Dear community partner,
ourBRIDGE is driven by a vision to strengthen the community we belong to from the inside-out. It is in our culture to be responsive and adaptive to the needs of our families and neighbors in any situation we face together, including times of trial like the current COVID-19 global crisis.
Based on the feedback we’ve received directly from our community, we have taken action to provide support in the areas of most concern. I am proud to share with you in this newsletter the different ways ourBRIDGE has quickly adapted to be the most helpful to students, their families, our staff and the greater community.
Thank you for always believing in our mission and in our ability to carry it through. We are committed to do this work. We need your help and support. Please consider making a donation to ourBRIDGE today.
Please let me know if there is any way we can work together, if there are opportunities for funding you know about or people you believe should know about us. You can contact me directly at 704-620-8555 or Sil@joinourbridge.org
Stay safe and hopeful. We will overcome this together 🙂
Sil Ganzó-Executive Director
Over the past 7 weeks, in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and The Migrant Assistance Project (and many more AMAZING partners listed below) ourBRIDGE has been able to deliver nearly 9,000 meals each week to hundreds of families on the east side. Here is the breakdown:
• 5,600 breakfasts and lunches distributed weekly to children under the age of 18 in several neighborhoods on the East side.
• 2,200 family-style dinners delivered weekly to ourBRIDGE students and their families with support from the United Way/FFTC COVID-19 Relief Grant, we have partnered Charlotte Community Kitchen, LaShish Kabob and Why Not Pizza to provide full, high-quality meals each weeknight.
• 700 meal assistance packages delivered weekly to members of our community thanks to a partnership with Migrant Assistant Project, Manolo’s Bakery, the support of Myers Park United Methodist Church and hundreds of volunteers who collected food.
• 50 bags of groceries delivered each week to members of our community.
• Dozens of boxes filled with specially chosen STEAM activities delivered to ourBRIDGE students.
It must be scary for a child to have their world turned upside-down without warning. We are doing all that we can to reassure the kids that everything is going to be okay and that we will soon be among friends again.
In the meantime, we believe it’s important to give our kids the opportunity to create, play, read, and discover while at home. This is why we are sending all of the ourBRIDGE families boxes FULL of brand new art, science, math, and literacy supplies to keep their minds active and engaged during their time away from school.
Our staff checks in virtually with students every day to provide reassurance to the children and a safe space to share any concerns or worries they may have. Of course, they are also encouraged to ask for help with school assignments. Games and virtual field trips are also a hit during the online check-ins!
With the help from Licensed Family Therapist and board member, Claudia Jefferson, and Licensed Professional Counselor, Claire Cronin, we will soon be launching mental and emotional wellness support groups for the ourBRIDGE parents.
Thanks to a grant from the Hispanic Federation, ourBRIDGE is currently able to offer assistance to help families complete their census requirements as they wait for their meals each day. Ensuring that all of our families complete the 2020 census will directly impact the resources we and our communities will receive for the next ten years, so we are very grateful to the Hispanic Federation in helping us to make sure that everyone is counted and accounted for.
Check out the latest article about our efforts on Education Week:
“The relationships that we have built in trust for years are still here. We are not an after-school program [where] if your kids are not here, we’re not here,” Ganzó said. “We are going to be here anytime, all the time. Pandemic or no pandemic. They know that.”
Coronavirus Upends After-School World
And this article in QC Nerve about our meal-delivery efforts:ourBRIDGE Adapts to the Crisis With New Drop-Off Services
Special thanks to the following partners:
• Migrant Assistance Project in Charlotte, NC
• Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
• Charlotte Community Kitchen
• Deli St.
• Foundation For The Carolinas
• United Way of Central Carolinas
• Myers Park United Methodist Church
• Manolo’s Bakery
• La Shish Restaurant
• Why Not Pizza
WE ARE THANKFUL FOR EVERY MINUTE OF THE LAST FIVE WONDERFUL YEARS OF FOSTERING LOVE, EDUCATION, RESPECT AND DIVERSITY IN CHARLOTTE. WE’RE SO GLAD YOU’RE A PART OF THIS MOVEMENT AND WE GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!