“Thank you so much for the help you all don’t know how much it means to me and my family. Especially that gift card we can get so much things with that and I been struggling financially bc I have no job and it’s the holidays and I don’t want to not be able to get anybody presents. My girl has money but I hate not being able to contribute so from the bottom of my heart thank you so much!!”
Testimony (Following November Covid Giveaway 2020)
How can it be November? I feel as though the months are passing at breakneck speed. Here are just a few of our highlights; they never capture all of the work that is being done every single day.
Sharing Fair– Our monthly numbers for our COVID Emergency Giveaways keep growing. In November we had 42 families participate, up from the original 11 several months ago. These are tough times for sure, and we know how important these events are. We have also learned how to do the giveaway quickly, following the rules of COVID. The line moves right along, starting with receiving a bag of goodies, and a gift card, diaper pickup when needed, ending with book pickup for the children. All of this begins and ends in one hour. Interestingly, there is a group of cars always waiting for us even before we open. What is also of interest is that families must sign up in advance. Just about every family shows up. This shows the importance of the event.
Workshops– One of the activities we continue to have is our Workshop for caregivers and others. Our Respite Meeting this month was dedicated to Part 2 of a workshop we began in October on “Helping Children Manage Their Feelings”. Our participants gave it an enthusiastic two thumbs up. This month I presented at I Believe In Me and offered the same workshop. It was extremely well received by the 15-20 participants. Because of COVID, we decided to postpone Part 2. In truth, so many folks liked it that they did not want to lose momentum by moving it all to Zoom. This turned out to be a great collaborative event. Earlier this month I made my second visit to Orenda House, a drug rehab house Sabillasville. Initiated by Brandon Chapman, this will be a monthly happening. It is a great way to introduce the residents to COIPP, and to share with the 30-or-so women some information on child development, including trauma, ACEs and each of their effects on children.
Fundraising– Though it is not always “sexy”, fundraising is one of the biggest things we tackle. Without it, we would not have all of the great activities that COIPP is known for. This month we have been working on a script for an “Animoto” video that we will air in December and a Giving Tuesday request for Facebook and Twitter. Prior to this, we sent out our first attempt at a fundraising letter, mentioned in a prior blog. Thanks to all of those who wrote and edited (and edited and edited) the letter; as of today, the last day of November, we raised almost $9,000. This is amazing! However, the needs of our participants are many, and we are not having any shortage of ideas on how we can add COVID restricted activities so that we keep giving our families all that they need.
Grant Writing– The life of a nonprofit can depend on grants. We are no different. This month and in recent months, we completed or worked on our application for grants from the Delaplaine Foundation, The Frederick Rotary, Fredrick County CPG requests, and more. We have also been busy advertising for a grant researcher, a part-time job for the coming year, thanks to another grant we received. It was recently shared as a national statistic that, as a result of COVID, only 1/3 of nonprofits will remain active. We have been fortunate to receive many of the grants we have applied for, but this work never ends.
In addition to all of the above, many of us have attended workshops on a variety of topics including science of the brain, cultural sensitivity, FIIP discussion with author and professor
Dr. Avon Hart-Johnson, grant writing and much more. In addition, we continue to work on preparing for the migration of our website, preparation for creating a database for both our caregivers and our donors, learning about fundraising approaches and so much more.
Now let’s see what December brings our way. I know it will never be boring.
Have a very happy holiday season-and stay safe!
Shari Ostrow Scher