The global pandemic left more than its fair share of scars in 2020, but local communities are healing together in 2021.
People and organizations rallying to help each other in times of need stands as one of the major positive results from the test COVID gave us.
Moneta Charitable Foundation (MCF) is proud to aid that effort by supporting the following three organizations with its annual Partnership Grants and new COVID relief plan.
When schools closed down in March of 2020, KidSmart quickly surveyed teachers to create a plan that would ensure that all 72,500 of the children it serve were equipped for at-home learning. KidSmart rapidly innovated new distribution methods that would meet the extraordinary need, while also adhering to safety guidelines.
KidSmart almost immediately launched a new Drive-Thru program. Typically, March through May are months when distribution is low as the school year wraps up and KidSmart prepares for summer fundraising. But in 2020, in 10 weeks in March through May, KidSmart distributed $2.2 million in free school supplies. Teachers drive their cars up to the KidSmart warehouse where staff members or volunteers safely load up their trunks with brand new school supplies for their classrooms. Teachers then bring those supplies back to their classrooms, or distribute them directly to students’ homes––or wherever students may be, including homeless shelters.
Now, with students learning both in the classroom and at-home, and with strict sanitation measures in place, the need for KidSmart supplies has doubled. Not only is KidSmart accounting for double the amount of classrooms –– the ones that are now happening in students’ homes –– to equip, but students are no longer allowed to share supplies in the classrooms. KidSmart’s goal is to distribute another $2 million in free school supplies in the back-to-school season, and $6 million more throughout the rest of the school year. This year, supplies also include masks, hand sanitizer, and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
MCF is donating one of its two annual $25,000 Partnership Grants to provide a Back-To-School Bash for a KidSmart-partnered school, equipping all of that school’s students with full backpacks of supplies needed to return to school in August of 2021. Moneta employees will also give volunteer hours by helping distribute those backpacks and sorting supplies in prep for drive thru teacher distribution events.
Wings of Hope
Wings of Hope flies approximately 200 Medical Relief & Air Transport (MAT) missions each year, providing medical air transport services, free of charge, to individuals who need specialized medical care that is not available to them locally. Using aircraft specially outfitted with stretchers to accommodate fragile and non-ambulatory patients, the organization flies individuals to hospitals and treatment centers in 26 states within a 600-mile radius of its St. Louis headquarters.
A majority of MAT passengers are children with congenital disorders and rare or life-threatening health conditions. The need for orthopedic specialists is especially common because of a condition doctors call “clubfoot” seen in approximately one out of every 1,000 babies.
Once Wings of Hope begins transporting a patient, the organization commits to flying them to post-op care and treatment for as long as it is needed. The MAT Program relieves these individuals and their families of the stresses and financial burdens of arranging and paying for travel.
But Wings of Hope is a global humanitarian charity with a scope that is much broader than this single program. The nonprofit uses the power of aviation to help the world’s poorest citizens access the basic resources essential for human dignity: health, education, economic opportunity and food security.
All of this is supported by approximately 300 highly skilled and engaged volunteers. The group includes 20 MAT pilots, 80 mechanics and all the accountants, flight coordinators and administrative support staff – even each member of the volunteer recruitment and retention team itself.
MCF is donating one of its two annual $25,000 Partnership Grants to support the Wings of Hope MAT program. Volunteer support from Moneta employees will be directed at helping to host a virtual gala in place of the MAT program’s annual in-person fundraiser event that could not be held this year because of the pandemic. Moneta employees will also help host the “Taste of Hope” drive-through event featuring food and beverage tasting from local restaurants as a fundraiser for Wings of Hope’s global partners working to change and save lives through the power of aviation.
PBS: Teaching in Room 9
A majority of schools transitioned to virtual learning in 2020 and are struggling to engage early learners. As schools resume some in-person learning, access to educational resources in the classroom and at home become all the more important.
The digital divide poses tremendous challenges for schools serving under-resourced families. Nine PBS reaches these children, their families and their educators while helping the regional effort to bridge this digital divide.
Teaching in Room 9 began as a response to calls from education leaders and health experts to meet the new learning needs of young children during the pandemic. Teaching in Room 9 broadcasts previously recorded 30-mintue lessons from area teachers throughout the region. Lessons in literacy, math, science and related arts are available free in all households from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for students in PreK-3rd grade.
As an extension of its COVID relief plan, Moneta is donating a $20,000 grant to help Nine PBS continue providing early education programs—on the air, in the classroom, and in the home. Moneta employees will also volunteer in support of on-air pledge nights and in-person events when they are safe to resume.
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