With the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic in March of 2020, we immediately decided to support our communities in, what would become, an unprecedented time of need. And thanks to our employees, who showed up every day with passion and enthusiasm, we were able to continue to manufacture products and provide employment for over 400 families. Unlike many businesses that were forced to close because of COVID 19, we were able to continue to do business and as a result, could give back.
In total we gave $247,000 and 340,000 servings of food to organizations and front line workers who have been instrumental in fighting the pandemic.
One of the organizations that we gave to was Marilliac St. Vincent (MSV). Riverside has an office and warehouse in Chicago and we wanted to reach out to those who in our community, through no fault of their own, found themselves in a desperate situation, without a social safety net to count on.
MSV’s vision is to end the cycle of poverty. The organization offers comprehensive, multi-generational human services to upwards of 20,000 Chicagoans in underserved communities. 96% of families they serve qualify for childcare assistance, 100% qualify for free school lunch and many live paycheck to paycheck.
In Chicago, Marillac’s youngest clients have been tremendously impacted by the closing of Chicago Public School buildings and the shift to remote learning. Many school-age children were about to be shut out of learning because their parents don’t have the financial resources to afford dependable internet, computer technology and the personal support of professional educators. At Marillac St Vincent (MSV) they believe that a child’s education should not be dependent on their parents’ ability to afford the latest technology or high-speed internet access.
When this education crisis occurred, MSV pivoted our programs to prepare our buildings and our staff to host 150 children every day for remote learning. This September, Marillac St. Vincent opened its centers to students who needed a safe place to attend school remotely. A place where working parents knew their children would receive a teacher’s attention during the school day and have access to online learning. This pivot required us acquire additional tables for social distancing, tablets for every student, PPE for our students and teachers, and increased internet bandwidth and increased food service to provide breakfast, lunch and a snack for all of our children. All of this unbudgeted, yet crucial programming is essential for us to live out our mission of strengthening, empowering and giving voice to those in need.
Riverside chose to support the cash card program that quickly provides cash to clients who desperately need cash for essentials like food or medicine in emergency situations. Please watch this video that demonstrates how a small amount of cash can give someone enough hope to get through tough times.
“Thank you again for your incredibly generous support of the children and families we served through your support of our COVID 19 Relief Fund. Please know that because of your thoughtful support more than 800 individuals were able to withstand the set-backs of COVID 19. Truly, it is on their behalf I say thank you.” Daniel Summins, Marillac St. Vincent Family Services, Chicago.
As we all know, the COVID 19 pandemic has not abated. All of us are still struggling to work, go to school and return to our earlier life. Today, we ask you help us make sure that every child has the opportunity to learn and grow by giving to this amazing organization.