorming, planning, and designing under the artists’ guidance.
Mural design began mere weeks after the death of George Floyd - Drake guided the discussion about how the students wanted to express these feelings in a meaningful way. She incorporated talks about color and design in the conversations and explained the importance of thinking about where the mural would be placed.
The mural was unveiled at a celebratory event at the end of summer with community members, staff, and youth present. Read on about the youth’s experience with the mural here.
In August, a group of kids created and produced a PSA to promote wearing a mask, titled “We Wear the Mask”. The video was picked up by several news outlets including ABC and has been viewed hundreds of times. Watch the original video here.
Provided e-learning services for children of essential workers.
As school began this Fall, we adjusted our services to provide remote learning support for children of essential workers. MSV teachers have worked hard to ensure students stay engaged in their studies and receive proper attention during the school day.
Our innovative approach to e-learning support caught the attention of multiple news outlets and our programming was covered by NBC and other media organizations.
We increased bandwidth at both centers to ensure children have access to high quality learning opportunities and we are appreciative of the generosity of donors that made this increased access possible.
We continue to provide e-learning support for children of essential workers and plan to do so as long as these services are necessary.