Update on City Year Philadelphia’s Response to COVID-19
Dear City Year Philadelphia Community,
I write to you in unprecedented times as our city, nation, and world undertakes the rapidly evolving impact of COVID-19. By now, you may have seen the update from City Year CEO Jim Balfanz on our organization’s response to this crisis. I echo Jim’s words in that the safety and well-being of the City Year community—our AmeriCorps members, students, staff members, partners and the broader communities we serve — remains our top priority.
In addition to the information Jim has shared, I want to provide you with an update on City Year Philadelphia’s response to this point in time.
The City Year Philadelphia office is closed now through at least March 30. Our plans to re-open the office on this date will continue to be assessed and may change as further guidance becomes available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and social distancing mandates from the City of Philadelphia. All City Year Philadelphia staff members are working remotely during this time.
Health & Wellness
We are working diligently to prioritize self-care and to continue checking on one another during this challenging time. As such, we are staying positive while leveraging all of our resources both nationally with City Year Headquarters and locally with our school/community partners and district leaders.
With the closure of all public schools March 16-27, we are very limited in how we can support students virtually, but we are working creatively to identify strategies to continue supporting our students and their families given limitations and safety precautions. City Year Philadelphia’s Impact Leadership Team is working to identify virtual service and learning activities that our AmeriCorps members can participate in while schools are closed. AmeriCorps members unable to serve due to school closures will continue to receive their stipend, health benefits, AmeriCorps childcare benefits, and continued educational loan deferral.
Following CDC recommendations to cancel all public gatherings and meetings with 10+ people for the next eight weeks, we have made decisions to cancel or shift all of our events to virtual gatherings now through May. This includes our annual Red Jacket Gala which is now canceled as an in-person event while we explore alternatives. We will provide more information as details become available. All of City Year Philadelphia’s community partner service events remaining for this fiscal year have also been canceled. More information to come regarding events that are planned beyond May. If you have a question about a specific City Year Philadelphia event, please reach out to Managing Director of Development, Laurie Backall, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How You Can Support
Many of you have already reached out to ask how you can help. Thank you! Like so many others, City Year Philadelphia is feeling the financial impact of this unforeseen and unprecedented crisis. One of our greatest needs right now is financial resources to ensure we have the funds to sustain our service during this unsettling time. Please consider making a donation.
Finally, in this period of uncertainty and ever-evolving information, we are committed to providing updates to the CYP community as quickly as possible. Please visit our website and follow us on Instagram/Twitter @CityYearPhilly where we will provide pertinent updates and information resources as they become available.
As we seek to act with care for each other and our communities, I want to thank each of you for all you have done and will continue to do to support City Year, our corps, and our students. We sincerely hope you and your families are well and staying safe.
If you have any questions about City Year Philadelphia’s response plans for COVID-19, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Yours in service,
Executive Director and Vice President
City Year Philadelphia
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