Support Santa Maria During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Santa Maria Community Services is a nonprofit organization in Cincinnati that helps families attain their education, financial, and health goals. We served over 3,000 people last year thanks to the generosity of our donors.
Helping our clients during times of crisis takes many different groups working together. By donating, you will strengthen our community.
One of our clients, Cheyanne, enrolled in Santa Maria’s Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP) in April of 2019 with the goal of getting her High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma and obtaining a job. She quickly earned her HSE in May 2019, and in August 2019 she started a work experience at a new partner worksite, O Pie O Bakehouse. Cheyenne did such a great job that she was hired by the company for a permanent position as a Pastry Chef in November 2019.
Cheyanne then enrolled in the Avenues to Success program, which is a project available to all enrolled CCMEP youth. Avenues to Success allows youth to earn gift cards for maintaining employment for a specified number of hours over a certain amount of days. Cheyanne received the following incentives for maintaining employment at O Pie O: 30, 60 and 90-days retention, and the in-demand incentive, all resulting in a gift card of increasing value. Cheyanne also received a promotion at O Pie O, which came with a $2.00 hourly pay increase. Cheyanne planned to use her incentives to set money aside for an emergency fund.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected how we all do business and has had a significant impact on our disadvantaged communities, specifically children who depend on free public-school lunches. Lou Ginocchio, owner of O Pie O, saw this problem and decided to act. Starting March 15th, Lou and the entire team at O Pie O have been providing free lunches to school-aged children. Each lunch provides half a hand pie, one piece of fruit, and half of a slice of sweet pie. “We have access to food, and we have access to fruit. We knew we could do something if we rolled up our sleeves and devoted our efforts, resources, and access to food,” says Lou. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Cheyanne was laid off and O Pie O may soon need to suspend its free lunch program due to lack of funds. This just goes to show that dreams get crushed, plans get disrupted, and families find themselves in critical situations overnight.
Bread winners of 155 families Santa Maria serves lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. We are doing everything we can to alleviate their situations; delivering food, diapers, Kroger gift cards, and activity packets for young children. Santa Maria is providing employment and financial stability coaching over the phone and conducting our home visits with the little ones via computers.
We know that COVID-19 has affected nearly everyone in our community, but we ask that you consider contributing in order to support our vulnerable neighbors. In times like these we all come together.
If you cannot support financially, but wish to donate in-kind gifts, please click this link: https://santamaria-cincy.org/give/