BhamStrong fights COVID-19 by partnering with local nonprofits

BhamStrong fights COVID-19 by partnering with local nonprofits
In the BhamStrong Nonprofit Partnership, service corps members work under the supervision and direction of approved nonprofit organizations for two to eight weeks, while being paid a living wage by BhamStrong. (Getty Images)

BhamStrong has launched a program to fight COVID-19 by providing Birmingham Strong Service Corps members to help staff local nonprofits performing relief services. In the BhamStrong Nonprofit Partnership, service corps members work under the supervision and direction of approved nonprofit organizations for two to eight weeks, while being paid a living wage by BhamStrong.

BhamStrong’s mission is to empower workers and support the Birmingham community to build resilience through the coronavirus pandemic. Through this new program, BhamStrong amplifies the impact of nonprofit projects that meet COVID-19 relief needs for Birmingham residents.

“Birmingham’s main asset is our community,” said Suzanna Fritzberg, executive director of BhamStrong. “Through the BhamStrong Nonprofit Partnership, we are proud to bring together organizations driving COVID relief efforts and service corps members who are eager to support their work. We are grateful for the support of local donors and the city of Birmingham that enables the service corps to continue to meet community needs during this challenging time.”

During a two-week pilot, BhamStrong placed five corps members at Breakthrough Birmingham, which provides free summer programming for Birmingham City middle school students, and the Offender Alumni Association, which empowers former offenders and their families to actively engage in reducing crime and restoring communities. Following the pilot program’s success, BhamStrong has officially opened its online portal to take applications from organizations seeking support.

“Service corps members have assisted us with hosting our virtual support discussions, transcribing audio meetings to text for records and contacting clients to provide guidance with referral resources. We have additional hands on deck, which allow us to be responsive to emergency needs without feeling overwhelmed,” said Deborah Daniels, president of the Offender Alumni Association.

Mariohn Michel, executive director of Breakthrough Birmingham, said her organization is thrilled to have additional hands to help with its programs.

“With all of the uncertainty that this COVID crisis brings, Breakthrough Birmingham knew that it would be even more important to make sure student programming took place this summer,” said Michel. “Partnering with BhamStrong allows us to continue providing the quality our students and families deserve and have come to expect. It’s exciting to see Birmingham support its community members and nonprofits during this difficult period.”

Nonprofit organizations can apply for the program and to be matched with service corps members at www.bhamstrong.com/corp-nonprofit.

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