If you’ve had COVID-19 you may have been one of the people to receive a Quarantine Care Package from Bridges for Life. We are thrilled that they will be the first organization our President, Tamara Brinkman will interview as the new host for WCTV’s The Third Sector.
At United Way of Whitewater Valley, we understand that there are many families in need of assistance in Wayne and Union counties. In 2019, Wayne and Union counties had a combined 10,500 residents living under the poverty line. Residents living below the poverty line are at higher risk for mental illness, chronic illness, higher mortality, and lower life expectancy. As a community partner, we support organizations that collaborate to better the lives of all members of our community. The funds that we distribute support organizations in our community that give life-altering aid to families in our community.
Bridges for Life
One of the nonprofits we support is building bridges by providing interventions that allow families to better their lives. Bridges for Life is an organization that provides social services by building meaningful professional and personal relationships with families. They provide resources to at-risk families addressing their urgent or basic needs, assessing their challenges and strengths, providing interventions that address a family’s needs, and connecting them with community providers. Bridges for Life is passionate about active participation. They work to build trust with the families that they serve, this relationship allows them to provide meaningful and effective interventions.
We understand that to create lasting change you must begin with urgent needs before moving on to larger issues. This is exactly the kind of help that Bridges for Life offers to the families they assist. They connect families with community providers that can relieve their immediate needs. This allows Bridges for Life to create personalized intervention plans focusing on five important areas.
The Five Key Areas
The five areas that Bridges for Life focuses its energy on are; education, physical health, mental health, personal finance, social skills, and social skills. Within these areas, team members address things such as early childhood education, preventative health, personal health, parenting, and personal finance. These five categories are used to identify and prioritize a family’s needs. The Bridges for Life team can work with other organizations to meet those needs. They understand that needs should be met in order. By that we mean, a family is much less likely to worry about personal finances when they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
All families have strengths and weaknesses. The mission of Bridges for Life is to identify stressors that have the most impact on a family. Identifying the problem is the first step to finding the solution. An example of this is the Quarantine Care Package Project. This program provides food and toiletries to families that are required to quarantine. The Bridges for Life team gets much-needed items into the hands of families within 24 hours of referral form being completed. There are five steps the Bridges for Life team follows.
- Connections with the family are made and a member of the Bridges for Life team can begin acquiring supplies.
- Volunteers begin packing nonperishable and dry foods
- Once the referral is finished the Bridged of life team member connects with the family to finalize details
- All the final items are packed into the care package
- Finally, 3 boxes of food and one box of specialty items are delivered to the family’s door
Follow the link to learn more about the Quarantine Care Package Project. This one example of the programs available to families in Wayne and Union counties. Bridges for Life is helping to strengthen and educate families in the community. While they are focusing on building up families, we assist them by providing much-needed funds and partnerships.
Partnership and Collaboration
We work as a facilitator in Wayne and Union counties. We bring together stakeholders, financial support, and partnerships for all of our partner agencies. We like to think of United Way Whitewater Valley as a cheerleader and supporter of our local nonprofits. We are filling in gaps in the community by bringing nonprofits together. Our initiative More Than Words also assists some of our agency partners with their programs. In fact, More Than Words worked alongside Bridges for Life to provide fun activities for kiddos in family quarantine care packages.
Bridges for Life is an example of a nonprofit that we have brought into the fold. The relationships we have formed in the community is one way that we support organizations exactly like Bridges for Life. We amplify their message about compassion, community, and connection. This exposure brings donors, volunteers, and advocates willing to assist Bridges for Life in their mission to provide at-risk families with an extra layer of support, so they can live happy and healthy lives. To learn more about Bridges for Life and their impact on the Richmond community click here.