Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Ohio recently received grant funding in the total amount of $13,000 from the FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES (FCA) Foundation. This funding was essential in supporting BBBSNWO’s efforts in transitioning from providing services in-person to virtual.
The families BBBSNWO serve are facing some of their most challenging times due to the COVID-19 crisis. School closing and social-distancing have impacted how “Littles” remain connected to their mentors, “Bigs,” and their circle of friends. Now more than ever, BBBSNWO’s programs are essential services needed by local communities.
In March 2020, BBBSNWO enhanced its’ capabilities to include virtual services in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The FCA funding assisted the organization with the ability to remain both open and functional, despite mandatory social-distancing. Additionally, it ensured BBBSNWO’s ability not only to meet but to exceed its’ last quarter match-support goals.
The FCA grant funding was applied to the purchase of computer equipment (laptops) with camera capabilities, software, and licensing agreements. This equipment allowed staff to provide services remotely. The remaining funding was applied to Matchforce licensing fees.
- Ability to interact with program participants virtually.
- Virtual matching capabilities.
- Virtual after school program.
- Virtual Internship program.
- Expanded services such as educational/virtual activities, etc. (see website).
- Provide free informative webinar sessions to both program participants and community members (see website).
The COVID-19 crisis has negatively impacted a significant number of non-profit organization’s ability to provide essential services to the communities they serve worldwide. This phenomenon occurred during a period when most non-profits were forecasting projected funding cuts due to a significant reduction in fundraising, resulting in staff reductions and organizational capabilities.
The FCA grant assisted BBBSNWO in minimizing the negative impact the COVID-19 crisis would have had on the community in which it serves. Additionally, it helped enhance current capabilities and expand the services provided for both program participants and community members.