By Errika Moore, senior program officer, prosperous people, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
For the past few months the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has worked directly with multiple school districts to understand the changing needs of students and teachers in real time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our diverse 26 districts across the region are different, but we’ve discovered in our monthly calls that they share common needs and areas of interest. Throughout the summer these districts have diligently continued to support their students, families and entire communities through food distribution, distributing learning kits for early learners, providing internet connectivity and providing stability for homeless families in their respective communities.
Some shared their concerns about how best to continue to support and protect children as they returned to school. Since the pandemic and the state budget cuts were unexpected and created unforeseen challenges, we wanted to see if we could do more. How could we serve as a community partner and/or champion beyond grants on behalf of our constituents? “We truly appreciate the connection to Atlanta-based MedShare that serves countries around the world and the way the organization has been supporting local communities during COVID-19”, says Lita Pardi, vice president of community at the Community Foundation.
MedShare has made a commitment to distribute 1 million cloth face coverings donated by Disney to children and families in underserved and vulnerable communities across the U.S. “We’re pleased to be able to provide cloth face coverings to kids and families that need them as we all work together to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” says Charles Redding, CEO and president of MedShare. Today, through a partnership with MedShare, we’re energized that we’ll be able to distribute Disney cloth face coverings to underserved children in our partner districts – free of charge. While COVID-19 has brought many challenges, it has also shown us the power of partnerships when we want to find new ways “to do more” to support our community or to promote safer experiences for our students, teachers and district administrators.