The arrival of COVID-19, and our nation’s response to it, has made our work more urgent and focused than ever.
When schools began closing and Georgia saw its first confirmed case, we put out a call to the Presencia family to provide groceries for families at risk in our neighborhood. Our community responded generously, donating over $8,000 to families in our neighborhood. Within a week, our staff distributed gift cards to ALDI worth $5,100 to help our families weather the first weeks of this quarantine.
We also packed and distributed 34 backpacks with much-needed school supplies, activities, and toys to help our students learn, grow, and play as they shelter in place.
As we delivered resources and planned for the coming months, we focused on the question, “What does it mean to love our neighbors well through this crisis?”
Loving our neighbors well means first taking care of our team of tutors and mentors. They are a lifeline for the neighborhood, and many of them support their families through their work with us. We need to keep them working and healthy.
Our team will work to get vital support, supplies, and important resources to families in need while maintaining separation. Presencia’s tutoring staff has gathered updated contact information for all of our families, and we will be using phones and online tools to continue supporting our families in three ways.
- Educational Support: Our tutoring staff will continue our mission of tutoring, mentoring, and leadership development through a time of remote learning. Through regular phone and video calls, we will help Presencia students and their parents to use new tools, connect with their schools, and continue learning.
- Emergency Supplies: We will continue monitoring the needs of our Presencia families, providing ongoing material support as income is lost and illness spreads.
- Connection with Resources: Each family faces a unique set of challenges, and many of them will require resources outside of our scope. We are working with our partners and collecting a list of locally-available resources to make sure Presencia families get the help they need to stay together and healthy.
In this season of crisis, we can either retreat in fear or love our neighbors in creative, wise, and helpful ways. To offer love to vulnerable families in the time of Coronavirus, please consider giving, fundraising, and praying for our work here in the neighborhood.
We hope and pray that you are doing well. Thank you so much for being part of the Presencia Family.
With deep gratitude,
Ruth Ann North