2020 has been a year of uncertainty and difficulty for many, including our staff. But thanks to the adaptability of our staff and leadership, SEWA-AIFW has emerged stronger than ever.
We admit, it took a lot of work. Like all community nonprofits, figuring out how to continue providing services despite being unable to do so in person was a difficult question.
However, the how is just as important as the adaptation itself. The pandemic has affected people’s lives in many ways. In addition to the public health crisis we are all living in, there’s also a mental health crisis. We knew that, in addition to our normal programming, addressing mental health needs in the community was going to be very important.
The Numbers From 2020
Before we continue, take a look below. We have tallied our programs from the year and come up with some major highlights:
10,000+ meals delivered and served
4,238 women and victims served through our women’s programs and crisis line
1,000+ hours given by our amazing volunteers
200 attendees to our special webinars throughout the year
Continue below to learn more about how these year-end stats came to be.
Increasing Need, Increasing Response
Many experts have observed that the pandemic has exacerbated many societal issues. In our work, we have seen the need for several services increase, namely meal preparation, crisis response, and mental wellness.
With many out of work, delivering meals has become an essential part of our programming. Our meals team delivers food straight to homes of our clients, as well as to community members with Midtown YWCA.
Our mental wellness staff has seen increased need as well. For our SAQL program members, being stuck at home with intolerant family has been incredibly difficult. For many other community members, job and food insecurity has been mentally taxing. Whatever the case, our programming has needed to expand to meet the rising needs.
On that same note, our crisis response staff has seen an increased need as well. Many victims are trapped at home with their abusers, who are also at home due to decreased or lost work. This has made difficult situations much harder for many clients, so our crisis response effort has increased significantly.
Each of our programs had to be dramatically changed in order to continue. Normally, we are quite a social organization with Chai & Chat, SAQL, Brown Breakfast Club, and Senior Socials. Obviously, in-person meetings are to be avoided for the time being. So, everything went virtual.
The move to virtual programming was not without its growing pains, but our program staff quickly adapted their practices. As we became more proficient, it turned out that virtual programming has some amazing benefits!
Now, our social hours include attendees in India and Pakistan. Family members have been able to join from other countries, expanding our community here. Through virtual programming, we have hosted webinars, multi-national holiday events, and readings with authors from the US and India.
Furthermore, we started hosting weekly, free mental and physical health webinars and consultations with culturally-specific therapists. Every Friday, anyone can register and get some one-on-one time with qualified professionals.
In our focus on health and wellness, we also keep regular correspondence with our seniors and survivors in the form of weekly wellness calls. More often, these calls happen closer to three times a week.
We can’t close our recap of 2020 without thanking our volunteers and supporters. It’s incredible that, despite everything going on, volunteers still donated over a thousand hours of their time.
Despite the uncertainty, we received more Give to the Max and Giving Tuesday donations than last year.
In the midst of all that’s happened, you still supported us. We can continue our work because of your support.
Follow COVID-19 updates here.