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Organizations Re-imagine Services During the Coronavirus PANDEMIC

This time of uncertainty has pushed nonprofit organizations to tap into their creativity and come up with inventive ways to engage and serve their communities. At the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, community is our compass, so we are inspired to see the community-led ingenuity of the nonprofit sector during this pandemic.

Below are several nonprofits we fund that are offering resources and virtual programming during Minnesota’s mandated stay at home order:

Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities - Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities has compiled a list of food resources for children and families who have been affected by the current disruption of school and work.

Cookie Cart - Cookie Cart is hoping to cheer up patrons with sweet treats. While it has temporarily closed the doors of its Minneapolis bakery, the Saint Paul bakery is fulfilling orders. Cookie Cart is also now offering parking lot pick up.

Como Friends - Como Zoo’s closure hasn’t put a halt to the zookeepers’ work. They are continuing to take care of animals and their well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Como's Party for the Planet event during Earth Week has gone digital with online family learning activities.

DARTS - DARTS is continuing to provide service to Minnesota’s seasoned residents. During this time they are still providing in-home services to elderly clients as well as transportation. While all Respite and Visiting volunteering has been suspended, DARTS will still be utilizing its Grocery Shopper volunteers. Services have now been limited to pick up delivery.

Face to Face - Health care services can be hard to manage during a pandemic, so Face to Face has come up with a few different options to make sure their patients continue to receive adequate care including limited appointments and walk-ins. Their Safe Zone Drop-In Center will be providing food, transportation assistance and personal hygiene products to go. Mental Health Services will provide assistance to existing clients through telehealth. Case Management and MNsure services will be handled remotely by phone.

Girl Scouts River Valley - Girls Scouts River Valley will be providing virtual programming, events, resources and activities to girls during our mandated homestay. This includes In The Loop, troop meetings, ConnectZ and Cookies for a Cause, a fundraiser allowing people to purchase their favorite Girl Scout cookies for distribution to organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul - Interfaith’s Division of Indian Work (DIW) food shelf’s service needs have skyrocketed. They are one of the only culturally-specific food shelves serving Native Americans in the metro area.

Junior Achievement of Upper Midwest - Junior Achievement is now providing free online resources to teachers and parents while children are at home to keep them engaged and academically challenged.

Keystone - Despite the chaos, Keystone is continuing to fulfill the needs of the East Metro residents they serve. Meals on Wheels has increased its deliveries, providing more meals to seniors. Keystone’s food shelf has also modified its foodmobile distributions and changed its practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Playwrights Center - Classes are still in session. The Playwrights Center’s “Spring 2020 Season” will be entirely online this year. Programming will include seminars, classes and workshops taught by playwrights. Things kick off Monday, March 30 and will end May 1.

Sahan Journal - Sahan Journal is doing its best to cover news that affects the lives of Minnesota’s immigrants, specifically how they are being affected by COVID-19. Some standout stories include Afro Deli delivering free meals and racism experienced by the state's Asian Americans during the pandemic.

VocalEssence - VocalEssence is hoping to continue to lift up spirits with the gift of song. Its Singers of This Age has created a “Sounds of Hope” challenge, posting videos with songs of hope and inspirational messages via social media. Composer Phillip Brunelle is also sharing “Musical Moments with Philip Brunelle,” where he talks about his many musical relationships as a composer.

The Link - The Link’s doors are still open 24/7. During this time they will still be providing crisis support to youth and young families experiencing homelessness; sex trafficking; abuse and neglect; and involved in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems.

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