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National Non Profit 2020

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NATIONAL NONPROFIT DAY NATIONAL NONPROFIT DAY HISTORY Sherita J. Herring, a renowned speaker, best-selling author and business strategist, founded National Nonprofit Day to educate, enlighten and empower others to make a difference, while acknowledging those that are in the trenches, impacting lives every day – the Change-Makers of the World! The Tariff Act of 1894 signed into law on August 17, imposed the first federal income tax on corporations, which included exemptions for nonprofit corporations and charitable institutions. With a few modifications, nonprofit exemptions remain a solid part of the law and have served significant benefits, both for communities and the economy. We here at the Santa Cruz Sentinel wanted a place for our local non - profits to talk about all the great work they are doing here in Santa Cruz County Nonprofits, We Get the Job Done by Amy Hanley, Marketing & Communications Manager, Community Bridges "Without the nonprofits supported by private dollars in our nation we would be in a far worse condition today." - Gregory R. Witkowski The arrival of the COVID-19 virus to our county in March, and subsequent economic shut down, hit everyone like an unexpected freight train. By the end of May, unemployment in Santa Cruz County had risen to 19% and, even with federal stimulus funds, many people found themselves having to decide between paying rent or buying food. Within just a few weeks, lives were turned upside down, jobs reduced or lost, savings depleted and uncertainty left thousands looking for ways to navigate through the crisis. From the beginning of the pandemic, nonprofit organizations quickly mobilized to keep their doors open and get essential services to people in need. Many nonprofits stepped in without guaranteed reimbursement to meet the urgent needs of people impacted by the pandemic. We know that low-income and Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) have been significantly impacted, both by higher instances of the virus and by lost wages due to COVID-19. BIPOC are more likely to work in sectors (like retail or tourism) that do not have the ability to work from home, or if they do, they do not have access to affordable child care. Combined with the high cost of living in our county, this was a recipe for calamity. Nonprofits have been the safety net for these populations before the pandemic, and as the need rose they were able to be nimble, adjust processes and expand operations – often more quickly than government agencies. Nonprofits receive their funding thorough a myriad of sources, but two key avenues are private donations and programmatic funding. Both of these sources have been decimated by the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised at nonprofit fundraisers in late spring through early fall. All cancelled. Nonprofits receive funding based on provision of services, but when they are not able to continue to offer programs that involve congregate activities, like meals at senior dining sites and youth tutoring programs, revenue can be at risk. Nonprofits have been on a see-saw, mustering resources to meet increased demand for essential services, like food or child care, while at the same time losing funding for group activities prevented by public health directives. Since 1977, Community Bridges has been committed to ensuring that everyone in our county has access to the services and resources that they need to thrive and fulfill their potential. Since the influx of the COVID-19 crisis, this mission is now more important than ever. Community Bridges programs serve over 17,000 children, families and seniors throughout Santa Cruz County. • Senior programs, Lift Line, Meals on Wheels and Elderday help keep seniors independent and living in their own homes as long as possible. • Over 8,000 children are served through Community Bridges' early education centers (Child Development Division), Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). • Our four Family Resource Centers (FRC) offer family-focused community-based support in Watsonville, Live Oak, Beach Flats and Felton. Community Bridges has been on the frontlines serving our community, providing security to those who have been impacted by COVID-19 through lost wages or lack of access to services. Community Bridges clients have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – due to age, income, race and/or immigration status. Seventy-eight percent of our participants live below the Federal Poverty Level, 75% are Latinx and 57% reside in South County, which has the highest incidence of the virus in the county. (continued on page 8) VolunteerCenter Really Connect. Really Connected Enhancing Safety and Creating Connections Through Grocery Shopping As the pandemic unfolded many nonprofits were asked to shutter their doors. Still determined to provide services, staff with the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County Senior Programs jumped into action to develop creative new ways to maintain valuable connections with their most vulnerable participants. Annually, the Volunteer Center helps over 550 seniors to age safely in our community and maintain the independence they desire through programs like Helping Hands Senior Home Repair, Falls Prevention, and the Transportation Program. "In putting these programs on hold, we recognized that the needs of our seniors did not subside. We quickly set to work to adapt our services to still meet the needs of our participants. Our first step was to establish a phone check-in system," states Volunteer Center Senior Programs Coordinator Tara Ireland. Since the start of this crisis, Senior Programs staff have held phone conversations with more than 300 seniors. "These calls have been invaluable for ensuring that seniors know how to access the resources they need while stuck at home and for some this may be the only personal connection they've had for days," states Ireland. From these conversations emerged the Grocery Shopper Program. The program serves the needs of fixed-income seniors age 60+ as well as health compromised older adults 55+ and uniquely serves those who can afford the cost of their groceries but can't visit a grocery store because of health risks. (continued on page 6)

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