Partnership raises almost $250,000 to help children suffering hardship
Almost 200 children in families who suffered hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic were helped thanks to a partnership programme between a charity and a community action group.
The project raised $248,000 over two years to assist with costs such as groceries, rent, utility bills and transport.
Families Supporting Families was put together by the Grateful Bread to help The Coalition for the Protection of Children address challenges for island households.
A spokeswoman for the group said: “Since the pandemic, the coalition has seen a 170 per cent increase in need for hardship support.
“With retail and hospitality heavily impacted, many families in Bermuda were left underemployed and finding it difficult to make ends meet, not to mention suffering the added stress of keeping up with the demands of online schooling.”
She added: “The coalition summarised how identified deserving families were struggling during the Covid crisis and outlined the various ways in which they required assistance via anonymous biographies, to respect their confidentiality as a client.
“A list of families and needs was created by The Grateful Bread and supporters were asked to give to specific targeted needs of families in $50 increments.
“The supporters of The Grateful Bread rallied behind over 70 of those families and supported them with payments – to the coalition – towards their groceries, rent, electricity, water and gas bills, transportation, educational endeavours, medical support, toiletries, baby items and laundry costs.
“No less than 188 children in these families were positively impacted by the kindness of total strangers.
“The project also resulted in The Grateful Bread supporters purchasing and gifting over 45 Chromebook laptops for families of public-school students who could not afford them to help them engage in successful remote learning.
“The coalition reports that through the project, families were not evicted, they were less stressed by food insecurity and students had the tools they needed to work in an online learning environment.”
The spokeswoman said: “A total of $248,000 was raised over the course of two years for coalition families by The Grateful Bread’s dedicated and caring supporters. One hundred per cent of these donations went directly to the families with no administrative costs taken.
“The two groups are mutually thrilled by the partnership they have shared and believe that the collective impact from community effort is the way of the future to get the help that the less fortunate so greatly need.
“The coalition’s sincerest thanks go out to the many compassionate individuals who have supported our families, we would like to thank you on behalf of our families and let you know that you are truly appreciated.”
The Grateful Bread, which is a group of volunteers, received letters from families to thank the organisation and its supporters.
One said: “We were struggling before Covid came to Bermuda but things became extra difficult after because we were just not able to bring in any form of income.
“We were humbled when the workers at the coalition told us about Families Supporting Families because we were at the point where we had no idea where the next meal was going to come from.
“You are all angels sent from God who answered our prayers.”